“It’s 33 years old, but it’s just a shadow of its former self. It used to be prestigious, but now it’s seen as a chore. The movie studios used to vie for the attention of theater owners and operators with elaborate dog-and-pony shows, celebrity meet-and-greets, and teaser reels about upcoming films. No more — ShowWest just isn’t a big deal to Hollywood anymore.
“Blame the consolidation of screens by leading chains Cinemark, Regal [and] AMC, which control a combined 14,000 screens and 55% of the box office revenue.
“‘ShoWest started out as a gathering of hundreds of mom-and-pop exhibitors who really were making choices about which pics to play. Now studios can cover the entire country for the most part by speaking with the top chains that have tonage with screens,’ an insider explains. The days of the big dais — remember how Warner Bros’ used to groan with heavyweight stars? — are passe. Now hick theater owners and operators are lucky to get a cocktail party.” — Deadline Hollywood Daily‘s Nikki Finke.