USATODAY.com - Film fans can expect more advertising on big screen: "Cinemark, the No. 3 chain, joins next month. 'By the second quarter of 2006, we'll have about 10,000 digital ad screens,' about 28% of the national total, says Cliff Marks, National CineMedia chief marketing officer.
The typical 20-minute ad package so far looks a lot like TV. Before the trailers, Regal runs a show of ads interspersed with snippets of content about the movies called The Twenty. In January, it will be renamed First Look, and go to all National CineMedia theaters.
The digital transition is attracting more big advertisers Ã national companies buy 75% of theater ads, Marks says. For example, Wal-Mart just made its first theater ad buy for 10,000 Regal and AMC screens.
For the patron in the seats, big advertisers at least bring bigger ad budgets Ã and that might lead to higher-quality ads and more experimentation, such as the mini-movie ads some have produced for the Web. And it's unlikely time devoted to pre-show ads will get much longer, since it's already about as long as practical without cutting the number of movie showings.
But not everyone is cheering.
'I detest having to go to a theater and sit through 20 minutes of advertising,' says Robert Bucksbaum, who's president of industry research firm ReelSource Ã and owns two theaters that don't show commercials. 'But it's definitely the wave of the future.'"
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