- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
New event cinema company Iconic Events — led by an impressive roster of exhibiton industry veterans — has named Steve Bunnell to serve as its CEO.
The Los Angeles-based venture also said it has enlisted theatrical circuits representing over 1,000 locations to the expanding network of theaters playing its programming. Iconic Events executive chairman Michael Lambert made the announcements.
Iconic Events was quietly formed last year by Lambert, a movie theater owner, along with former Cinemark CEO Tim Warner and several leading media, exhibition and entertainment industry entrepreneurs.
“We need more unique content in theaters, and not just studio movies. We’re hopeful we can provide that,” Lambert said.
Iconic Events has already become a significant distributor of live sports events, such as UFC, starting in January with the Connor McGregor/Dustin Poirer fight.
The venture will also focus on access to rare concerts, anime, premiere episodes of series from networks and streamers, and regional and local sports. It plans to offer at least 36 events this year.
Bunnell and Lambert say event cinema, which has the advantage of appealing to a niche and avid audience, is the fastest-growing segment of the exhibition business in the U.S. Overseas, the market for such programming is five times larger in Europe, underscoring the growth potential domestically.
Lambert said Bunnell is uniquely qualified to lead the effort, considering he’s worked as the lead film buyer for Cinemark Theatres, Regal Cinemas and, most recently, Alamo Drafthouse. His previous gigs also included a top distribution job at Universal Pictures.
“Now, more than ever, theaters need the additional programming choices like those being offered by Iconic. We already have access to over one thousand theaters representing nearly ten thousand screens in the U.S. with more live-capable theaters being added every day,” Bunnell said.
Bunnell added that more and more, a theater is also a community entertainment center.
This summer, Iconic will bring audiences the super middleweight fight between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders on May 8 through a new partnership with DAZN, and will bring the rematch of McGregor/Poirer to theaters in the just-announced UFC event on July 10.
Iconic’s founders also include Mark Rupp, who is CFO/COO, and Steven Menkin, who is chief marketing officer.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day