Gabelli Gathers Investors and Movie Execs in the Big Apple
   The insiders' edge for 40 Act industry executives!
an InvestmentWires' Publication
Friday, June 6, 2014

Gabelli Gathers Investors and Movie Execs in the Big Apple

Turns out business management in the entertainment industry is not much different from the mutual fund world. Yesterday executives in the movie & entertainment business at Gabelli & Co'.s 6th Annual Movie & Entertainment conference, talked about growth, deal making, acquisitions and the necessity for scale: a lot of the same things that fund and asset management executives have been discussing of late.

Except for them, it involves thinking about franchises like The Hunger Games or The Lord of the Rings, or popularizing new web-based TV shows like Orange is The New Black, while you tinker with your investment strategies.

Kurt Hall, CEO of CineMedia, said scale and distribution is important for entertainment industry, and you'll likely continue to see more mega deals like Time Warner & Comcast and AT&T and DirecTV deals.

Several speakers agreed about the rise of the franchises or sequels, and said they have been the highest grossing in movie theaters lately, with Iron Man coming in at the top, and movies like The Hunger Games, Star Trek, Despicable Me and The Fast & the Furious, doing well too.

On TV, Jim Packer, president of worldwide television and digital distribution at Lions Gate Entertainment, said the paid TV channels (like HBO, Showtime and others) are performing well. At Lionsgate, he already has a presence on Hulu and Netflix and is building projects for, Turner and Adult Swim. He said his company is focusing on popularizing shows faster. It took Mad Men five years to get on the cover of Time magazine, for example, while it took Orange is the New Black only to second season, "So I think that's where we're headed," Packer said (Lionsgate was involved in the production of both).

Gabelli hosts this conference every year, where it matches up institutional and other investors with publicly traded entertainment industry executives. The event was filled with about 90 film industry execs, investors, hedge funds and other asset managers. The organizers packed 16 presenters into 20-minute slots each in just about a half day (from 8 AM to 2:30 PM) at The Harvard Club in New York. Even lunch involved grabbing soup, sandwiches and salad and munching on them for 20 minutes until the next panel started. It was actually a good way to keep the event, and the presentations, organized and succinct, one hedge fund manager observed.

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