Independent Film Channel and Loews Cineplex Entertainment Launch Multi-Faceted Marketing Program

Joint Promotion Initiative Will Celebrate Loews 100th Anniversary
and Support Premiere and Eight-Week Run of Ultimate Film Fanatic on IFC

NEW YORK, June 7, 2004 – The Independent Film Channel (IFC) and Loews Cineplex Entertainment (LCE) announced today that they will join forces and begin a multi-tiered program that will result in a variety of joint marketing collaborations and events across the country. The summer-long initiative will support IFC’s new film fan competition television series, IFC Presents Ultimate Film Fanatic.

The major element of the initiative will be an 11-market, grassroots “IFC Ultimate Film Fanatic Tour,” taking place in Loews theaters and other venues. The tour – the most extensive promotional event in IFC’s history – will be highlighted in-theater with a pre-feature trailer, posters and standees. At the events, moviegoers and local VIPs will be invited to answer film fanatic trivia, styled after the Ultimate Film Fanatic television series, to win Loews and IFC prizes.

Included as part of the tour will be IFC’s participation in one of Loews’ 100th anniversary promotional events, “The Ultimate Film Fan,” in which in which movie-goers across the country are rewarded for singing the Loews jingle.

IFC’s Ultimate Film Fanatic is a hotly anticipated, eight-part television competition that premieres on the IFC Network on July 9th, giving obsessed film lovers a chance to show off their knowledge and fanaticism through a series of on-air challenges. Participants in the series were selected at regional competitions in New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Denver, Detroit and Atlanta.

Hosted by Chris Gore, creator of the popular indie film magazine, Film Threat, and with a panel of celebrity judges, the television series will crown the national “Ultimate Film Fanatic.” The winner of this heated competition will be given the rare opportunity to program IFC for a night, serve as that evening’s on-air host, and receive a lifetime worth of bragging rights as a master of the film domain. Competition rounds in the Ultimate Film Fanatic television series will include movie trivia, a debate over films and directors that participants love or hate, and an “obsession war” in which competitors will be judged by their personal collections of film memorabilia.

IFC will produce more than 120 live Ultimate Film Fanatic grassroots events at Loews Cineplex

Theaters in 11 markets. The “IFC Ultimate Film Fanatic Tour” will be staged in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City and suburbs, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC.

The “IFC Ultimate Film Fanatic Tour,” including the network’s collaboration with Loews on their ” Ultimate Film Fan” events, was developed by the IFC marketing team, led by Evan Shapiro, who joined IFC as Senior Vice President, IFC Marketing in January. Previously, at Court TV, Shapiro led the creation of the grassroots marketing initiative, Forensics in the Classroom, a high school forensics curriculum that now boasts 11,500 registered classrooms in all 50 states and in countries around the world. He also created Court TV’s first national promotion tour, the Mobile Investigations Unit, which has generated more than $2.5 million in national ad sales revenue and $3 million in local ad sales for affiliates.

Shapiro expects a major impact from his newest promotional effort.

“This isn’t a tour as much as it is a movement,” he said. We are happy to have found a like-minded partner in Loews, whose own anniversary promotion will enable us to leverage our efforts. We will move into each market and establish a high profile with the help of Loews Theaters, our local cable affiliates and our own marketing efforts. The tour will provide an exciting local advertising tool for cable operators, while creating high awareness for the July 9th premiere and the full run of “Ultimate Film Fanatic on our network.”

John McCauley, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Loews Cineplex Entertainment, said: “Our 100-year anniversary celebration is a special occasion, and to partner with IFC and have them add their energy behind our ‘Ultimate Film Fan’ promotion should bring it to a very exciting level for our patrons. ”

Loews Cineplex Entertainment and IFC will jointly promote the events in a variety of ways. A co-branded trailer, produced by Loews and IFC and starring Ultimate Film Fanatic host Chris Gore leading a chorus of moviegoers in the Loews jingle, will run on all Loews screens nationwide, as well as nationally on IFC and locally on cable systems. Both companies will employ radio and print marketing to encourage participation in the events and drive traffic to Loews’ enjoytheshow.com.

Other promotional support from Loews will include:

  • On-screen slides in Loews theaters.
  • Lobby posters.
  • Door clings.
  • Co-branding mentions for IFC cable affiliates on lobby promotion materials.
  • Promotion of IFC’sUltimate Film Fanatic on Loews box office coupons.

IFC will provide Loews with:

  • Ultimate Film Fanatic competitions at the regional finals of the theater chain’s national ” Ultimate Film Fan” contest.
  • Mentions for the Loews brand in all IFC cross-channel spots for the series.
  • Prominent placement of the Loews logo on the backdrop of the Ultimate Film Fanatic tour events.

About Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corporation

Loews Cineplex is celebrating its 100-year anniversary throughout 2004. Loews Cineplex owns, operates
or has an equity interest in 324 theatres and 3,166 screens operating under the Loews, Cineplex Odeon,
Star, Magic Johnson, Cinemex, Yelmo Cineplex, Megabox Cineplex, Galaxy and UFA names. The company’s partnerships include: Magic Johnson Theatres, in the United States, Yelmo Cineplex in Spain, Megabox Cineplex in Korea and now Neue Filmpalast (UFA) in Germany. Loews Cineplex is privately owned by Onex Corporation, one of Canada’s largest companies with global operations in service, manufacturing and technology industries, and Oaktree Capital Management, LLC, a Los Angeles based private investment management firm specializing in inefficient markets and alternative investments with approximately US $25 billion of assets committed for management primarily from institutional investors.

About Independent Film Channel

The Independent Film Channel (IFC) is the first and most widely distributed channel dedicated to independent film 24 hours a day, uncut and commercial free. IFC celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2004 with its most extensive original programming line-up ever. Original programming premiering in 2004 includes Nanette Burstein’s Film School, Ultimate Film Fanatic, Rocked With Gina Gershon, the third season of Dinner For Five and John Landis’ Slasher. In 2003, IFC made its mark with originals including BaaadAsssss Cinema, The American Nightmare, Indie Sex: Taboos and A Decade Under the Influence. IFC Television is a part of IFC Companies, which has created a unique end-to-end business model and brand that focuses on developing and nurturing talent, and maximizing the value of independent film. With a television network, a film distribution and production unit, and a VOD service, IFC Companies represents the future of independent film. IFC Companies uses its unique position to broaden the independent film audience nationwide and to expand the opportunities for independent filmmakers. IFC Companies is a division of Rainbow Entertainment Services, which also includes the AMC and WE: Women’s Entertainment television networks.

Press Contacts

  • Mark Braff
    Braff Communications