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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas and Theatres   » Westwood booking pattern shifting? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Westwood booking pattern shifting?
Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted January 10, 2007 10:37 AM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
I've recently noticed a change in the booking patterns in the Westwood theatres of Los Angeles.

It used to be something like this:
Mann Village: Warner Brothers
Mann National: Paramount
Mann Bruin: Warner and Paramount
Mann Festival: Move-overs from the other Mann Theatres
AMC Avco: Universal, Fox, Disney, Sony, Dreamworks
Crest: Disney, Fox
Landmark Regent: Independent (Focus, Miramax etc)

Now it seems to be going something like this:
Mann Village: Warner and Paramount (with Dreamworks)
Mann National: MGM
Mann Bruin: Warner
Mann Festival: Move-overs from the other Manns
AMC Avco: Universal, Fox, Paramount (with Dreamworks), Disney, Sony
Crest: Sony
Landmark Regent: Disney (they must have committed to Disney and given up on Independent fare to keep the theatre alive knowing they are opening a new high-end art house at the Westside Pavillions soon).

I know there there is no set rule (Mann will get an occasional Universal, Fox or Sony Picture etc) but the big pattern change is that the AMC Avco has been getting a lot of films distributed by Paramount lately: Flags of our Fathers, Flushed Away (both Dreamworks through Paramount) Charlottes Web, Freedom Writers. And the Mann National seems to the new showcase for MGM: Flyboys, Clerks II, Rocky Balboa and Arthur and the Invisibles.

I wonder if Mann decided to hold on to its lease of the National with commitment to/from the newly reformed MGM? (and lost hold on Paramount in the process).

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted January 10, 2007 11:20 AM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
Isn't Westwood all but dead (save for Village, Bruin & Crabco)? I've noticed that Mann's using National for the films that (seemingly) no one else wants. "Rocky Balboa" was probably the biggest film that played there in months.

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Bill Gabel
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Posts: 288
From: New York, NY
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted January 10, 2007 02:58 PM      Profile for Bill Gabel           Edit/Delete Post 
The booking patterns for the Westwood theatres change every few seasons. During the 70's Mann ran alot of Universal. After the Star Wars problem at the Chinese, it was a long time till a Fox film would play at a First Run Mann Theatre in Westwood and Hollywood areas. The Fox product went to the UA Egyptian and Pacific's Hollywood Pacific and GCC Avco Center & UA Cinema or UA Cinema Center. It will change a few years from now again.

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Brad Erickson
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Posts: 117
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: May 2006


 - posted January 16, 2007 10:20 AM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
The National used to be the premiere theatre for Paramount product in Westwood, and the Village for Warner. At least for the big films. Since Mann is just about to throw the towel in for the National, they pretty much book it with the least wanted films in release. In 2006 Mann was able to book BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN and THE DA VINCI CODE at the National; but other than those highly regarded films, it has turned the big brown garbage can in Westwood. I'm guessing by this time next year it will be closed forever because it is too expensive to restore.

I'm guessing if a proposed All Stadium 5 plex is ever built by Mann it may add spark to the Village, along with the major housing and retail section be built where the old Plaza was. After Landmark opens the 12 plex at the Westside pavilion it will take a bigger chunk out of Westwood Village. My other guess of disappearing theatres will be the Avco. It is a nothing theatre these days and sits on 'hot' Wilshire Blvd. property. It has seen better days and never will have the lustre is once had. Landmark seems interested in the Regent still and could day/date with the new Westside Pavilion 12 plex.

I think in 2 years the only theatres in Westwood Village that will still be there will be The Mann Village, Mann Bruin, perhaps the Mann Festival, a new Mann Stadium theatre complex, The Landmark Regent and tye Majestic Crest. Perhaps even the booking patterns will change also.

The latest Booking patterns:

MANN THEATRES: Warner #1, plus Paramount/Dreamworks, New Line, some Sony, some Fox, MGM and some Focus features (Universal)

REGENT: Disney

AVCO: Dreamworks/Paramount, some Disney, Some Sony, Universal, Fox, some MGM.

CREST: A majority of Sony product.

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Mark Campbell
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Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted January 16, 2007 06:52 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
It is so sad that Landmark took over the Regent, gave it a great remodel (old foreign film posters to boot) with the promise of Westwood getting Los Angeles's nicest art house, only to now be playing crap like the Disney/Touchstone horror flick "Primeval".

One note on the National: when it booked "The Da Vinci Code" last summer it shared it with the Bruin, staggering showtimes like a multiplex. They did this with "Poseidon" as well, which ended up being overkill knowing that film's B.O. take. I am sure they treated the National as the secondary screen to the better-located Bruin, though the National is a better place to see a movie by far and has twice as many seats.

I also think that Mann had a lucky break and caught "Brokeback Mountain" as it was expanding its platform release after doing very well in limited release.

Regarding the future Landmark Westside Pavillion 12 Plex, if they wanted to maximize their impact, they should book art-house, foreign and high-brow films films in the 12 plex (following Arclight as a model) and keep the old 4 plex in the other end of the mall open and book Disney and other family fare there. After all, it is a mall in a densely populated affluent area that has a lot of single family homes with kids nearby, even within walking distance.

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Brad Erickson
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Posts: 117
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: May 2006


 - posted January 17, 2007 10:05 AM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
It is sad that the Regent has turned into a Disney theatre. When Landmark took over they were treating it as a Art House theatre. Back in the 70's and 80's it was a key theatre for Art/Quality mainstream films. The studios liked booking into the Regent because it was in the heart of the Village and sold out easily. The Regent showed strong grosses for exclusive runs that were selling out around the clock. I remember THE ELEPHANT MAN opening exclusively and was selling out every show. It looked like Landmark was trying to bring that back in the begining, but gave up. The Studios prefer opening exclusives at The Grove, AMC Century 15 and/or a Santa Monica screen.

Overall I think people will travel to The Mann Village theatre to see "event" films, but prefer the trendy AMC CENTURY 15 or THE GROVE. Both of which I think really drove a steak in Westwood Village's heart. The National really took a hit since the new theatre complexes opened around town. Even back in 2003 the National seemed to be stronger than now. I went to see "The Italian Job" opening weekend there and the theatre was near capacity. But in the 3 years since then it has taken a further tumble. Sad, I always have prefered the Westwood Theatre district.

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Bill Gabel
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From: New York, NY
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 - posted January 17, 2007 12:23 PM      Profile for Bill Gabel           Edit/Delete Post 
During the 70's till when Mann won the leases on the Regent and Plaza, the theatre was operated by Laemmle Theatres and was booked by Pacific Theatres.

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Michael Mohan
New Member

Posts: 10
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Jun 2006


 - posted April 03, 2007 06:11 PM      Profile for Michael Mohan   Author's Homepage   Email Michael Mohan         Edit/Delete Post 
I live in the neighborhood, and it really is a bummer to watch these theatres dwindle. Even the Mann Village; I went there to see 300 on opening weekend with expectations of a rowdy crowd, and it was maybe 1/6 full.

Did anyone catch the scene in Zodiac that was filmed at the Mann National? It was actually funny to see a large crowd there.

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Bill Gabel
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Posts: 288
From: New York, NY
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted April 04, 2007 07:29 AM      Profile for Bill Gabel           Edit/Delete Post 
The same thing happened when the releasing pattern changed from Beverly Hills in the late 70's to Westwood. The Pacific Beverly Hills and the Fox Wilshire and the GCC Beverly all closed during that time frame.

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Chris Utley
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From: Torrance, CA
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 - posted April 04, 2007 08:50 AM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
Is it too early to declare Westwood DONE? All the signs are pointing to that fact. Aside from the Village and (maybe) the Bruin, there's no reason to see a flick there anymore - especially after hearing about how Mann has allowed the National to turn into a dump.

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Mark Campbell
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Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted April 04, 2007 10:58 AM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
The National still has top-notch presentation, however. Within the last year I saw "March of the Penguins", "Superman Returns" and "Rocky Balboa" there and the presentation was first-rate. Still one of the best screens and sound systems around.

However it does seem like the Mann dumping ground now, with Festival even getting better product. This weekend they are getting a move-over of "Shooter" from the Bruin to replace their last Bruin move-over "Zodiac". Meanwhile the Festival had gotten a first run of "TMNT" and is now replacing that with a move-over of "300" from the Village. Too bad. "300" would probably be great at the National.

It seems they are hesitant to book a first run film there. Perhaps in case they suddenly decide to pull the plug? In last Sunday's LA Times, the "Are We Done Yet?" ad showed the National being the Westwood theatre where it would open. Now IMDB showtimes has it opening at the Avco and the National getting the "Shooter" move-over.

Its too bad this theatre can't be listed as a historical place worth preserving. After all, it is the last single screen in the area to be built and is a perfect representation of the generation of giant widescreen theatres of the 60's and 70's.

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Brad Erickson
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From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: May 2006


 - posted April 10, 2007 03:59 PM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
I went to see Music & Lyrics at the National on the opening Saturday afternoon. The theatre was almost empty. It is sad seeing it that way. MANN has no intentions on refurbishing it and my guess it will close sooner than later. I think that the arrival of the Arclight and Grove really hit those theatres hard. Not so long ago(2003) I went to see The Italian Job opening Saturday and the theatre was packed. Cut to 2007 and it is a grave yard. Funny what a few years will do.

I think Are We Done Yet was pulled because Paramount probably wanted Shooter to stay in theatres, and wanted a move-over to the National.

With the arrival of the Landmark 12 in June, I think Westwood Village will continue to dwindle. Pretty Much the Village and Bruin are safe. They make enough money from premieres and 'event' films. Films seem to move in and out very quickly. When I worked at the Village back in 1981 we had films forever.

My guess is the National will go eventually. But I think perhaps the Avco will go in the near future; Wilshire Blvd. property is a hot commodity. I feel bad for the Crest, The Landmark 12 will hit him hardest. Since the Crest is a indie theatre, Landmark will take bookings away from that theatre. Mann has WB, Paramount, Some Sony, Newline and Fox to keep bookings steady for them,

I don't think it is time to call it a day for Westwood though, it will resurge some day.

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Chris Utley
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From: Torrance, CA
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 - posted April 10, 2007 04:24 PM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
The Landmark 12 will be an arthouse. The owner of the Crest has been running mainstream films there lately. So they may be safe after all. If there's any Westside single screener that may get hurt by the new Landmark, it'll be the Nuart. Lucky for them they switch back and forth between arthouse and retro so they won't feel too big of a sting.

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Mark Campbell
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Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted April 11, 2007 07:05 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
My guess is the Nuart will keep its pattern booking indie and restored films for one week only and then if they have enough box-office, move them to the Landmark 12.

Regarding the Landmark 12's impact on Westwood theatres: Landmark will probably book art and foreign fare only because they are too close to the AMC Century City 15 which books mainsteam and they cannot play day and date with them (I think). They can (I think) play day and date with Westwood, but since the AMC Century 15 will have all the mainstream films in Landmark's zone, Westwood should be able to keep most of it's mainstream bookings.

However, I think Landmark might try to steal away from AMC some of the more edgier/serious films from the majors studios. Think "Babel", "The Departed", "Children of Men" and "Pan's Labyrinth", all of which opened at the Century 15 this last winter. All of those would be at home at a Landmark Theatre.

That's what I think, but what do I know...

TRYING TO BE POSITIVE: Of course Music and Lyrics left the National mostly empty opening weekend, it's another Hugh Grant + younger-cute-American-star-that-Hugh-Grant-has-not-been-in-a-movie-yet-with film!!! But thank you, Brad, for your support or my favorite Westwood theatre!

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Dan Roben
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Posts: 155
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted April 11, 2007 08:49 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
Hmmmmm...with the National's days numbered (it seems), I had best try and hightail it down thataway. I love 1960s era single screen deluxe houses. There aren't that many of them left.

I'm guessing that I have through the summer? I'm thinking Mann will book some sort of crappy "blockbuster" in there to keep it on life support.

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