Charles Rivkin Delivers State of the Industry at CinemaCon

Charles Rivkin attends the Atlantic Council and MPAA Special Screening of "12 Strong" on March 14, 2018. Photo credit: Joy Asico.

Motion Picture Association (MPA) Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin delivered the State of the Industry at CinemaCon.

Rivkin looked back at some of the highs of 2024 but also took a look at current threats to the motion picture industry. All these years later, piracy is still a major threat to movies–both blockbusters and the smaller indie films. Until the industry comes together and figures out a solution, it will continue to be a problem. If people really want to see a film but don’t feel like paying for a ticket or waiting for something to arrive on streaming, they should just wait for titles to be available at their local public library. Regardless, the piracy threat is serious and it’s going to require working with Congress. What follows below are a few excerpts from Rivkin’s address:

And if anyone doubts the blockbuster role cinema plays in igniting our imaginations, fueling our economy, or shaping our public discourse, I have one word for you – a word that I’m pretty sure you’ll hear many times this week: Barbenheimer.

But make no mistake: people everywhere want to see great stories come alive on the big screen. In fact, in 2023, box office was up 20 percent from the previous year in the U.S. and Canada, and nearly 30 percent abroad.

Even with that steady recovery, we can’t shy away from the stark challenges of this moment. Nor can we ignore this time of volatility in our industry.

Yet none of us should fear that uncertainty. After all, we work in a business where unexpected twists can make for an epic story where the unpredictable can breed renewed bursts of creativity.

We understand the stakes. We recognize the need to do everything possible to ensure the enduring health of cinema.

And we know that the only way to reach our common goals is by working together – the creative minds who develop the films, the studios who produce them, the union workers who make them, and the theaters who share them with the world.

As a partner in that cause, the MPA focuses on two pillars: Protecting content and the people who produce it. And by doing so, ensuring the creative forces of this industry can reach even bigger audiences worldwide.

To make that happen, we need to keep doing what we do best: telling a compelling story.

Rivkin discussed the piracy threat before announcing the next phase of the industry’s battle. It is one that will require working with Congress. I certainly don’t know just how much they’ll be able to do on that front. We’ll just have to see what happens. In any event, I wish them the best of luck. But again, we’re talking about a Congress that is holding up aid to allies. I digress.

So today, here with you at CinemaCon, I’m announcing the next major phase of this effort: the MPA is going to work with Members of Congress to enact judicial site-blocking legislation here in the United States.

For anybody unfamiliar with the term, site-blocking is a targeted, legal tactic to disrupt the connection between digital pirates and their intended audience.

It allows all types of creative industries – film and television, music and book publishers, sports leagues and broadcasters – to request, in court, that internet service providers block access to websites dedicated to sharing illegal, stolen content.

Let’s be clear: this approach focuses only on sites featuring stolen materials. There are no gray areas here.

Site-blocking does not impact legitimate businesses or ordinary internet users. To the contrary: it protects them, too.

And it does so within the bounds of due process, requiring detailed evidence establishing a target’s illegal activities and allowing alleged perpetrators to appear in a court of law.

This is not an untested concept.

The MPA is the voice and advocate for the motion picture, home video, and television industries across the globe. Member studios include Disney, Netflix, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Warner Bros. Rivkin has been the MPA Chairman and CEO since replacing Chris Dodd in late 2017.

What will Rivkin be addressing next year in his speech? Time will certainly tell.

Please subscribe to Solzy at the Movies on Buttondown.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.