Q & A with Tearlach Hutcheson, Vice President of Film at Studio Movie Grill
27 July, 2022 by
Q & A with Tearlach Hutcheson, Vice President of Film at Studio Movie Grill
Charlie Leib

Tearlach is an incredibly knowledgeable and well respected industry professional with whom CES+ has had a long standing relationship. We are grateful for his trust in our work and services over many years as well as his willingness to always share his thoughts on the industry with us and our customers. – Alex Younger, CES+ CEO

1. Q: Considering your experience in the industry, what do you think about the first half of the year when considering we are coming out of the pandemic? 

A: The first half of this year proved that audiences still want a theatrical experience. Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of MadnessTop Gun: MaverickJurassic World Dominion and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 all proved the demand for films on a big screen.

2. Q: What should we expect for the second half? Increased momentum or a leveling off?

A: We need to be concerned about the number of movies being released. The big films are still pulling in the audiences, but without the past output of FOX releases and a smaller release schedule from Warner Bros, Lionsgate, and other studios we are missing the small and mid-range films. We need those movies in August, September, and October to succeed.


3. Q: What are you expecting to be the most successful release of the year? 

A: I think it is a toss-up between Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar. But since Avatar’s grosses are going to overlap into 2023, I’m going to say Top Gun Maverick for 2022

4. Q: What do you think exhibitors should focus on in order to get the best possible results out of their cinemas?

A: The guest experience. Guests want the experience, and if we don’t deliver they’ll spend their entertainment dollars elsewhere. That runs the gamut of top-quality projection, sound, and seating as well as friendly staff with good food and fast service.

5. Q: Is now the time to update cinemas with ATMOS systems?

A: There is definitely an increased demand for premium experiences so as theater owners we need to invest in enhanced experiences. Otherwise, we will be left behind.

6. Q: How can cinemas best compete with streaming services?

A: Let your guests know they are appreciated. Whether through loyalty or just smiling faces make them feel like family (or at least the family members you like).

7. Q: What are a few out-of-the-box marketing ideas exhibitors can use to get customers into their theatres?

A: I’m a big fan of surprise and delight. Super hot day? Redheads get in free. Mid week surprise… everyone gets a free upgrade on soda and popcorn. Also don’t feel like you have to advertise outwards for all promotions.  Surprise people when they turn up. Randomly comp guests’ concessions. Have promo items to give away.

8. Q: Regarding to the most recently anticipated release NOPE, what are your thoughts on its first weekend?

A: There is a lot riding on Nope this weekend. It’s the first film in a long time that is intelligent horror and by a director with a strong following among African-American audiences. Marvel fans have returned to cinemas with Dr Strange 2 & Thor, art house audiences have returned with Everything Everywhere, older audiences have returned with Top Gun: Maverick and families have returned with Minions: The Rise of Gru. Will African-American audiences return with Nope?

Q & A with Tearlach Hutcheson, Vice President of Film at Studio Movie Grill
Charlie Leib 27 July, 2022
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