AMC Theatres Launches Venture to Promote Small and Mid-Size Films

Universal Pictures
'Yesterday'

The initiative comes as movie distributors struggle to compete with blockbuster fare.

In an age when tentpoles are dominating the box office, AMC Theatres is launching a programming and marketing initiative to highlight character- and narrative-driven films.

AMC Artisan Films commences with the release of Yesterday, from Working Title and Universal. The smaller, adult film opens everywhere on Friday.

The aim of AMC Artisan is to make small and mid-size more accessible through aggressive promotion and consistent and convenient showtimes.

This summer has been particularly tough thus far for small and mid-size films, which don't have huge marketing budgets. Disappointments include Late Night, Long Shot and Booksmart.

Upcoming titles that will be part of AMC's new program include Blinded by the Light, The Peanut Butter Falcon, Downton Abbey, The Art of Self Defense, Luce, The Kitchen and Where'd You Go, Bernadette.

“Because AMC is the industry’s top choice for blockbuster movies, many consumers don’t realize that we play more elevated and celebrated films than anyone else in North America,” said Elizabeth Frank, AMC executive vp worldwide programming and chief content officer, AMC Theatres.

She continued: “With the launch of AMC Artisan Films, we aim to expose more moviegoers to specialized films and increase their theatrical success. And we plan to increase consumer access to these special films by seeking earlier runs in platform releases and holding longer in theater to give audiences time to learn about them from other passionate guests."

The idea for AMC Artisan arose from a meeting between Frank, AMC chief Adam Aron and key members of the DGA. Director Jon Avnet stressed how vital it is to promote small and mid-side films, regardless of whether they are being released by studios or indie distributors.