New Technology Offers Movie Production Companies New Ways to Reach Audiences

NEW YORK, January 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- News Commentary  

Continuous shifts in consumer trends have been pressuring the movie and entertainment production companies, causing revenue to falter. Industry players are challenged with appealing to a larger audience in an effort to deliver a successful film. Now, companies are transitioning from traditional business models to more technology-based approaches such as the mobile consumer, business model reinvention, emerging technologies, value shift to platforms and personalization. According to data compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the U.S. total cinema revenue will remain stable throughout the forecast period from 2018 to 2022. The industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 1.8% and reach USD 12.3 Billion by 2022. Due to the steady growth, box office revenue will remain reliant on a small number of big-budget studio "tentpole" and franchise movies for growth. The Wonderfilm Media Corporation (OTC: WDRFF), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE), Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK), iQIYI, Inc. (NASDAQ: IQ)

Despite audience attendance slowly declining, PwC still sees box office revenue growing and at a steady pace, as box office revenue is expected to grow during the forecast period at a CAGR of 1.7%. Regardless of decreasing attendance, PwC says rising ticket prices and an increase in film production is allowing entertainment and movie companies to combat the decline. "As the movie business continues to morph and evolve alongside shifting audience behavior, smart brands will consider employing a direct-to-consumer content strategy that piggybacks off new audience platforms to reach customers anytime, anywhere. There has been much talk about retailers needing to adopt an "omnichannel" strategy in order to better serve their customers on all sales channels, and now is the time for brand marketers to take a similar approach to prepare for the impending shake-up in the theatrical movie business," said Richard Yao, Senior Associate of Strategy and Content, IPG Media Lab.

The Wonderfilm Media Corporation (OTC: WDRFF) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol (TSX-V: WNDR). Yesterday, the Company announced breaking news that, "it has green lit six separate new movies to begin principal photography in the first two quarters of the year. Wonderfilm is on pace to meet its expected target of 17 produced films in the 2019 calendar year. Currently, 8 films are in production, with another 16 movies green lit for production in the near term. The additional six films add $22 million USD in total production budgets to Wonderfilm, bringing the current slate to ~$120 million USD.

Wonderfilm producers, Kirk Shaw, Jeff Bowler, Bret Saxon, Dan Grodnik and Randy Charach will be on film sets spread out on four continents - Europe, Australia, North America and Asia - over the coming months to oversee the Company's films, which include: Fishlake, Reciprocal Beat, Fight Ward, The Marvista Kids, Pitbull and Sought After ("the Movies").

'2019 is starting very strong for Wonderfilm with these six films being slated for production,' commented Kirk Shaw, CEO, co-founder and Executive Producer of Wonderfilm. 'By leveraging the Company's movie packaging strengths, each of the Company's films are pre-sold leaving minimal financial risk for the Company. Wonderfilm is one of the very few production companies with the creative and financing depth to develop, package and produce several films simultaneously.'

About the Movies : Fishlake is an ensemble thriller. 'If the guys from Clerks were working the night shift and the guys from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels came in, you'd have Fishlake.' Scott Weintrob (Top Gear, Fastest Car) will be directing. Wonderfilm will produce along with Peter Block (Rambo, Saw, Crank, The Bank Job) and James Huntsman and his Blue Fox Entertainment.

Reciprocal Beat is a gritty film that follows a young, fresh out of jail ex-con trying to reconnect with his estranged son, as dirty cops, his parole officer and what seems like the entire local crime world try to end him. Reciprocal Beat will be directed by Tomer Almagor and produced by Wonderfilm's Jeff Bowler along with Gabrielle Smith Almagor.

Fight Ward is a psychological thriller set in a twisted mental ward. Michael Winnick will direct, while Steven Dell and John Lewis will produce alongside Wonderfilm.

The Marvista Kids is a poignant yet hilarious story set in the world of the Southern California rehab culture. Written by stand-up comedian cult legend Shelton Bradshaw, Marvista Kids is being directed by Ben Peyser and produced by Wonderfilm along with Shyam Sengupta, Chris Cash, Omar Martinez and Shelton Bradshaw.

Pitbull, scheduled to begin shooting in June, is a heartwarming romantic comedy in the vain of Sweet Home Alabama and Hitch. Pitbull was written by best-selling author James Houston Turner.

Sought After is an edge of your seat action thriller written and to be directed by Mark Jackson, whose most recent film Geezas was deftly layered. Sought After is the story of a feisty young woman, snatched by a charming human trafficker, with 48 hours to draw from her past to save herself and what remains of her family.

Wonderfilm is pleased to provide updates to investors as it continues to execute its ambitious business plan in a rapid and sustained manner.

Kirk Shaw, Producer & Board of Directors: Over his 30-year career, Kirk's producer credits exceed 230 movies and six series making him Hollywood's second most prolific film producer in history. Best known for his business and financing prowess, Kirk has contributed his talents to both U.S. television series and feature films, including the Oscar winning, "The Hurt Locker." Kirk's worked with all major studios, plus many notable "A" list stars such as Charlize Theron, John Travolta, Woody Harrelson, Kim Basinger, John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Nicolas Cage, Thomas Jane and Cuba Gooding Jr. Among his many past successes, is the creation of Canada's largest production company, Insight Film Studios, which in 2007 and 08 did $100 million consolidated revenue each year. To jump-start Wonderfilm's production acquisitions and library exploitation, Kirk vended 46 completed movies into Wonderfilm.

As CEO of Wonderfilm, Kirk remains on the cutting edge of industry trends, actively shaping Wonderfilm's financing and production packaging to meet the demands of a fast-changing industry."

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a diversified, global leader in telecommunications, media and entertainment, and technology. AT&T Inc. recently completed its acquisition of Time Warner Inc., bringing together global media and entertainment leaders Warner Bros., HBO and Turner with AT&T's leadership in technology and its video, mobile and broadband customer relationships. Randall Stephenson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AT&T Inc. said the future of media entertainment is rapidly converging around three elements required to transform how video is distributed, paid for, consumed and created. "The content and creative talent at Warner Bros., HBO and Turner are first-rate. Combine all that with AT&T's strengths in direct-to-consumer distribution, and we offer customers a differentiated, high-quality, mobile-first entertainment experience," said Stephenson, "We're going to bring a fresh approach to how the media and entertainment industry works for consumers, content creators, distributors and advertisers."

Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE) subsidiary Sony Pictures Entertainment global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production, acquisition, and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. Sony Pictures Entertainment announced last year the establishment of Innovation Studios, Sony Entertainment & Technology, a state-of-the-art facility housed in a 7,000 sq.-ft. sound stage on the Sony Pictures Studios lot. The space, which will be overseen by Glenn Gainor, President, Innovation Studios, and President, Physical Production, Screen Gems, will feature the latest in research and development from Sony Corporation and others in areas including volumetric video and customizable set scanning to help storytellers around the world create content for the future. Innovation Studios will work with engineers from throughout Sony Corporation and pursue business development opportunities for its proprietary technology in motion pictures, television, music and gaming. "By harnessing technology throughout Sony's many businesses and applying it to production here at SPE, we are giving content creators essential tools to tell real-world stories in radically new ways," said Gainor. "At Innovation Studios, we will be able to take a set in India and reproduce it here in Culver City, creating a valuable digital asset. The future of production is hinged on the monetization of digitizing the analog world, and we are excited to be a part of it," said Gainor.

Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK) is a leading domestic and international motion picture exhibitor, operating 541 theatres with 6,014 screens in 41 U.S. states, Brazil, Argentina and 13 other Latin American countries as of September 30, 2018. Cinemark Holdings, Inc. recently announced that Movie Club, the first exhibitor-sponsored subscription program, has surpassed 500,000 active members. This milestone exceeds the company's original first year forecast by more than doubling initial projections. In addition to this achievement, Cinemark is excited to see the membership program is driving moviegoers to the theatre more often, with members visiting more frequently than Cinemark's average moviegoer. Since the program's launch last December, Movie Club members have purchased 10 million tickets, and Movie Club represented 8% of Cinemark's Q3 domestic box office revenues. Members remain highly engaged and satisfied with a 75% credit redemption rate and 98% reporting positive satisfaction with the program. "The popularity of Movie Club continues to grow as more of our moviegoers recognize the value that our program provides," said Mark Zoradi, Cinemark's Chief Executive Officer. "Features like our new gifting program have driven member acquisition and unique member benefits such as rollover tickets have driven member retention and helped us reach this impressive milestone."

iQIYI, Inc. (NASDAQ: IQ) is an innovative market-leading online entertainment service in China. iQIYI, Inc. recently announced that it has completed the acquisition of 100% equity stake in Skymoons Inc. and Chengdu Skymoons Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. Headquartered in Chengdu, China, Skymoons focuses on the development and global publishing of mobile games. Skymoons has entered into cooperation agreements with a number of renowned international IP powerhouses with respect to the synchronized development and promotion of mobile games, films, anime and comics based on the same source materials. The aggregate consideration consists of a fixed payment of RMB 1.27 Billion, as well as additional consideration valued at RMB 730 Million as of June 30, 2018 to be delivered in the event the acquire satisfies the agreed upon performance benchmarks in the next two years. Dr. Yu Gong, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of iQIYI, commented, "We are pleased to welcome Skymoons into the iQIYI family as we further broaden our comprehensive offering of entertainment content across multiple formats. iQIYI has always been pursuing a diversified monetization model that fully leverages the IP value in our content. We believe Skymoons is a natural extension to our business and will strengthen iQIYI's media platform and our overall ecosystem."

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