From the opening curtain to the last award presentation at the annual final-night dinner, the ShoWest convention was packed with lots of excitement and enthusiasm. Theatre owners found their way to Las Vegas just as Monsters vs. Aliens set records for a 3D opening of $59.3 million. After seeing much of the footage that was screened for the guests in Las Vegas, it wasn’t hard to surmise that the momentum of movies through the rest of 2009 will be quite strong. The proof is in the pudding, and this was soon borne out with the spectacular $72.5 million opening-weekend box office of Fast & Furious. That weekend’s $155 million total is clear evidence of a super-charged marketplace, boasting a 62% increase over the same period last year.
As for themes at this year’s show, two stood out. First, one had better climb aboard the 3D train or be left behind at the station. For the first time in one location at ShoWest, 3D product was played in all major systems and two complete films were screened in 3D along with promotional material. Second, it certainly appears that given the strength of the marketplace during this traditionally slow period,