The New Golden Age of Movie Going

The A-List franchise believes in great movies that are fun to watch. Unlike other theater chains or independently operated theaters, the A-List Theater Franchise is part of a distribution network, meaning that franchise business owners can access A-List films without competition from multiplex cinemas. 

A-List franchise distribution partners pull from the same pool of movies as companies like Sony or Warner Bros.  Because the A-List franchise has close relationships with production companies and distributors, the A-List franchise is recreating the profitable structure of early Hollywood, updated for the digital age.

In order to understand the movie business in the new millennium, it is generally worthwhile to look at the difference between “independent films” and “studio films.” Surprisingly, the big secret in Hollywood today is that there is no longer a distinction between the two, every film is technically “independent.”

If you return to the golden age of cinema of the 1930s and 1940s, the major motion picture production companies like United Artists, Warner Bros., MGM, 20th Century Fox, and Paramount controlled every phase of their own movies, and were therefore referred to as movie "studios." Wall Street economists today call this vertical integration. These companies would make the movies, distribute the movies, and exhibit the movies in their own theaters.

In the 1960s and 1970s a few things started to change.  Film production equipment got cheaper, the actors got to be “free agents” and were no longer tied to a single production company, and the government began to strictly enforce rulings mandating most major production/distribution companies sell off their theaters.

By the 1990s, most movies technically became “independent” because they are produced or made by companies that are independent from the distributors, and are then exhibited in theaters that are not owned by the major distributors.

Today, a “studio film” is usually shorthand for a big budget project that has a lot of good advertising and promotion.  An “independent film” is one that has a more limited release.  But in reality, movies like “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “Star Wars” are actually independent films, because they are produced by independent production companies with a majority of funding often coming from private equity firms or foreign distributors, and distributed worldwide through theaters that are not owned or controlled by the remaining four US distribution companies.

On the other hand, films like “Pulp Fiction” or “Little Miss Sunshine” are actually distributed by major distributors (Miramax/Disney and Sony Pictures respectively) despite being the classic “independent” films.

With our distribution partners and the potential to combine the muscle of thousands of theaters and retailers, the A-List franchise is building the new golden age of American movie going. 

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