Vice president of specialty and alternative content,
Most blockbusters target a homogenous audience. Denson-Randolph, a vet of Starbucks and Magic Johnson Entertainment, selects smaller movies to draw diverse crowds into the nation's second-largest movie-theater chain.
"The footprint of our theaters is unlike those of our competitors. We're very urban-centric. And we know that the country is only becoming more diverse. We were already reaching a large African-American and Latino audience, but we also started seeing patterns of Chinese and Indian audiences. They want authentic films that reflect their lives.
When a large movie studio attempts to do a film for a very specific culture, it may get lost, because it's not what the studios know or do best. We coach smaller filmmakers on how to selfdistribute to us. It's a collaborative effort. I ask them, Who do you believe your audience is?
We want to make sure a filmmaker will market to their audience. Take Mindless Behavior: All Around the World, a documentary about an African- American boy band. We wanted their record label to reach out to its huge following online. We ended up opening it on more than 100 screens. It did a very respectable business.
Commercial films are the meat and potatoes of large commercial exhibitors, so smaller films take some internal nudging. If a third screen of The Avengers still makes several thousand dollars a week, I'm on the hook if we replace it with a little gem that does a few hundred dollars. But when the films work, everyone wins."
- Hadrian Belove, Cinefamily Cofounder and Executive Director &
John Wyatt, Cinespia Founder
- Stacy Spikes, MoviePass Cofounder and CEO
- Julie and Robert Borchard-Young, BY Experience Cofounders
- Hamid Hashemi, iPic Entertainment Founder and CEO
- Nikkole Denson-Randolph, AMC Theatres Vice President of Specialty
and Alternative Content
A version of this article appeared in the December 2013 / January 2014 issue of Fast Company magazine.