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Studios Ink Box Office Info Deal With Rentrak

7 Jan, 2003 By: Joan Villa

Following 18 months of tests, Rentrak Corp. has signed deals with five studios to collect box office data as part of a new software program called entertainment essentials.

The system, which allows studios to monitor and track a film's ticket sales in real time on a Web-based program, will be used by 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight, Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Lions Gate Films, IDP Distribution and Focus Features, the specialty films unit of Universal Pictures, the company reported.

After testing the program, Fox distribution president Bruce Snyder said he expects to “dramatically” boost the value of the information the studio uses to make daily and weekly marketing decisions.

“By automating the collection of detailed box office data and making that data available to us via the Internet in a flexible, easy-to-analyze way, we should be able to respond quicker to each movie's true box office performance and increase the impact of our marketing efforts," Snyder said.

Rentrak, known for distributing a variety of VHS and DVD movies to video retailers under a revenue-sharing system that collects point-of-sale purchases, adds box office data from more than 3,000 theater locations across the U.S. and Canada, explained chairman and CEO Paul Rosenbaum. The program allows studios to analyze ticket sales in each city and each theater chain to better gauge the success of marketing and promotional spending, he added.

“With the addition of box office data, Rentrak will become the only company with complete performance data on movies from the moment they appear in theatres through their home rental life -- a period that accounts for over 75 percent of a typical movie's total revenue and earnings for the producing studio,” Rosenbaum explained.

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