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Kino Marquee Streamer Finds Success at Virtual Box Office

Fern Siegel

Monday box-office reports are gone, but the new Kino Marquee channel, which exhibits indie films, is scoring revenue.

To aid independent films, a new exhibition service, Kino Marquee, debuted online in late March. It’s a partnership between art house theaters nationwide and Kino Lorber, an indie distributor. The streamer debuted in the wake of the pandemic.

The early numbers are promising.

From March 19-April 30, some eight Kino Marquee titles grossed $316,000 via online release. The two standouts were “Bacurau,” a 2019 Cannes award-winning Brazilian film, which grossed about $100,000. The other is “Extra Ordinary,” an Irish comedy that premiered at SXSW 2019 and stars Will Forte. It grossed about $79,000, reports IndieWire.

The platform is part of parent Kino Lorber, which distributes quality titles at festivals and boasts an impressive DVD/Blu-ray library.

Wendy Lidell, Kino Lorber’s SVP of theatrical-nontheatrical distribution and acquisitions, wrote to the Art House Convergence Google group: “Virtual ticket sales do not make up 100 percent of theatrical revenue lost by exhibitors and distributors. We are competing with lower cost online streaming options, but I believe we need to maintain the premium price of a premiere theatrical window, and we on the distribution side are endeavoring to promote films as such.”

Films are booked from Fridays to Thursdays and will stream during a set rental period. But to access the films, users must utilize the website of a local art house theater. Movies that perform well will be held over virtually, with revenue shared by the exhibitor and distributor 50-50.

Kino Marquee currently features eight titles, four partnered with other distributors.

They are Good Deed’s Irish comedy “Extra Ordinary,” Zeitgeist’s documentaries “Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint” and “The Woman Who Loved Giraffes” and Ken Loach’s “Sorry We Missed You.” One is a re-release, “Thousand Pieces of Gold.” Also included is a collection of repertory titles from Hungarian director Istvan Szabo that include the recently restored “Mephisto.”

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