North American moviegoers closely following Asian filmgoing trends now have a new boon in the midst with the official launch of Smart Cinema USA. Next to its pantheon of hit titles currently available on the Hi-YAH! channel, Smart Cinema USA is now ready to test for Apple/iOS and Android devices, launching in partnership with Well Go USA Entertainment following its successful rollout in Italy and Spain last year.
Using 4G/5G, cloud computing and new technologies, Smart Cinema USA aims to take things to the next level as a “pocket cinema” platform that aims to improve efforts for Chinese cinema to break into the Hollywood-dominated market. The app will host only theatrical releases – not VOD – for consumers on a pay-per-view basis. According to the announcement, the platform is “designed for the habits of the North American user …localized with targeted features in terms of interface, content-language, login and payment methods.”
“The launch of Smart Cinema USA is significant; it fills in a gap and meets people’s needs.” says CEO of Smart Cinema, Jack Gao. “It eliminates geographical barriers and reconnects Chinese people abroad with the motherland.”
As many as fourteen titles are getting first run releases, including The Documentary: Zhang Yimou’s Shadow“, “Lost in Love”, “The Twins”, “Out of Crimes”, “Starups”, “Four Springs”, “The Taste of Rice Flower”, “A City Called Macau”, “The Heart“, “On the Balcony”, “Red Flowers and Green Leaves”, “Love in 50 Meters”, and the long-awaited crossover release of “Wrath of Silence“.
At some point I hope this may actually improves the allocation of other titles being hampered from releasing due to China industry politics, including The Eight Hundred and Derek Tsang’s Better Days, which was an awesome film to review before its cancelled June release.