Event cinema has a new hero and his name is Billy Elliot, having grossed more on the day it beamed than The Equalizer, the highest grossing film.
Universal’s live stream from London’s Victoria Palace Theatre last night [Sept 28] danced its way to an extraordinary $3.1m (£1.904m), setting a new record for Event Cinema releases.
Based on figures from Rentrak, in terms of theatre releases, Billy Elliot surpassed the previous best opening set by NT Live: War Horse at $2.5m (£1.6m). War Horse is also currently the highest grossing theatre release at $4.6m (£2.7m). LINK
Good timing for Variety to cast a spotlight on event cinema, which accounts for almost a fifth of revenue of some art house screens and has saved many a rural cinemas.
Picturehouse director of distribution Marc Allenby says a like percentage of his company’s box office comes from such programming. “What’s remarkable,” he adds, “is that that 18% comes from such a small proportion of screenings.”
In Sweden, not only has the sector been a boon to rural cinemas, which struggle to book new film releases day-and-date with big cities, it also has enabled exhibs to take advantage of new revenue streams.
“A court decision said that when a cinema is screening opera or theater, it automatically becomes an opera house or theater, so legally, we can serve alcohol,” says Rickard Gramfors of Folkets Hus och Parker, which operates 170 cinemas in the nation. LINK
Both of them will be attending the ECA event in London on 16 October – see our banner and side bar for details.
AMC is pushing ahead faster than planned with its re-seating plan of upgrading more of its cinemas to premium quality (and pricing). It will spend USD $39 million more than initially planned in the current year. Smart or desperate strategy? The answer is: ‘necessary’.
The approximately $39 million represents a nearly 20 percent increase from the estimated $200 million in planned net cash outlays in 2014. Actual total capital spending for 2014 will be approximately $265-$285 million, before expected landlord contributions of $35-$55 million.
The additional 2014 capital investment will primarily support the acceleration of recliner re-seat initiatives, additional MacGuffins bars and IMAX screens in AMC theatres. As of June 30, 2014, AMC had recliner re-seats in 44 locations with 505 screens, 74 MacGuffins and 148 IMAX screens, which makes AMC North America’s leading and largest IMAX distributor.
In December of 2013, AMC announced a $600 million, five-year recliner re-seat investment. During the second quarter of 2014, admissions revenues per screen increased by 33 percent and Adjusted EBITDA more than doubled at AMC’s 44 recliner re-seat locations. LINK