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Friday, May 29, 2015

HHSE - New York Media Day - Wed., July 8

HHSE is taking over both screening rooms and media interview rooms at NYC's Magno Sound on Wednesday, July 8, as part of a marathon publicity outreach to media. Press and critic screenings will occur for "The Algerian", "Bonobos" and "Dark Awakening" - plus stars and filmmakers will be present for media interviews. And there's more: HHSE will announce its Fall 2015 theatrical slate (previously unannounced theatrical titles each for September, October, November and December!)

Big happenings generate big results. More details to follow.


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UPDATE - Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - Greetings Again! While HHSE ignores the intentional obfuscations of the stock trolls on various chat boards, we did receive questions from legitimate, intelligent and honest shareholders about the Media Day and launch dates for the three above titles. So in respect of those who legitimately want to know the details of mid-summer, theatrical-release strategies, we will elaborate.

First of all, it's important that HHSE shareholders recognize that all three of the above titles are considered "Limited Releases" by the industry.  While BONOBOS and ALGERIAN will hit most of the top 20 markets - and DARK AWAKENING should hit ALL of the top 40-to-65 markets (collectively representing the DMA's covering 80% of the total USA population) - anytime a film is being released on less than 1,000 screens, the major exhibitors consider it a "limited release."

What's the difference between a NATIONAL BREAK and a LIMITED RELEASE?

Well, the obvious answer is number of theatres.  The less obvious answer is MEDIA support, and this is where limited releases become very flexible in the eyes of the exhibitors.

Whereas "DARK AWAKENING" is a big release for an indie studio and Hannover House, it's still NOT a NATIONAL BREAK with major media support.  When a film like "INSIDIOUS 3" is being released by a major studio (on 2,500+ screens), the media campaigns tend to be what some marketers refer to "the shotgun approach" - a wide blast of whatever is available to hit the broadest audience possible... from Missoula, Montana to Miami, Florida.  TV spots, Radio, Internet, Billboards, a major effort to make as much noise as possible to support the 2,500+ screens.  With a LIMITED RELEASE film that may be playing on only ONE screen (for instance) in all of Manhattan (NYC), "the shotgun approach" would be extremely inefficient and illogical.  Ads would be running all over the Tri-State area, with only a small percentage of impressions falling onto those consumers actually residing within 5-miles of the theatre.

An average consumer is unlikely to see much of the HHSE targeted marketing - unless they also happen to fit into our very specific demographics and Zip Code for each film.  How HHSE handles a limited release is to focus on the Zip Codes within a 3-to-5 mile radius of each actual booked theatre location - and then to further refine the focus on the target demo audience.  Movie goers who might be interested in "DARK AWAKENING" are not necessarily the same people likely to be interested in "BONOBOS" due to subject matter.  There are some "national" promotions for these HHSE that are less efficient... for instance, the World Wildlife Fund will be making a national email blast to several million opt-in recipients, suggesting that they go see "BONOBOS" at the theatre... the majority of such recipients will likely not reside within 5-miles of one of the targeted locations... but the awareness from such a promotional outreach is good, and appreciated, and might help with our Netflix response and home video (packaged goods) sales of the item during Q4.  But generally speaking, HHSE works directly with each booked theatre to implement NEIGHBORHOOD SPECIFIC support campaigns on these limited releases.

How does this impact the shuffling of release dates?  Simply put, HHSE follows the lead of our theatre bookers.  When the major theatre chains say, "hey, you'll do a lot better on this week, vs. that other week," we listen and respond.  Why?  Because it's more important to deliver successful results than to stubbornly stick to a release schedule that has competitive obstacles.  When a film is in limited release, there is no bleed-over, where such-and-such location (in the same market) has the film before another location.  Each market tends to be single-screen exclusives (but in the case of "DARK AWAKENING," each market with multiple screens will honor the revised release dates, specifically to avoid any competitive conflicts).

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The New York Media Day being set for Wed., July 8th, opens up tremendous support opportunities that were NOT available to HHSE if such an event were held prior to July 4th weekend.  Why?  Because the major studios and tent-pole releases will "suck all of the air out of the room" prior to July 4th with all the media attention focused on the major releases.  What happens right AFTER that weekend?  Do all the entertainment shows stop broadcasting?  Do the newspaper critics take a holiday?  No... but they do find themselves (during the week after Fourth of July), with time on their hands and limited new releases to cover.  Thus steps-in HHSE and a three-film Media Day on July 8th.  Two critic and press screenings each for DARK AWAKENING, BONOBOS and ALGERIAN, plus cast and filmmakers present for electronic (broadcast) interviews and print reporters.  The HHSE Media Day becomes the primary source of new release stories for the week with the national press.

Someone asked us "why didn't you have the July dates selected before you pencilled in June?"  That's a fair question, and one which returns to the fundamental issue of the fungible nature of limited releases in the eyes of the exhibitors, relative to screen competition during the busiest season of the year.  Although we have tried, the results have been unsuccessful in asking the theatre chains to "help us pick the best date" for this-or-that movie.  Instead, we are forced to arbitrarily pick a date based on our own analysis of competitive factors... then go fishing for screens that meet those dates.  This is when we actually get feedback from the chains, who say, "hey, June 19 sucks for us, please look at July 17."  Why didn't they say July 17 from the start (in this hypothetical scenario)?   Because they don't have enough hours in the day to run release models for every studio asking for date consultaiton on every single release.  When an indie such as HHSE picks a date and the exhibitors try to slot it in (unsuccessfully), that's when the title rises to their attention and response.  Would this change with a 1,000+ theatre title?  Absolutely, because such National Breaks are calendered many months in advance - and supported with "the shotgun" marketing approach that is very date specific.  The big titles are pretty much unmovable - which is why the Limited Releases get shuffled around as space opens and closes at the multiplexes.

How does this impact HHSE revenues?  Generally, moving theatrical release dates is done to find a BETTER date competitively, so it usually means INCREASED Revenues.  In the above scenario (these three titles), the HHSE dates will not change the Q3 / Q4 home video / V.O.D. plans.

From HHSE's standpoint, the modest tweaking of release dates by a few weeks - especially when it has no impact on long-term home video and V.O.D. schedules - is an inconsequential change in the ordinary course of business for all indie studios.  We don't have the biggest titles, or the biggest marketing campaigns out there... so we must be receptive and responsive to the needs of the major theatre chains.  That's how you build (yes, we mean it), a $100-million dollar company... being SMART, being AGGRESSIVE and being RESPONSIVE to customers.

When you look at the emergence of NEW LINE CINEMA, OPEN ROAD FILMS and LIONSGATE, you will see that a company like HANNOVER HOUSE is literally only "one movie away" from being a $100-million dollar company.  Will any of our current titles become our "Blair Witch" - or our "Saw" - or our "Nightmare on Elm Street" that changes the company profoundly?  With the substantially increased quantity of new releases from HHSE and Medallion, the number of chances have markedly improved!

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