Monthly Archives: April 2011

Is Cinedigm A Digital Cinema Bellwether?

The time before, during and after any motion picture industry trade show is one filled with an endless stream of press releases. Any journalist covering the space receives dozens, if not hundreds, of emails from marketing departments and publicists during these periods filled with press releases. At some point, it becomes easy to read between the lines of such press releases, to determine which ones are truly important. But if one were to take a step back, it can also be easy to spot industry trends through the releases certain companies publish.

This was certainly the case at CinemaCon this past March, especially when it came to press releases distributed by Cinedigm. In the weeks leading up to the conference, the digital cinema deployment entity announced agreements with such exhibitors as Cinemaworld and B&B Theatres. AMC Theatres chose the company’s exhibition management system to help run their North American venues.

Then, during CinemaCon, announcements came that Goodrich Quality Theatres, Guzzo Cinemas, and Wehrenberg Theatres were all entering into deployment agreements with Cinedigm. This was interspersed with news about deals with Sonic Equipment Company and content distribution in Latin America. Shortly after the convention Cinedigm reported they had also signed Clearview Cinemas up to a deployment agreement.

Earlier this week Cinedigm thankfully aggregated much of the news about their deployment agreements into a single press release so that folks like me could keep all the information straight. It turns out I had good reason to take notice of how busy Cinedigm’s PR department has been lately – during the last quarter they signed deployment agreements with 32 exhibitors accounting for 1,402 screens at 142 sites. This is the largest number of exhibitors and screens signed during any quarter of the company’s history.

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Cinema Digitaal Selects Arts Alliance Media For Netherlands D-Cinema Rollout

Cinema Digitaal and Arts Alliance Media

Cinema Digitaal, the organization overseeing the rollout of digital cinema in the Netherlands, has selected Arts Alliance Media to as their integrator to convert more than 500 screens throughout the country to digital.

Under the exclusive arrangement AAM will install and maintain digital cinema equipment and technology in a wide range of cinemas encompassing large exhibition chains and smaller art house venues. Circuits not participating in the rollout include Pathe, Euroscoop and Utopolis, as they will be handling their own conversions.

AAM will also provide their VPF deals with five Hollywood studios and is in the process of finalizing similar deals with the 14 local distributors that make up the NVF.

Cinema Digitaal was founded by the Dutch Association of Cinema Operators (Nederlandse Vereniging van Bioscoopexploitanten, NVB), the Dutch Film Distributors’ Association (Nederlandse Vereniging van Filmdistributeurs, NVF) and the EYE Film Institute. The Dutch government is funding 14 percent of the project with additional funds coming from the Netherlands Film Fund (Nederlands Fonds voor de Film) and bank financing.

With no VPF deals of their own, Cinema Digitaal needed to partner with an entity that had such agreements covering the Netherlands. Thus, it was really a choice between AAM, XDC and Ymagis.

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CinemaCon 2011: Digital Funding Partnership Pacts With XDC For D-Cinema Deployment In UK

Cinema Exhibitors' Association and XDC

At the outset of CinemaCon this past Monday Steve Perrin gave an interesting presentation titled “Harnessing The Power of the VPF”. As the Chief Executive of Digital Funding Partnership (DFP) Perrin is in a position to know a thing or two about virtual print fees. He’ll have some help in this department now that DFP has entered into an agreement with XDC for the deployment of digital cinema in theatres throughout the United Kingdom.

The Cinema Exhibitors’ Association created DFP in 2009 to help small and mid-sized theatre owners in the UK secure funding for digital cinema conversions. The group is a legal entity consisting of approximately 400 screens at 130 mainstream and specialized cinemas operated by more than 100 theatre owners.

Perrin spent more than a year studying the country’s booking patterns, box office receipts and endless market data in an attempt to determine whether VPF deals would work for independent cinemas in the UK. In doing so he confirmed that VPFs work best for large theatre circuits which play mostly mainstream content. Smaller cinemas showing less mainstream content at varying turn rates are not as attractive to local or international distributors, making it difficult, if not impossible, for theatre owners to gain access to VPF deals.

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