ICE Theaters Scales Up to Meet Global Premium DemandICE Theaters Scales Up to Meet Global Premium Demand

ICE Theaters Scales Up to Meet Global Premium Demand

As global exhibitors look to capitalize on the public’s appetite for four-quadrant blockbusters, many have turned to premium formats as a way to juice premium fees.As global exhibitors look to capitalize on the public’s appetite for four-quadrant blockbusters, many have turned to premium formats as a way to juice premium fees.
As global exhibitors look to capitalize on the public’s appetite for four-quadrant blockbusters, many have turned to premium formats as a way to juice premium fees.
The reach should soon extend even further now that ICE Theaters and India's PVR Cinemas have finalized a deal to open three premium rooms over the next 12 months.
This international focus has been a fairly recent development, as ICE Theaters - the export arm of Gallic exhibitor CGR Cinemas – only started rolling out its premium format onto the world stage just three years ago.
Developed in-house and field-tested in France, the company’s premium Immersive Cinema Experience (ICE) is a proprietary design that outfits a row of LED panels on both sides of an auditorium and fills them with bespoke visuals extending the action onscreen.
“We send all our equipment, and that’s quite a bit,” says ICE Theaters senior VP sales and strategy Guillaume Thomine Desmazures.
“Each panel can measure up to [14 x 4 feet]. You have six of them per side, plus the immersive satellite speakers, plus spotlights, plus a light rack. But we also offer construction assistance and graphic guideline [tailored to each unique auditorium].”
After an understandable lull in 2020 and 2021, ICE Theaters has seen a substantial uptick in activity over the past six months.
If this new rush of interest coincided with the calendar releases of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” which would score 178,300 admissions in ICE theaters in France, and of “Top Gun: Maverick,” which scored a 281% occupancy rate compared to CGR Cinema’s standard auditoriums, much of the new business could be traced to a single time and place.
“There really was a before and an after with CinemaCon,” Thomine Desmazures says of this past April’s exhibitor trade conference.
“Over three days we were nine people at the booth and none of us had a moment’s free time. We had to generate proposals to address 14 territories, and we haven’t stopped since then. We’ve been sending proposals, designing auditoriums, and receiving hundreds of drawings of theaters all around the globe. We had to split our teams to ensure we could do two visits at once.”
Thomine Desmazures and team will next head to India, where ICE Theaters just signed a partnership with PVR Cinemas, a publicly traded exhibition chain that boasts more than 800 screens.
“PVR Cinemas really believes that our format is best suited for Bollywood content,” says Thomine Desmazures.
“You very rarely find a static shot in a Bollywood film. The camera is always traveling towards or away from the action; there’s so much movement, so many colors, and a lot of music. When you combine those elements into an ICE Theater, the results are really promising.”
Entering these new markets, ICE Theaters will move beyond Hollywood’s reach.
They’ll continue with that level of output, with projects like “Black Adam,” “Thor: Love and Thunder” and “Minions: Rise of Gru” coming up next, while at the same time doubling or even tripling their workload, especially as the brand moves into markets like India and Japan, where homegrown blockbusters generate nearly 80% of box office revenue.
“We will definitely have to scale up, but we’re not afraid of the challenge,” says Thomine Desmazures.
“First we’re going to grow our content team in order to absorb and deliver more local titles, hiring another team of graphic designers training them quickly. Then we’ll need to grow the sales force and customer support in every single territory where we’ll have a presence. With this latest ramp up of screens, we’ll have to start growing the company to sustain each territory with account managers, dedicated content teams, and people that speak the same language.”
“We have the tools and capacity to do all that,” Thomine Desmazures continues.
Swipe Up To Watch
More
Great Stories !