The Hannover House theatrical release of "DANCIN' IT'S ON" opened on 407 screens last Friday and encountered the same, challenging box office dynamic that made this weekend the "worst weekend of 2015" at the box office -according to BOX OFFICE MOJO. An unusual trifecta of scheduling conflicts hurt theatrical attendance for all films in all markets: High School and College Homecoming Events, Halloween Parties and the World Series all occurring over the same weekend.
However, these factors were known in advance, and were in fact the reason that a large number of screens were available to Hannover House for the "DANCIN'" release. The challenge for HHSE was to open the film, simultaneously, in 65 of the top 80 DMA Markets. Achievement of this broad level of release would be the catalyst for a significant Subscription Video-On-Demand venture for Netflix, and would elevate the stature of the film's home video release from "single sku" placement at mass merchants, to multiple-facings and premiere in-store placement.
For those of you who have followed the sales-math for prior orders, a "single sku" at Walmart (for instance) usually means 23,000 DVD Units at $5.40 each wholesale. The "rest of the video market" usually generates cumulative video sales that match the Walmart revenue level. For Theatrical Titles, the wholesale can usually be pushed UP to $7.10 (proportionate with the higher suggested retail pricing that theatrical products command), and for theatrical titles, the higher priced BluRay format comes into play (usually at about a wholesale of about $8.65).
A film like "DANCIN' IT'S ON" - with a consumer awareness index of 7.2% generated from the marketing, ads and promotional activities - is a very good candidate for a "1/3rd Pallet Placement" in the main aisle at Walmart and other mass merchants. Such a placement would generate approx. 6-facings of DVDs and 4-facings of BluRays per store - which collectively exceed 300,000 units, and at the far higher wholesale levels. If achieved, this level of retail placement would exceed the totality of most full years of revenues for Hannover House. Add in the lucrative Netflix and transactional Video-On-Demand media, and it's easy to see why HHSE is smiling today, despite not selling many theatrical tickets this past weekend.
As we announced at our annual shareholders meeting this year, the theatrical release activities need to be viewed as "marketing and awareness campaigns for the home video and V.O.D. releases" - and not as a direct revenue source. It would be GREAT if one of the HHSE theatrical titles lit some box office fire. But for the time being, that's not our expectation when implementing release campaigns such as "DANCIN' IT'S ON!" Our goal was to get the film a wide and visible theatrical launch, and we succeeded!
OPENING NIGHT EVENTS for "DANCIN' IT'S ON" went well: At the Carmike 10 in Panama City, FL, the pre-opening night screening (Thursday, Oct. 29) was oversold by 350 tickets, and required that THREE AUDITORIUMS be utilized to screen the film for the 700+ attendees! At the L.A. Live / Staples Center Event, an enthusiastic crowd was entertained by Australian Pop Star RAY ISAAC (who provided music for the film); and in TIME SQUARE / New York City, a public performance of street dance and "Krump" by Dancin' star RUSSELL FERGUSON (winner of "So You Think You Can Dance") generated a huge crowd and was covered by Black Entertainment Television News... followed by Russell leading a crowd (Pied-Piper Style!) down the street to see the film at the Regal E-Walk Theatre on 42nd St. In Miami, supporting players and dancers for the film appeared at the Muvico Hialeah - a high-traffic, youth-oriented destination theatre - as well as at the Regal Oakwood in Hollywood, FL. In each location, attendees were encouraged to "SNAP A PHOTO" or "SHARE A POST" onto social media about "DANCIN' IT'S ON" by using the hashtag #JeepinItsOn - in order to be automatically entered into a sweepstakes drawing for a 2016 Jeep Wrangler! Lots of excitement, activity and engagement!