Film Booking Process


Almost every week, someone asks us why a film was shown as "Starts Friday (mm/dd)" or "Coming Soon" and suddenly the date is changed or the title is removed from the list.

The film booking process starts weeks and sometimes months in advance. Dennis or a person from his staff attends prescreenings or film festivals to check out the new films that are coming out. If a film looks good, the booking process begins.

With "art" films, they usually don't produce as many prints as they would for a "commercial" film, so not every theatre can have the film on opening week. Sometimes we are given a date to start the film, but because the previous theatre is extending their run, we have to adjust our dates. There are many times that we are showing a film that is performing well that Dennis decides to "Hold Over". This obviously affects what's playing next.

Then there's the important issue of film performance. Sometimes a film looks really good at the film festival or at the prescreening and then for some reason, it doesn't perform well before we receive it for our run. Being perfectly frank, there is a cost of advertising, labor and overhead. If the numbers are low on our rating reports, we may elect to delete the film from the "Coming Soon" list. We have two rating services that we work with that provide us with information about each film's performance. Their reports tell us information like how many dollars the film has generated by the day, by the week, by the area and in many cases, by the theatre. More importantly, it shows us the trend of how the film is holding up from the first week to the second week, etc.

Many times, the film company will require more than one week runs of the film, and most have different fees, based either on a weekly minimum, a percentage of the ticket price or both. If Dennis doesn't feel comfortable with a 3 or 4 week minimum run for a given film, he may elect to push it back a few weeks until the terms improve.

Dennis constantly polls the audience as to how they liked the film and he reads all of the "Suggest a Film" emails from our website. You, the patron, are a large factor in the decision process. Dennis and the staff look at the performance on Sunday night, and on Monday, the decision is made to hold a film, or to move on with another film. Monday night, the contracts have been signed and the advertising is prepared for the films starting or holding over on Friday.

Our website is updated late Monday night or Tuesday morning with what's starting or staying on Friday and changes to the "Coming Soon" list. Based on our customer's request, we list the films that we are expecting to run, and if we have dates, we list them, otherwise they are shown as "Coming Soon". By watching the "Wilton Town Hall Theatre" website, you know what's happening on a day to day basis.