Exhibitors Herald (Dec 1923 - Mar 1924)

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February 16, 1924 EXHIBITORS HERALD 37 FOREIGN MARKET Vast Profit in World Trade E. BRUCE JOHN #^ H^ iH SON, foreisn man mB ager of First Na tional, who, in Etn vf ""^ ^K interesting article on a foUowing page, tells of the manner in ^^^^v which American film 'J^m companies have neglected the world mar Ift ket. Among other things, Mr. Johnson says: "Proper returns cannot be expected from the foreign field with prints made from inferior negative." Read his article on the second paere following. ^^^^^^^^■--^ ^^^^^^^^■n^ ^ In the Opinion of English Reviewers Subjoined are excerpts from English trade paper reviews of current American and English productions and the product of other countries TTie paper from which each excerpt is taken is indicated as follows: (K. W.) for Kinematograph Weekly; (B.) for The Bioscope, and (F. R.) for The Film Renter and Moving Picture News. "Rosita" ". . . \his gycat Litbilsch production, in which Alary Pickford has never done finer work, will be one of the big pictures in England in 1924." (F. R.) "Should prove a good popular booking for tnost halls. In addition to the attractio7i of the star's name, there at'c some really excellent settings and fine direction. Although the story is somewhat slow and remote . . . it has sufficient interest to hold the attention fairly well." (A'. IK.) "The Leavenworth Case" "The undetected crime, ti'hctlter in fact or fiction, always makes 2 wide appeal to the popular mind, and tlius 'The Leavenworth Case' . will probably ^vin a public in those halls zvhich cater for the popular taste." (F. R.) ' ' Th is is a cleverly worked out murder mystery . . . It is a good example of a very popular class of drama and will suit any audience." (B.) "The Virginian" "Owen JVister's fine novel has already supplied materiel, both for the stage and the screen, but has certainly never been more effectively treated than in this fine production." (B.) "A good Western for all halls. This Tom For man picturisation of a classic American novel and stage play is far more satisfying than the average IVcstern Drama." (K. W.) "The Street" "Any exhibitor ivho has the courage to break aivay from the conventional production will find this an excellent booking." (K. IV.) "Rarely has any picture during recent years evoked so much comment as 'The Street,' which the Stern Film Company of Berlin, screened to the trade last week. In many senses it is one of tlie tnost unusual photoplays that has ever been seen oji the screen, showing as it does almost an uncanny insight into human nature on the part of the producer who made this film." (F. R.) American Exchanges Cover Entire Globe Foreign Market Gives U.S. Film Industry 20 Per Cent of Entire Revenue By JOHN S. SPARGO (New York Editor of Exhibitors Herald) NEW YORK, February 5.— With the foreign trade of the American motion picture industry estimated from 15 to 20 per cent of the entire revenue but four of the big American distributing concerns have considered foreign fields seriously enough to establish thoroughly organized branches covering practically the entire world. Within the past year or two the foreign field has been attracting more and more attention from American distributors and with this came a reaHzation of a source of vast revenue if properly gone after. The theatres of nearly all foreign countries are growing more and more to depend upon American films and the gradual settlement of the disturbed conditions following the war is making this foreign field more productive. In Europe alone, there are about 20,000 theatres. Germany easily leads tlie way with more than 3,500 theatres and Russia follows with a number that is estimated at close to 3,500. Unsettled conditions in Russia make statistics difficult to obtain. In Great Brittain, there are about 3,000 picture theatres. Of the remaining European countries, France has 2,400, Italy 2,200, Austria 800, Belgium "78, and Scandinavia TOO. Universal Among First in Field Universal Was among the first to realize the importance of the foreign market and now "Universal pictures follow the sun around the earth" is the proud boast of that company. There is no land upon the globe, from Alaska to New Zealand, or from Norway to Capetown, where the amusement loving public does not thrill daily watching the deeds of Hoot Gibson, Reginald Denny. William Duncan and other Universal male stars, or palpitate over the screen loves and adventures of Virginia \^alli, Laura La Plante, Alary Philbin and the rest. In other words. Universal pictures are — w'ell — universal. Carl Laemmle, Universal's astute founder and president, was one of the first to realize that the screen is a universal medium of amusement. That's why he named his company "Universal." And from the first he sought to build up an organization that would distribute and present his pictures wherever civilized mankind e.xisted. Today the foreign organization of Universal Pictures Corporation is a world-wide net work of efficiency, carrying the best the screen has to ofler even into the jungles of the Amazon, the bush land of Australia and into the hinterland of Asia. Universal's foreign organization w-as well on its way, even before the World War. During the war period the expansion was slow, and mostly towards South America and the Orient. Breaks Into Australian Market Since the war, however. Universal wtorld expansion has been scarcely short of phenomenal. In most cases it has come about as the result of Laemmle's constant fight against monoply and high-handed methods. In 1919 he gritted his teeth over the Australian situation — a monopoly by one big distrib (.Continucd on next page")