Friday 30 March 2012

Material plans

The Material madness is still on the go!

In terms of our next steps, we are going to be applying in May to TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) - that is the 1st prize for this kind of film. If we get into Toronto then our international efforts will begin. TIFF is in September, and after that, the next most appropriate festival for Material would be the London Film Festival, which is in October. We are hoping we get into either of these, and if we are very lucky, maybe even both. We have some compelling data at this point, and a bunch of solid reviews, so, yes, with a bit of luck we may just get this right.

Anant Singh is our international partner on the film and we will start our offshore efforts with Anant in the second half of the year. A lot depends on getting into a major international film festival. Toronto, for example, is a commercially oriented film event, and if we get into Toronto then our efforts on the international front will have a built-in launch pad and we will officially start then. If we don’t get into any of the leading film festivals this year, then we will move onto professional industry screenings in London and Mumbaithe challenge here is that this requires further investment etc.

We imagine that we are going to lose half our current screens this weekend because of the recent drop-off from the past weekend gone by. We are hoping and praying that we have at least a dozen sites in play by the Easter weekend. That will be our last key time to try get bums on seats in a bigger way. After that, we anticipate still playing on about 6 to 9 key sites through until May.

Anant starts shooting the Long Walk to Freedom in the last part of May. This is going to be one of the world's most anticipated films. Some serious adventures ahead! Anant is going to be in a very exciting position with the world's leading film distributors, which is going to bode well for Material.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Sunday 25 March 2012

Material moves

Here are some of the new sites that started this weekend - please help spread the word - the Material movie is on the move:

Northridge – Bloemfontein
Wonderpark – Pretoria
North Park – Johannesburg

And, this is what this is what starts next week Friday on the 30th:

Mimosa – Bloemfontein
Vincent Park – East London
Garden Route – Cape Town
Blue Route – Cape Town

Also, Material will be in Botswana and Swaziland form next weekend too.

Viva Material viva!

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Material momentum

This past weekend we dropped off a bit more than we hoped for from last weekend.

Our guess is that this coming weekend we are going to have some prints taken off circuit. We will only find out later this week what the cinemas plan to do. We are number 6 in the rankings which makes us a bit vulnerable but we are doing all we can to try keep the footprint to a maximum.

We are still doing very well on all the cosmopolitan sites, so we reckon that at those sites we will continue to enjoy a long run.

If we look at the drop offs of all the films on circuit, we are still shaping up better than most, and also, on our smaller footprint, our screen average is still the highest for the year, which remains the key measure for cinemas.

All is on track, and we are excited about the journey here – it really is only just beginning.

PS – check this out :

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Friday 16 March 2012

More material

We did good last weekend on the Material theatrical run. We had only a small drop-off and we actually even moved up a notch to position no. 4. We still have the full 41 prints in play which is very good (with double screens still in place at Rosebank Zone, Sandton and Gateway in Durban).

There is some very BIG Hollywood product coming out this weekend, and the following weekend, so the competition is gonna be hectic!

Riaad and I recently attended a gathering of the FCA (Foreign Correspondence Ass.) and CNN and Al Jazeera, as prime examples, want to do a story on a Riaad and the film – this is very exciting, and very very important in terms of our potential offshore journey ... lots of work to do, but it is all good.

Check this out – it went live this week – from one of the FCA members :

We estimate over 200,000 people have now seen the film, which is a big number - the longer we stay on circuit the better our chances of getting to that magical 400,000 number (which is not a necessity, but it helps to be in the top 10 for the year, in terms of positioning abroad with potential international distributors).

And with that, back to the material it is. Yes, we are writing another story ... 4 years in actually – but now in high energy mode. More material is coming; just can’t say when ... this takes time.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Friday 9 March 2012

The long tail

Last weekend the Material movie did good. We didn’t make it to no. 1 though but the number is solid. Our screen average is still the highest by far, which is the most important measure for the cinema chains (we are on 41 sites and the films ahead of us, only very slightly ahead of us I must add, have much bigger footprints).

Today Ster Kinekor are moving their 3 least performing Material sites they have and from this weekend we will have double prints (ie, 2 cinemas) playing at The Zone, Sandton and Gateway in Durban - this is going to be an interesting experiment, and very exciting.

We will still have the full 41 prints in play as we go on to weekend # 4. In weekend # 5 there are some serious big Hollywood films coming out so it is gonna be a real challenge the following weekend.

The supply and demand dynamics of the cinema industry are very clear cut – each Monday the cinema chains (it works like this all around the world) sit down and analyze the data from the weekend gone by – if a site has 10 cinemas, and there are 5 new movies coming that weekend, then the best performing 5 stay on, and the worst 5 get taken off (to make way for the new films). This is the anxiety we have been going through for the past few weeks ... not easy on the nerves, but so far we are doing good. On all the cosmopolitan sites the film is in the top 3 - the challenge is that the cosmopolitan sites are not the majority.

In short, a lot of people have been using the term “the long tail” when analyzing the data thus far – it may just be that this film plays in the dozen or so cosmopolitan sites for a long, long time.

There is only one way to find out ...

Back to work it is ... there is material to get out there !

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Friday 2 March 2012

Closing the gap

We did good on our 2nd weekend: we came in no. 3 and overtook the 2 films that were ahead of us last week. Also, our drop off rate was 13% which is very positive (we needed it to be more like 10% but 13% is pretty close).

The most interesting thing is that for the new weekend, starting today, the 5 new Hollywood movies being released are not heavyweights, so, we actually have a chance to take the no. 1 spot in our 3rd weekend, which would be quite rare. If we don’t get the no. 1 spot I will bet that Material will be a very close 2nd. Remember you can win a ticket.

If we do get the no. 1 position in weekend number 3 then it means the word of mouth is incredibly strong, and the film will be classified a “sleeper”.

The cinema chains are moving the film to the bigger houses this weekend so we finally have a chance to try get the numbers up.

The numbers are good, but not good enough - they need to be about 20% higher and part of the challenge was due to the smaller cinema houses we were in, so, now we got a better chance this weekend. It is a bit of a gamble, but a calculated one - if we do fill up this weekend then we will be winning, and if not, well, then we ain't gonna make the numbers we need and it will land up being just a small niche film.

We will know very soon.

Please help spread the word !!!

And check this out :

Posted by Ronnie Apteker