Exhibitors delay convention because of tentpole pics

A dearth of available tentpole pics is the motivation behind the National Assn. of Theater Owners’ decision to push back the 2012 edition of CinemaCon, the org’s annual exhibitor confab, by nearly a month to April 23-26.

According to CinemaCon managing director Mitch Neuhauser, the move was made entirely to give studios more time to finish their summer event pics, with hopes that those films will premiere (or screen in part) at the conference.

“With so many of the tentpoles driven by special effects, the later we can hold our show, the more likely it’ll be that studios can show their product,” Neuhauser said. “One month of post-production can make a huge difference.”

This year’s CinemaCon, previously dubbed ShoWest, was held March 28-31. Confab will remain at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

The change in ownership and venue (Paris Las Vegas was the show’s previous home) was meant to boost studio participation, as well as to entice smaller exhibs that normally wouldn’t attend. Paramount and DreamWorks Animation, Disney, Warner Bros., Lionsgate and Sony all showcased product at the inaugural event.

“Without a doubt, the success we achieved in year one exceeded our expectations, and we have our friends in distribution and exhibition to thank,” Neuhauser added. “But now it’s onto year two, and we need to raise the bar even higher — which is a challenge we embrace wholeheartedly.”

CinemaCon hosted more than 5,000 industry professionals at this year’s conference.

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