Brazilian distributor teams on cinema deal

Vet Brazilian distribution exec Marco Aurelio Marcondes has teamed with the country’s digital cinema pioneers Fabio Lima and Jose Eduardo Ferrao to create MovieMobz, a groundbreaking Cinema on Demand initiative.

The COD company has struck its first output deal, sealing all Latin American rights to the back catalog and first-run films of Argentinean sales agent FilmSharks Intl.

One of Brazil’s best-known distrib execs, Marcondes formerly partnered with top indie distrib Europa Films. Rain Network is Latin America’s biggest digital cinema operator. It has already aided the installation of digital projection systems and software theater management systems — allowing digital systems to function — in all of Brazil’s 149 arthouse screens, transmitting pics to hardtops via Comsat.

But MovieMobz takes digital cinema one step further. Aiming to launch in early April, Rain’s COD will allow moviegoers, grouped in online film clubs, to recommend what films play when and where over Rain’s digital cinema network.

Once exhibitors slot a film, virtual cinema club members can buy tickets, refer further wishlists to friends and, exploiting MovieMobz’s social networking system, let other people know what films they’re attending.

“For the first time in the market, we are offering new opportunities for the entire cinema chain: Consumers can choose their content; exhibitors can more efficiently program their screens; and content licensors can more easily find their audience,” Lima said.

MovieMobz will book film screenings of new and old features as well as niche content, Marcondes added.

The FilmSharks deal is a split-revenue arrangement, with MovieMobz making a minimum advertising commitment. Pact, inked at the Berlinale, includes Conrad Clark’s “Soul Carriage,” “Futuro perfecto” and “The Photographer.”

MovieMobz plans to open subsidiaries in Argentina and Mexico this year, playing off the rollout of digital cinema screens via Rain Network.

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