Arts Alliance Media today announced the success of the award-winning documentary film, "Iron Maiden: Flight 666". 70% of the total admissions, which exceeded 100,000, were from one-day-only special event screenings, day and date, on April 21. The feature-length film, released exclusively on digital prints, has achieved the distinction of being the biggest-ever worldwide simultaneous release of a documentary film, playing on screens across South and Central America, Mexico, all of Western and most of Eastern Europe, Russia, Japan, Australasia, USA, Canada, South Africa and India. "Flight 666" was distributed by Arts Alliance Media (AAM), in collaboration with EMI Records and IRON MAIDEN.
"Flight 666" achieved the highest per-screen average of any film in the U.K. on April 21, with over 12,000 total admissions from only one single evening show on 80 screens, and was the number one film in over 85% of U.K. sites where it played. It attracted an extraordinary 8,000 admissions at "2 minutes to midnight" in Brazil, a sellout of the 686-seater Finnkino Helsinki screen in Finland, and five back-to-back sold-out shows at the Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. The film was extended at many sites due to popular local demand and a few territories opened after April 21.
The widespread rollout of digital cinema and the resulting lower cost of distribution is enabling more non-traditional releases and alternative content to be played in cinemas, and along with events such as live operas, concerts and sporting events, are providing a new revenue stream for cinema exhibitors. AAM's Chief Executive Officer, Howard Kiedaisch, commented, "We are incredibly happy with this result and consider it to be a massive achievement for everyone involved. It's a cinema first, proving the opportunities digital brings as this release would never have happened with 35mm prints. My thanks and congratulations go to IRON MAIDEN, EMI and all our exhibitor and distribution partners around the world. Watch this space!"
Stefan Demetriou, EMI's Vice President, Visual Content Strategy & Acquisition, said, "This film shows once again that IRON MAIDEN are at the forefront of audiovisual innovation — providing a memorable, big screen experience for their loyal fan base and new MAIDEN converts worldwide."
The event has proved incredibly popular with exhibitors as well as audiences around the world, with Bernie Altman, of the independent Scala Cinema in Ludwigsburg, Germany, saying of their midnight show, "Wow, what a night! The movie is really great — I feel like I was at a MAIDEN show last night! The fans were screaming 'Maiden! Maiden! Maiden!' shortly before we started the movie, and to say it simply, it was really 'The Thing!'"
In the U.K., Odeon's Digital Development Director Drew Kaza said, "We are delighted with the results for 'Flight 666'. It was the number one film across Odeon on Tuesday night, and it's by far the most successful alternative content programme Odeon has ever screened."
The film was sub-distributed by D&E Entertainment in the U.S., and partner Evan Saxon commented, "We were honoured to oversee the U.S. theatrical distribution and marketing for 'Flight 666' as it was an overwhelming success. Exhibitors in our network sold out many screens and added additional showings with fans loving the experience. This was a first-class campaign and we are very pleased that Arts Alliance, EMI and IRON MAIDEN selected D&E to be a part of their team."
"Flight 666" won the audience award for "Best Music Documentary" at the recent South by Southwest festival. The film was produced by celebrated award-winning Toronto-based filmmakers Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn of Banger Productions, who have received international critical acclaim for their previous movies, "Metal: A Headbanger's Journey" and "Global Metal". Executive Producers are Rod Smallwood, Stefan Demetriou and Andy Taylor.