As the clouds began to clear over the ShowEast conference Tuesday morning, MPAA president and CEO Dan Glickman and National Association of Theatre Owners president John Fithian presented an equally bright forecast, downplaying recent boxoffice drops as “cyclical” while acknowledging that the industry faces such hurdles as piracy and digital distribution.
At their breakfast presentation, “Preserving the Movie Marketplace: What’s Being Done to Improve the State of the Industry,” the room at the Orlando World Center Marriott was about two-thirds filled with exhibitors and other film industry members. ShowEast co-director Mitch Neuhauser said attendance was off a bit because of Hurricane Wilma.
Fithian didn’t delve deeply into shrinking theater-to-DVD windows, noting that director M. Night Shyamalan is expected to address that issue at Thursday night’s closing banquet. Alluding to his recent battle with Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger over who’s to blame for declining receipts, he said this year’s movies “haven’t been terrible, just not quite as good” as in the past.