Alan Stock, CEO of Cinemark Theaters, spoke to BYU students at a forum last Thursday. During the forum, which was sponsored by the Theatre and Media Arts Department, Stock spoke about the current status of Cinemark Theaters and the movie industry business.
Cinemark Theaters currently has 436 theaters and 4,983 screens around the world and is the No. 1 theater chain in the nation in terms of revenue. The success of the company, Stock said, depends on the quality of the movies that will entice audiences to come and watch them. Cinemark has actually increased its revenues over the years despite the increase in home-video technology, Stock said, because going to the movies is considered an essential and relatively inexpensive social experience.
“The key is that our customers have a good time and a good experience,” Stock said. “Movie theaters are critical to the whole movie experience.”
Cinemark Theaters is willing to show many types of films as long as they meet certain standards, Stock said. Movies must be rated by the MPAA and be of good enough quality to be shown on the big screen. As a result, Cinemark gets a majority of its movies from six major film suppliers, although it does often play films from smaller, independent studios.
“We’re always happy to play smaller films if they meet standards,” Stock said, citing the “Twilight” series, films produced by Summit Entertainment, as an example.
In addition to its heavy North American presence, Cinemark Theaters is also making a dent in the Latin American market as well. With 141 theaters, Cinemark’s Latin American theaters led box office sales in 2010. Learning to adjust to the culture proved challenging at first, Stock said, citing the Chilean’s affinity to sweet popcorn instead of salty popcorn as an example of cultural differences they had to learn.
“When you enter a foreign country, you have to learn their tastes, desires and culture,” Stock said. “You also have to hire local people so they can learn how to operate the theater on their own and train others. ”
To end the forum, Stock left with some words of advice to the students. Joking that his kids accused him of watching movies for a living, Stock said he has the best job because he is doing what he enjoys.
“Make sure you do what you love to do,” Stock said. “I love the entertainment business. Find what you love and pursue it.”