Fox Chief Talks Changing Theatrical Windows

Fox studio chief Stacey Snider appeared at the Recode Media conference earlier this week and spoke with Variety about the future of cinematic exhibition and her studio’s upcoming “X-Men” spin-off film “Logan”.

Snider also discussed Fox Searchlight, arguably the most well known of the prestige distributors and a company that now faces direct competition in the awards races from the likes of Netflix and Amazon. She confirmed the company managed to nab some key Sundance acquisitions last month because of Searchlight’s ability to handcraft the approach to the film’s marketing:

“What Amazon did with ‘Manchester By the Sea’ is remarkable, but I was with my colleagues at Sundance this year also and they were able to secure two hotly pursued projects, ‘Step’ and ‘Patty Cake$’ for less money than the competition was offering because when it comes to those films and curated, hand-carried approach to market, that comes with years and years of experience. It’s not to say it can’t be modeled but the people who have been doing it with such incredible success with ’12 Year a Slave,’ ‘Wild’ and ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ speak an artistic language that is important to speak.”

Snider also spoke out strongly in support of the exhibition business, but says it needs to be balanced with the growing demand for some kind of premium VOD release in homes:

“If the supposition is that the movie business corners whatever market we have in creating huge global cinematic experiences, then then the last thing we want to do is commoditize it and make it feel interchangeable with the home entertainment experience.

When I think about how Fox is situated compared to Warner Bros. or Comcast or Disney, we’re more dependent on exhibitors than any of the other companies. It really does genuinely matter to us.

[That said] it’s not about smashing the window, its about opening it up a little. I don’t think its controversial to say for a business not to be able to sell what it makes for periods of time is anachronistic.”

“Logan” opens in cinemas, and only cinemas, on March 3rd.