Big Data at the Movies: SHARE DIMENSION

Interview with Gabriel Tanasescu, CEO, Share Dimension

Can you tell us about how Share Dimension is active in big data for cinemas?

Share Dimension develops business-intelligence solutions for cinema exhibitors designed to optimize forecasting, planning, and scheduling of movies and events. Our software uses a multitude of data sources –anything from POS data on box office performance to weather information and social media monitoring.

The first and most natural use of big data is in forecasting. Our cinema-intelligence application can use an exhibitor’s historical box office data to predict what the opening weekend performance of a new release is going to be, deep down to every individual theater. That’s never been done before. Most of the solutions on the market offer country-wide predictions of the opening weekend; we do bottom-up predictions, and it is impressively accurate.

How can Share Dimension help exhibitors perform more efficiently with its data-driven services?

At Share Dimension we design software tools to manage the complete lifetime of a movie in a theater environment-from the moment it is announced by the studios to the moment when it stops playing in the theater. We want to bring software tools that can help exhibitors drive decisions in all of these crucial milestones.

So we focus on three pillars: predict, book, and schedule. I’ll start with “predict.” We developed several software tools to help exhibitors predict the box office performance of a new release, weeks and even months ahead of its release. We help exhibitors predict moviegoer attendance per movie, per theater and play week and analyze location-based past movie performance, box office trends, and attendance habits. Our software understands patterns and gets insight into movie performance for each of your theaters. It predicts pre-release movie performance using similar movies enhanced with predictions and signals from Google searches and social media.

Once the box office performance is predicted, our booking tool comes into play. This is the software tool that helps the exhibitor understand which theaters should play this movie, what the best show times are, and what auditoriums to schedule in. Analyzing theater past performance and then planning releases accordingly is really easy now. Exhibitors can now plan centrally new releases and establish show times and scheduling requirements automatically.

And our last pillar is “schedule.” Our smart algorithms will analyze week by week every show and every performance and will suggest the next week’s schedule that will optimize the occupancy and maximize the box office performance of each theater. Our scheduling solution automatically generates daily schedules using a wide spectrum of data –from upcoming weather information to local events to public holidays. The booking team can then fine tune the schedule with easy drag-and-drop functionality and release it to POS with a few clicks. It is very powerful.

Can you tell us more about your clients? Who is using your system?

I am happy to announce it here first, that we recently signed up for a pilot implementation with Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas in the U.S. Alamo is a great partner, always looking for the latest technical innovation, and we’re proud to partner with them and implement our cinema-intelligence solution.

In Europe we work with Germany’s second-largest exhibitor, Cinemaxx. It is a very interesting story, because for Cinemaxx we actually adjusted our scheduling engine to maximize net revenue per show instead of box office. It has proven to be an excellent choice for them and generates significant uplift in revenues.

In parallel to working with Pathe Theatres, No. 1 in the Netherlands, we also recently signed the No. 2, JT Cinemas, which is the first exhibitor to run the brand-new Dolby Cinema concept. In the Middle East, the UAE’s No. 1 exhibitor, VOX Cinemas, was an interesting development for us, as it required special scheduling due to the number of VIP and GOLD concepts they are running. Our software team was able to adapt the scheduling and forecasting engine to the exact needs of our client.

I also want to highlight Mars Entertainment, No. 1 in Turkey, with 600 screens now and an ambitious growth plan for 2015. The choice of cinema-intelligence tools was obvious to be able to cope with such growth.

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