‘Game of Thrones’ Should Play in Theaters, Exec Argues

game of thrones Season 4

Forget the water cooler.

Fans of shows such as “The Voice” and “Game of Thrones” could one day flock to theaters to watch key episodes on the big screen and revel in the twists and surprises together, Cinemark CEO Tim Warner predicted to Variety.

“They build up this huge fan base and there’s nowhere for the fan base to go,” Warner said.

Now that the majority of American theaters have converted to digital technology, there’s no technological impediment to pushing television content onto the widest of screens. Gone, by and large, are 35mm projectors. Broadcasting the finales of popular shows such as “Breaking Bad” across theater chains is a “no brainer,” Warner argued.

“‘Game of Thrones’ on the big screen would be so exciting,” Warner said. “It’s not that you can’t go to the bar and watch this stuff, but you can’t have that premium experience.”

However, studios may need to become more collaborative. Structurally, media conglomerates tend to run their television and film arms separately without allowing for much overlap.

“They’re going to have break down that barrier within the studios, so that all the content providers take a look at whatever content they’re doing and say, ‘Should this be going into this platform?'” Warner said.

“They’ve got to think of the theatrical platform as the largest pay-per-view platform in the world,” he added.

One recent example of innovation is “The Night Before Our Stars,” a special simulcast of the premiere of “The Fault in Our Stars” that screened in theater circuits courtesy of Fathom Events. Fans of the upcoming film were charged $25 to see the red carpet action, watch interviews with talent, and receive a charm bracelet  before seeing a screening of the film. Cinemark brought in roughly half a million dollars from its screenings, Warner said.

“My gut feeling is that a lot of the other studios are going to look at it and say, ‘Hey, look: When we’re doing a big premiere and there’s a huge fan base out there, we’re going to do something similar and connect it back to that movie-going audience,'” Warner said.



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  1. John says:

    I would have loved to watch Breaking Bad in the theater!! I have a group of friends that get together to watch our favorite tv series like BB, GOT, SOA, TWD and i know we would all go to the theater together. Like someone said below it will be between people who prefer their couch or the theater but movies face the same problem and unlike movies these shows arent banking on ticket sales these shows are already prifitable. Not only does the giant screen make these epic shows more satisfying but there is a reason shows like talking dead and talking bad exist. Going to the theater is a better experience. Keeping the price less than a normal movie ticket and broadcasting ahead of television are good ideas to make it a more viable option. All of these shows are pushing 20million viewers including dvr, ondemand, and re-runs so unless only a tiny fraction of viewers show up to the theater it may work.

  2. Justin says:

    To make this viable and repeatable business for cinema chains, at the very least they would need to broadcast one episode ahead of television. Otherwise you fall directly into the argument between the people who prefer their couch or the people who prefer the big screen experience. I think it could work, but it needs to be done right.

  3. This sounds more like a bid to force fans of successful shows into a venue they’re not interested in. Movies have been doing poorly for years, and shows like Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Mad Man have been monstrously successful…and venues for established movie stars to cross over. People don’t want to pay fifteen bucks to sit in a cold theater with screaming children. I don’t love Game of Thrones so much that I’d pay to see it in a theater. Hollywood needs to stop trying to corral the public into a dying system and get with the 21st century. Break open traditional cable. Let people subscribe directly.

  4. David says:

    Makes sense, theaters need to offer premium experiences to compete with the increasing quality of home video systems, and bringing together fanbases to share the experience is a logical approach.

  5. Jay Switzer says:

    GOT finale IS in Canadian Cineplex Theatres. Real time. In a Cineplex deal with HBO Canada.

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