National CineMedia

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National CineMedia, Inc.
Russell 2000 Component
IndustryMotion Picture Exhibition advertising
Founded2002; 17 years ago (2002), (Centennial, Colorado)
HeadquartersCentennial, Colorado, United States
Key people
  • National CineMedia, LLC (43.7%)
  • Fathom Events (4%)

National CineMedia (NCM) is an American cinema advertising company. NCM displays ads to U.S. consumers in movie theaters, online and through mobile technology. NCM presents cinema advertising across a digital in-theater network, consisting of theaters owned by AMC Entertainment Inc. (excluding certain theaters whose advertising is fulfilled by Screenvision after AMC's purchase of Carmike Cinemas), Cinemark Holdings, Inc., Regal Entertainment Group and other regional theater circuits.

The publicly traded National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQNCMI) owns 48.8% and is the managing partner of NCM. Regal's parent company Cineworld and Cinemark and hold the remainder of NCM shares.[1]

The company is perhaps best known to the general public for its advertising pre-show, Noovie.


FirstLook (2006–2017) was NCM's pre-feature programming. FirstLook consisted of pre-show advertising and entertainment, provided by content partners such as ABC Networks, A&E Television Networks, Amazon, Disney, Fandango, Google, Hulu, Microsoft, NBC, Nintendo and Turner Broadcasting System[2] interspersed with advertising. The program was approximately 20 minutes, and was timed to end exactly at the movie's start time, before any trailers. It was delivered via satellite, and several different versions were provided depending on the movie's MPAA rating.

If a 3D movie was showing, a special "FirstLook 3D" was shown after the original version with 3D advertisements.

If a G or PG movie was showing, a children's version of FirstLook, named "FirstLook Play", was shown in lieu of the original version. FirstLook Play was usually played before movies directed at children with those ratings, though some PG movies still had the regular FirstLook programming.

FirstLook was the successor to Regal's The 2wenty preshow, introduced to that chain in 2003. FirstLook carried largely that same format, the main difference being that while 2wenty was Regal-exclusive, FirstLook was fed to founding members circuits AMC, Cinemark, and Regal, as well as many NCM affiliate circuits such as Goodrich Quality Theaters, Hollywood Theaters, and Kerasotes.


On September 28, 2017, it was reported that National CineMedia teamed up with the Walt Disney Company and Sony Music to launch a new pre-show that features content from Walt Disney Studios.[3][4][5]

Fathom Events[edit]

Fathom Events, formerly known as NCM Fathom, was a division of National CineMedia that offered alternative entertainment events in movie theaters. In December 2013, it was announced that NCM was restructuring Fathom Events as a new stand-alone entity owned by AMC, Cinemark, Regal Entertainment Group and NCM, with NCM retaining a 4% stake in the company.[6]

Past entertainment events have included:

NCM Digital[edit]

The NCM Digital offers 360-degree integrated marketing programs in combination with cinema, encompassing thousands of entertainment-related web sites and hundreds of mobile applications. is a consumer-based initiative targeting movie-going audiences with new movie content, trailers, movie showtimes and extended information.

Rejected merger[edit]

In May 2014, Screenvision entered into a merger agreement with NCM for US$375 million.[7] The merger was blocked by the Department of Justice over anti-trust concerns, since Screenvision and NCM together would supply advertising to 34,000 of the nation's 39,000 movie theaters.[8] In March 2015, Screenvision and NCM terminated their deal and NCM paid Screenvision a $26.8 million termination payment.[9]

Fantasy Movie League[edit]

In May 2017, NCM acquired Fantasy Movie League, a fantasy movie league where players have $1,000 a week to spend and try to pick a combination of films that are currently out that week that would lead to the most amount of money the films made that weekend at the box office. An app is available for download on iOS and Android phones, as well as a desktop version. Since the Fall of 2017, NCM has been advertising the game in theaters during its pre-show first look. This has causes an influx of new players to the already large group of dedicated players.[10]


  1. ^ "Cineworld and Cinemark Announce Agreement to Purchase Remaining Units of National Cinemedia Held by AMC" (PDF) (Press release). Cineworld Group plc. June 18, 2018.
  2. ^ "About Us". National CineMedia. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  3. ^ "National CineMedia (NCM) Launches Noovie Pre-Show In Movie Theaters Nationwide". National CineMedia. September 28, 2017. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  4. ^ Hayes, Dade (September 27, 2017). "National CineMedia Teams With Disney, Sony Music On Revamped 'Noovie' Pre-Show". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  5. ^ "National CineMedia (NCM) Launches Noovie Pre-Show In Movie Theaters Nationwide". Business Wire. September 28, 2017. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  6. ^ "National CineMedia (NCM) Restructures Ownership of Fathom Events". National CineMedia. December 30, 2013. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  7. ^ "National CineMedia to buy Screenvision For $375 Million". The Wall Street Journal. May 5, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  8. ^ Schwartzel, Erich; Tadena, Nathalie (November 3, 2014). "Justice Department Sues to Block Merger of Cinema Advertising Networks". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  9. ^ Stynes, Tess (March 16, 2015). "National CineMedia, Screenvision Terminate Merger Deal". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  10. ^ "National CineMedia (NCM) Acquiring Fantasy Movie League | About National CineMedia". Retrieved 2018-01-29.
11. ^ "National CineMedia Inc. Announces Financial Results for the Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2006" Retrieved 2/10/19.

External links[edit]