Daily Cinema Digest – Tuesday 2 September 2014

Sony Vue

Is Vue ditching RealD? The exhibitor is switching almost 400 of its screens across the UK, Ireland, Germany and Denmark to Sony Digital Cinema 3D projectors. While the press release doesn’t say it, this is a significant departure for Vue, which has exclusively been using RealD’s 3D technology and is now expanding using the non-licence and non-proprietary Sony 3D solution that Sony previously only offered in non-RealD territories. RealD won’t be happy about this.

The phased conversion process is scheduled to start in September this year. It will extend over a three to four year time period, covering a total of 394 screens across the group’s Vue and CinemaxX branded European estate.

Unlike ‘triple-flash’ systems that rapidly present different images to each eye in turn, the Sony Digital Cinema 3D dual lens solution provides smooth, immersive flicker-free 3D images without distracting flashing effects. Whether audiences are watching in 3D or 2D, Sony’s unique 4K projection technology assures an unparalleled viewing experience, with market-leading contrast levels plus exceptional colour and clarity.

Vue Entertainment International currently deploys a mix of Sony 4K projection systems across its estate, including the flagship R320 and its acclaimed sibling, the R515 that’s optimised for medium-sized and smaller screens.  LINK

 Secret Cinema goes LA Back to the future

After the success of the Back to the Future screenings in London (aside from the botched launch), Secret Cinema is going to bring Hill Valley back to its ancestral and spiritual home – Los Angeles – as part of its launch in the US next year.

Secret Cinema is planning to take its hit production of Back to the Future to Los Angeles, marketing the 30th anniversary of the film’s release.

The immersive cinema company, which builds live events around the screening of films, plans to stage the production in LA next summer. It will follow Secret Cinema’s launch in the US in early 2015 with its Tell No One strand, which keeps the audience guessing the identity of the film until they arrive on the night.

Secret Cinema revealed its plans following the end of a month-long run of Back to the Future, staged at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London from July 31 to Aug 31.  LINK

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German Cinema Screen Trends 2009-2013: Specialist Screens See Strong Growth

German cinema screens 2009-2013

The German Federal Film Board (FFA) has just published a detailed study (pdf) of cinema screen trends over the last five years, with some surprising findings. As a mature exhibition market, multiplex numbers are static, but there is significant growth of outdoor and specialist screens.

The number of multiplex screens in 2013 was exactly the same as in 2009: 1,294, though peaking at 1,301 in 2010. There were more than twice as many non-multiplex/traditional screens, though these declined from 2,870 in 2009 to 2,737 in 2013 in a trend that is likely to continue and contributed to decline of total screens, though at just -0.2% in the most recent year (equivalent to seven screens), less pronounced than past years.

Though the report does not mention it, it is important to remember that these were the key years for digital cinema implementation in Germany. However, the full digital death toll is likely to only come in the statistics for 2014 when the termination of 35mm print distribution is likely to see a significant drop in the numbers of ‘traditional screens’.

What is most interesting to note is the growth of specialised screens, which increased from 570 in 2009 to 586 in 2012, before settling at 579 for the last year of the report. These include Community/Culture centre cinemas (162), Associations (136) and University cinemas (126), with other types of cinemas as well, most of which did not screen film on anything more than a weekly basis.

Falling Overall Attendance

German cinema attendance

Despite two small year-on-year rises in the years covered by the report, overall cinema attendance in Germany is showing a slow but steady decline. Interestingly traditional screens have held their own against multiplex screens, having nearly half of the total market – 49.2% against 46.9% for the multiplex screens. Multiplex screens only outperformed traditional screens in 2010, which was also the year of lowest overall cinema attendance.

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Event Cinema Announces 2nd Annual Conference

ECA conference

The Event Cinema Association has revealed details about its second annual London-based one-day conference, taking place on 16th of October at the Genesis Cinema in London’s East End. The announcement comes on the back of a strong year for the burgeoning field of what’s previously been known as ‘alternative content.’

The conference expands and builds on last years event (held at the o2 in Greenwich) and will feature two panel discussions:

Session 1 – Marketing Event Cinema
Panel: Dione Orrom, Producer, (UK)
Craig Shurn, Distributor, Altive Media (UK)
Katrin Mathe, Distributor, Akuentic, (France)
Mark Foster, Arts Alliance (UK)
Dorothy Smith, Zeffirellis, (UK)
Brad LaDouceur, Cineplex (Canada)

Moderator: Austin Shaw


Session 2 – New Business Models and New Technology
Panel: Scott Glosserman, Gathr Films (USA)
Mariusz Spisz, Multikino (Poland)
Tom Shaw, Digital Theatre (UK)
Adam Cassels, Audience Entertainment (USA)

Moderator: David Hancock, IHS

The conference will also have a “unique new format”, with a total of six individual break-out sessions planned over the course of the day.

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Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 1 September 2014

CGV logo

China (PRC) – Korea’s CGV is expanding aggressively in Mainland China. With its latest opening in Chengdu the city now has more Imax screens than any other in China.

In “5 yuan fare” era, the price war to Chengdu nationally known film market, as yesterday, the Korean CGV Star Studios high Juhui store opening, Chengdu has reached 9 IMAX screen, just three years from scratch , ranking first in the country. Chengdu film market competition has been upgraded from a price war for competing brands and specialty services. And a good cultural atmosphere and great movie box office potential but also to South Korea CJ Group CGV Studios will enter the Chinese market in Chengdu as the layout of the focus will be in Chengdu to build 10 high-end theater cast.

Chengdu is the first to enter the double cinema competition of the city, but also a multiplex cinema city first batch appears. Up to now, Chengdu has 18 theaters, ranking first in the country. Chengdu, Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Shanghai market at the box office behind, ranking fifth in the country, the number of hundreds of movie theaters, the number of screens per capita highest in the country.  LINK

 Roaring Currents

Korea – And while it’s been a bad box office summer in the US, other territories like Korea are doing very, very well – mainly on the strength of local hits.

Korean films attracted a record 25 million viewers to local theaters in August thanks to the popularity of two historical dramas, “Roaring Currents” and “The Pirates,” a market tracker said on Monday.

The number of cinema tickets sold for Korean films came to 25.06 million last month, equivalent to a ticket each for half of the country’s population of about 50 million people, the Korean Film Council said in a monthly report on box-office data.

It easily beat the previous record of 21 million set in August last year when “Snowpiercer,” “The Terror Live” and “Hide and Seek” simultaneously hit the box-office.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 29 August 2014


The poor US box office is the story of the summer. Weak slate or cyclical? Variety crunches the numbers, compares winners & losers and weighs the opinions. The good news is that “summer” matters much less than it used to and true to John Fithian’s wish, studios are now looking at a 12 month window of opportunity.

Despite an August thaw that saw “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” shatter expectations, the summer box office will likely finish at its lowest point in eight years. Ticket sales are running 15% below last summer’s.

Thanks to the magic of CGI, cities crumbled on a weekly basis, defended by a rotating band of masked superheroes. But are these scorched movie metropolises a metaphor for a business being bombarded by newer, snazzier forms of non-theatrical entertainment, or is this a momentary stumble for an industry that’s still soaring?  LINK

Seeking Alpha has its take on the summer and it leans towards the ‘secular decline’ camp.

Box office debate: Secular decline or smashing 2015 on tap? • 8:59 AM

Clark Schultz, SA News Editor

- Cowen Research analyst Doug Creutz thinks the soft summer box office season this year is evidence of a secular decline in domestic attendance as viewing habits evolve.
- The analysis runs counter to the line of thought of some media analysts who think a weak and uninspiring summer slate is the culprit.
- Creutz points out that the number of summer releases is in-line with historical averages, while box office bulls note tent-poles are spread out throughout the year more than in the past making the summer compare tougher.
- On tap in 2015: Blockbuster releases next year include Star Wars: Episode VII (Lucasfilm), Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel), Fifty Shades of Grey (Universal), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (Lionsgate), The Good Dinosaur (Walt Disney Pictures), Bond 24 (Columbia).


On a brighter note, Italy was up in the first quarter this year compared to same period 2013. (No idea why they are flagging Q1 but not Q2.)

Italy was the only big EU market to grow in box office gross and admissions in 2013. Policy differences between Italy and Spain, discussed in the Q1 2014 Distribution Report, account for most of the box office and production growth.

- 30.3M Italians attended the cinema in Q1 2014, compared to 26.8M in Q1 2013.  LINK

Yet The Telegraph reports that there are fears that the Italian film industry is ‘going into a steep decline’ as only three of the 31 titles in competition at this week’s Venice Film Festival are Italian.

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Daily Cinema Digest – Thursday 28 August 2014

Maze Runner

Fox’s The Maze Runner will be the first film released in Barco’s Escape triptych-screen format. The film will be released exclusively in five Cinemark locations, two in California and one each in Florida, Texas and Illinois before it is released later in Europe at Brussels Kinepolis Escape Theatre and possibly elsewhere. (BTW Great pairing: Maze + Escape – see what they did there?)

In the case of The Maze Runner, the film was shot in a traditional way, before the decision to use Escape was made. The center screen will display the live-action film, and imagery on the side screens will be extensions of the scenes — i.e., a larger maze — created using visual effects.

“Based on the speed we needed to get this to market and the creative challenges, we tried a new way of rendering and creating the material,” Ted Schilowitz, who is Barco’s “CinemaVangelist” and also works as a futurist at Fox, tells The Hollywood Reporter. This pipeline was built around a Crytek gaming engine for rendering, and computing hardware from Devil & Demon (Schilowitz is president of D&D). The artists worked inside the D&D mobile production unit dubbed Devil’s Playground. (Schilowitz says this sort of setup might also be useful to the struggling VFX industry because “we need to better the tool set so people can be more profitable with their work.”)  LINK

Germany painted posters

The art of big painted billboards in cinemas rather than posters is perhaps most associated with countries like India, but it is still practised in Germany in places such as München, the Yorck cinema in Berlin and this one in Bremen.

Every second weeks she provides a new poster to the Shauburg cinema. 400 to 500 Euro is what the cinema in the trendy Steintor-quarter pays each time for this unique film advertising. “The distributor covers part of the costs. But the main part is paid by us,” says managing director Robert Erdmann. Wulfers cannot live from her dream job alone . Hence she also earns money as a freelance graphic designer and teaching painting classes at the community college.

For her Munich colleagues René Birkner it is the other way around. For 27 years he has been reproducing film posters for three movie theaters in the Bavarian capital. Approximately 40 square meters in size alone is the huge billboard of the movie theater at Sendlinger Tor. To fill it, the 58-year-old must work night shifts regularly. “I feed my family this way.” The rest of the time he paints abstract images. “This is my passion.” LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 27 August 2014

IBC Big Screen Experience

The Netherlands – 4K will be a major topic at the upcoming IBC (show – not ice bucket challenge), with awards just announced for the 4K transmissions by the Vienna State Opera and the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Be sure not to miss this year’s IBC Big Screen Experience – bigger and also free for everyone attending this year.

Dramatic advances in media technology bring new opportunities to engage with audiences and to extend the reach of an event around the world. At IBC2014, two very different projects will be recognised with prestigious awards. Innovations in coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup will receive the Judges’ Prize, and a Special Award will go the one of the world’s greatest opera houses, the Wiener Staatsoper – Vienna State Opera.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil was hailed as both a sporting and a media success, with close to a billion people worldwide watching the final between Argentina and Germany. They watched in on air and online, in formats from 4k and 8k Ultra HD to mobile phones and tablets.  LINK

Want to know more about 4K a.k.a. Ultra-HD? Check out this website, which scrolls like a powerpoint. Interesting and informative.


YouTube Preview Image

France – People fainting and being taken to hospital is what producers of schlock horror B-movies used to promise in the 1950s. But apparently that is just what happened at a French Film Festival in Angouleme.

Participants of the International Francophone Film Festival in Angouleme French were not ready for it. Already after a quarter of the film “Little Queen” in the audience prevailed movement through drastic scenes of blood transfusion. People fainted, and one of the spectators was transported to the hospital. The session was stopped and the cinema evacuated.

The film “La Petite Reine” (French for “Little Queen”) tells the story of a Canadian Genevieve Jeanson, who was a cycling champion. The film shows a scene where the heroine is transfusing blood. Participants of the festival were not made ??aware of the dramatic scenes.

After the first unsuccessful attempt to view the film, the organizers decided to postpone it for tomorrow. This time, every viewer will be informed about what we see on the screen, and in addition there will be doctors in the hall.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Tuesday 26 August 2014

Quad Cinema New York

USA (NY) – Manhattan’s arthouse Quad Cinema has been sold and it could frankly not have asked for a better new owner.

At first, news that the revered Quad Cinema in New York’s Greenwich Village had been sold to a real estate magnate caused us alarm. But it turns out that Charles S. Cohen, in addition to being the president and chief executive of Cohen Bros. Realty Corp., is also a major supporter of great film, both as a distributor and as a historian.

Cohen is a film producer and distributor through the Cohen Media Group, which has distributed films such as “Le Chef,” “Chinese Puzzle” and “Farewell, My Queen.” Cohen also runs the Cohen Film Collection, which includes 700 film titles, including classics by Jean-Luc Godard, D. W. Griffith, Alfred Hitchcock and Buster Keaton.  LINK

Cinema Popcorn Buckets

Europe is behind the US when it comes to the sophistication of the popcorn market. Gourmet flavour and so-called healthy-option popcorn apparently represent untapped markets according to a new report.

Global launches of popcorn rose over 8% in the 12 months to the end of June 2014. The large and mature US market was the leading individual country, accounting for over 20% of total introductions. But this was behind Europe, where the large number of countries involved took its share to 36%, according to data recorded by Innova Market Insights.

Meanwhile, gourmet lines, already established in the USA, are starting to make their way across the Atlantic, bringing a whole raft of more complex flavours and moving the sector away from its traditional ‘cinema’ image and a simple sweet or salty flavour choice.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 25 August 2014

Cineworld Telford

First Cineworld got in trouble with some vocal customers for introducing allocated seating. Now marketers are complaining that the cinema is keeping house lights on during the running of the adverts.

Darren Hayday, marketing consultant at Competitive Edge Marketing and former “loyal customer of Cineworld” after taking issue with the policy, says the decision to keep lights up instead of using ushers to guide customers to their seats is a problem for marketers.

He adds: “What on earth is the point of a brand manager choosing this medium to target a captive audience when to try and cut costs the cinema chain introduce this process which doesn’t benefit anyone other than senior management?”

One client-side marketer and Cineworld customer told Marketing Week: “Cinema is one of the last remaining opportunities for a fully engaged ad audience and when you factor in the site-specificity of movie trailers made especially for cinema audiences, [keeping lights up] is doubly concerning.”  LINK

Imax China

China – The importance of China to Imax was highlighted again this past weekend at the Changchun Film Festival, with the country set to overtake the United States in the next few years. Sadly can’t embed the video, so please follow the link.

August 22, the 12th Changchun Film Festival “IMAX Vision” screening unit was officially launched, Managing Director, Asia Pacific attended the launching ceremony of IMAX Corporation sand Wande said that about three years, IMAX number of IMAX theaters in China will reach about 400, then this figure will exceed North America. China is expected to become the world’s largest IMAX market.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 22 August 2014

China cine ad

Cinema advertising is experiencing major growth in China, with a 33% year-on-year increase even as the spot-per-screen-per-play cost has fallen from 16 yuan [USD $2.60] in 2011 to 12 yuan [USD $1.95] this year. As so often we are indebted to EntGroup for this data and analysis.

Due to the favorable impact of the film market, the size of 2014 Chinese cinema advertising revenues reflect the former is expected to reach 1.6 billion yuan [USD $2111 million], the growth rate will reach 33%. The past few years, reflecting the former theater advertising revenue trends can also be seen in 2011 before the outbreak of the advertising market is reflected, after two years the growth rate has declined, mainly due to the investment boom in theater construction has gradually become more rational, the number of screens growth rate slowed down, limiting the size of the market before the theater reflect the extensive expansion. In this stage, the theater before the advertising operator also reflect efforts to tap the market potential, try to change the direction of the intensive cultivation, in order to further improve the cinema advertising market size before mapping.  LINK

Indian cinema advertisers

Cinema advertising has also been making great strides in India and afaqs! has an in-depth article providing excellent overview and lots of data about the whole Indian cinema and cinema advertising market. Recommended reading.

Onscreen ads are still the most preferred among brands. A multiplex plays an average of 23 ads (30 seconds each) or 12-15 minutes of advertising. The rate differs from chain to chain and could range from Rs. 7,000-20,000 [USD $115-330] for a 30-second ad. When it comes to off-screen models, poster branding costs between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 30,000 [USD $248-496] a month per poster box while a standee costs around Rs. 18,000-25,000 [USD $298-414].

Brands are now beginning to opt for quarterly, semi-annual and annual deals. A niche or an upmarket product goes for screens attracting the SEC A+ audience, while a mass product goes for SEC A, AB screens. Says Shirish Srivastava, senior vice president – marketing & sales at Reliance MediaWorks, ”Today, 50 per cent of brands opt for the annual deals.” It insulates the brand from box-office failures.  LINK

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