Category Archives: Daily News Roundup

Daily Cinema Digest – Thursday 18 December 2014

Kim Jong Il puppet

“The Interview” may have been pulled from cinemas, but that won’t stop this freedom-loving Texan cinema chain from showing a Hollywood film making fun of North Korea’s leaders.

The Alamo Drafthouse in Texas was one independent cinema willing to brave the threat and show the film regardless, it said. But now that it has been cancelled, they have decided to put on a showing of Team America instead.

The cinema hailed that movie – which is about a North Korean plot to destroy the world – as “THE GREATEST MOVIE MADE ABOUT AMERICAN PATRIOTISM EVER”.

The showing on 27 December will be a free-to-attend, sing-along affair, and the cinema says it will be providing enough red, white and blue paraphernalia for everyone.  LINK

Russian cinema

Russia – The collapsing rubel is having an effect on Russia’s multiplexes, forced to seek changes to the terms of their leases.

Russian cinema chains are calling on owners of shopping malls where their theaters are located to adjust rental contracts against the backdrop of the weakening ruble, which threatens to drive them out of business.

Several large cinema chains, including Cinema Park, Karo Film, Kinomaks and Formula Kino, have sent an open letter to mall owners, requesting that rental contracts, in which rent is normally stipulated in U.S. dollars, be revised and rent fixed in rubles.  LINK

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China Cinema Digest – Wednesday 17 December 2014

Imax China 200 screens

Imax has crossed 200 screens in Mainland China following the latest deal announced with Wanda Cinemas.

IMAX and Wanda Cinema, announced today that the company, along with Wanda Plaza is located in Hangzhou Gongshu Wanda IMAX theater opened, IMAX theater in China’s total reached 200. Wanda Cinema is one of the first partners to IMAX theaters in China. Currently, Wanda Cinema has become the company’s largest IMAX cinema partners in the international market, the commitment to build a total of 210 IMAX theaters.

In 2001, China’s first IMAX theater opened in Shanghai Science and Education, which marks the formal entry into the Chinese market IMAX Corporation. In 2004, IMAX company opened its first commercial IMAX theater in China. At present, China has become the world’s second largest IMAX market, a total of more than 400 IMAX commercial theaters, 179 of which have been opened. After all screens installed, IMAX theater network will cover commercial 122 cities in 30 provinces of China.  LINK

Luxe RealD
RealD announced at CineAsia a three-screen deal with Broadway Cinema for its Luxe PLF brand. This is the first deal in China and heats up the competition with Imax, China Giant Screen and own-brand PLF operations.

Global 3D and visual technology company RealD Inc. (NYSE: RLD) and leading Hong Kong and Chinese theatrical exhibitor Broadway Circuit announced today an agreement to install 3 “LUXE: A RealD Experience” (LUXE) auditoriums in Broadway’s cinema locations in mainland China. Introduced by RealD in 2013 as a new Premium Large Format (PLF) initiative, LUXE auditoriums will be installed at Broadway locations in Tianjing, Chengdu and Guangzhou, with the Tianjin location expected to open in May 2015. All 3 LUXE auditoriums opened at Broadway locations will feature RealD 3D projection and a RealD Precision White Screen.

“As a leading circuit in the rapidly growing and highly competitive China market, we have been looking for the best possible cinema setting for our moviegoers,” said Tessa Lau, CEO of Broadway Circuit. “We find LUXE a perfect match. We see it as an initiative to define our 2D and 3D premium offering. We are pleased to partner with RealD to jointly provide our audiences a unique, fully immersive experience.”  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 15 December 2014

Wanda Cinema Line Logo

AAM Arts Alliance

Perhaps the biggest news announced at CineAsia was Arts Alliance Media partnership with Wanda Cinemas. It would be good, however, to have a bit more specifics on what exactly the deal entails for both parties.

The partnership will see AAM serving as a primary technology partner to Wanda with the aim of creating efficiencies, increasing revenues and improving customer experience across all of Wanda’s cinema operations. The partnership covers both existing business and future developments.

John Aalbers, Chief Executive Officer of Arts Alliance Media commented “I am delighted to announce this wide-ranging, strategic partnership with Wanda Cinema Line. The initial deal represents one of the most significant in cinema software history. What is even more exciting is that Wanda is a global player with big ambitions and we, at Arts Alliance Media, are going to be right there with them making it happen. Being able to work with such a visionary and strategic partner is very exciting, as it will help keep both companies at the forefront of innovation in the rapidly changing cinema industry for years to come.”  LINK

Orange Wednesdays

UK telecoms operator EE is ending its cinema sponsorship deal after more than a decade, though a new sponsor partner is likely to replace it.

Mobile company EE is to end long-running 2 for 1 cinema deal Orange Wednesdays in February 2015 after the company and cinemas could not agree a commerical deal.

An EE spokesperson said take up of the once “massively successful” offer had declined in recent years due to changing viewing habits:

“Orange Wednesday launched over a decade ago and at its peak was a massive success,” read the statement. “After 10 great years our brand has changed and our customers’ viewing habits have also evolved so it’s time to move on.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 4 December 2014

Hoyts logo

With Hoyt having called off an IPO of its exhibition business earlier this year, there is now speculation that it could be sold to a private equity investor instead.

Sydney-based Pacific Equity Partners is negotiating to sell the Hoyts chain – with 483 screens in Australia and New Zealand – to ID Leisure International Capital.

It is not clear yet if the sale, which is understood to be possible by the end of the year, will mean a change to the name or look of the cinemas.

The company could not be reached for comment, but negotiations are understood to be advanced.  LINK

JT logo

Netherlands – More details on the plans for JT to be one of the first Dolby Cinema digital PLF test venues.

JT Bioscopen and Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:DLB) today announced plans to open the doors of a Dolby Cinema™ in the newly constructed cinema complex of JT Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Dolby Cinema, a branded premium cinema experience, combines spectacular image and sound technologies with inspired design to make every visit a completely captivating cinematic event.

The new JT Eindhoven cineplex, opening on December 15, is one of the biggest cinemas of the JT branch and will host eight screens and 1,546 seats. The premiere screen in the new JT Eindhoven complex will be among the first Dolby Cinema installations, equipped with state-of-the-art image, sound, and acoustic capabilities. In addition, the design of the Dolby Cinema in Eindhoven was created to set a mood and draw audiences deeper into the story—while delivering the full impact of the filmmaker’s work.  LINK

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China Cinema Digest – Thursday 4 December 2014

Wang Jianlin, founder of Dalian Wanda group, Credit CHINATOPIX, via Associated Press

Wang Jianlin, founder of Dalian Wanda group, Credit CHINATOPIX, via AP

Wanda Cinemas has been given the OK for an IPO in China in its second attempt. So much for all of our conspiracy theories that it would list elsewhere.

Wanda Cinema Line Co. Ltd., a movie theater company controlled by Chinese real estate mogul Wang Jianlin, has received approval for a share-offering in China in which it hopes to raise up to 2 billion yuan (US$325.6 million).

The listing approval was announced late Friday by China Securities Regulatory Commission. It comes as Wang, who Forbes magazine says is China’s fourth-richest man, prepares a huge initial public offering in Hong Kong for his real estate unit, Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co (IPO-DWC.SS).

The two listings, expected to be completed before the end of the year, would raise capital to accelerate Wang’s expansion in property and entertainment.  LINK

The NYT has a good thumbnail sketch of Wanda’s Chairman Wang Jianlin, who does not sit on the board of any of the soon-to-be-four listed companies that he controls.

Investors in Chinese companies are accustomed to founders having controlling stakes and wielding enormous power. But Mr. Wang has no official role in Wanda’s commercial property division, which is planning to list a minority stake in Hong Kong, or in the upcoming offering of its mainland Chinese cinema business. He is also absent from the American theater chain AMC Entertainment, which Wanda bought in 2012 and refloated a year later, and from its Hong Kong-listed hotel unit.

Wanda executives hold various board seats, including the chairman’s role at all four companies. Yet the tycoon’s lack of direct involvement is unusual.  LINK

Vista Group

Vista has completed a major roll-out with one of China’s largest cinema chains – in record time.

Cinema software company, Vista Entertainment Solutions has finished what they describe as one of the hardest projects the company has undertaken, rolling out 230 cinema sites across China in just six weeks.

Vista chief executive Murray Holdaway said the project, which involved total travel time of 2,376 hours had gone extremely smoothly and he was proud to have set a new “global benchmark”.

“To embark on a project of this scale within such a short time frame was something that as far as we know, has not been achieved before in our industry, and I’m delighted that our teams – Vista people assisted by Dadi people – have executed so brilliantly. They have re-set the global benchmark for the speed at which installation projects such as this can be carried out and we are proud of them,” Holdaway said.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 3 December 2014

Dolby cinema

THR has an exclusive on Dolby unveiling its own digital premium large format (PLF) concept, incorporating both Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) technologies, in partnership with Christie.

Initially, Dolby’s new projection system will use two Christie 6P 4K laser projectors for increased brightness (at press time Dolby expected to reach 31 FootLamberts for 2D and 14 FootLamberts for 3D) along with some proprietary Dolby technology, as well as the Dolby 3D system for stereo movies. Next spring, the system, co-developed with Christie, will introduce updated laser projectors and playback technology that will enable the system to project “Dolby Vision,” the newest Dolby format, which combines HDR with some proprietary color secret sauce. (At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Dolby also introduced Dolby Vision for TV.)

Earlier this year, Dolby quietly previewed its system at the Vine Theatre in Hollywood for leading directors, cinematographers and studio executives. More recently, it has staged demos at the Harmony Gold theater in Los Angeles. The first Dolby Cinema is now set to open in early December at the new JT Cinemas complex in Eindhoven, Netherlands. San Francisco-based Dolby is offering a profit-sharing deal to theater owners, who are expected to raise ticket prices. JT Cinemas’ managing director Ron Sterk says that while the adult ticket price for his theater’s standard auditoriums is about $12.50, the price for Dolby Cinema will be about $18.  LINK

Cinema texter smartphone

Being tasered for using your smartphone in the cinema is perhaps a bit extreme. Then again, perhaps not.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says a Louisville man who was texting and talking on the phone inside a movie theater had to be tazed during a confrontation with a deputy.

According to an arrest report, 49-year-old Timothy Wagner was at the Rave Cinemas, near the interchange between Preston Highway and the Gene Snyder Freeway, on Friday evening. Authorities say people in the theater had been complaining that Wagner was texting and talking on his phone during the movie, and had already been confronted about it by the manager.

When a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived, the manager told Wagner that he had to leave, but he became argumentative with both the manager and the deputy, according to the arrest report, telling them he was not leaving and trying to shove his way past the deputy to get back into the theater.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 1 December 2014

Ymagic d

France – The merger of Ymagis and dcinex is going well, with streamlining already well underway. It seems like with the colocations and regroupings it will fairly rapidly be able to offer an integrated operation.

In Germany, where both YMAGIS and dcinex have both separately developed businesses of significant size in Exhibitor Services and Content Services, the Group has decided to rationalize and optimize its activities:

  • Regarding the Content Services, the digital laboratory production (post production, duplication/delivery of digital copies), based up to now both in Berlin and Tübingen, will be from January 2015 onwards concentrated in a single location, in Berlin YMAGIS lab;
  • As for the Exhibitor Services, operated by YMAGIS from Rartingen and by dcinex from Düsseldorf, they have already been regrouped in Düsseldorf.

The Group has also decided, in order to be more efficient and cost effective, to use and develop only one logistic platform out the three developed separately by dcinex, YMAGIS and SmartJog for its digital copy duplication and delivery business. LINK

Fun cinemas

India – Further multiplex consolidation in India with the confirmation that Cinepolis has completed the acquisition of Fun Cinemas.

Mexican multiplex chain Cinepolis, which entered India in 2009, has completed the acquisition of Fun Cinemas, the multiplex chain owned by Shubhash Chandra’s Essel Group through E-City Ventures. According to sources in the know, the deal is valued at Rs 480 crore for Fun Cinemas’ 83 screens in the country.

The acquisition now ramps up Cinepolis’ presence in the country from a 110 screens to 193 screens. Of the total 24 properties (multiplexes) that Fun Cinemas’ operates, 16 are owned by the company while eight are operated on franchise basis. Earlier last week, Cinepolis India MD Javier Sotomayor communicated the news of the acquisition to the employees of Fun Cinemas.  LINK

While PVR is said to be negotiating to buy Sathyam Cinemas.

PVR Ltd, India’s largest multiplex operator by number of screens, is in talks to buy Chennai-based SPI Cinemas (formerly known as Sathyam Cinemas), said three people aware of the negotiations.

The development underlines the continuing consolidation in the cinema exhibition sector.

“Chennai is a strong market where occupancy is more than 70% at all times. The company has initiated talks,” said one of the persons mentioned above, adding valuations for the deal may be around 10 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda), in line with similar transactions in the cinema space.  LINK

PVR has also confirmed to us that they are NOT installing CCTV cameras to catch couples making out in the back row. “Night Vision cameras are being installed as an anti piracy measure,” they tell us. Good to hear.

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Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 28 November 2014

CEA Cinema of the future

Yesterday was the one-day Cinema of the Future conference organised by the CEA in London. One of the key talks was a panel with amongst others UK advertising major DCM’s CEO Simon Rees, who argued for need for a new relationship between exhibitors and their audiences.

Speaking at the inaugural Cinema of the Future conference in London, Rees cautioned delegates that while the big screen experience remains robust, exhibitors need to address the way they interact with audiences in order to ensure continued growth in the sector, which is experiencing significant challenges in 2014.

“Cinema is going through a phase of resetting itself,” said the executive during a panel on the digital landscape. “It’s learning pretty quickly that it needs to reset itself in the eyes of its customers.

“The quality of the content is strong – the big screen experience is strong – but the key challenge is in cinemas’ relationships with their audiences.  LINK


Tyneside cinema Newcastle

Just how honest are cinema goers? The only independent cinema in Newcastle is hoping they are after they discovered that their online system had not charged customers buying tickets on their website for two months.

A cinema in Newcastle has appealed for people who recently bought tickets online to pay for them.

Technical problems with the e-ticketing system used by Tyneside Cinema meant some tickets were issued without payment being taken.

It came to light when customers got in touch saying their card statements had shown no record of a charge.

For security reasons, the box office did not keep card details, so it is now relying on people’s goodwill.  LINK

Here is the message from the cinema’s own website.

Due to a technical problem some of the tickets that were purchased via our website have been issued to customers, but payment for them hasn’t been taken from customers’ bank accounts.

This online booking problem is now fixed.

However, if you have bought Tyneside Cinema tickets via our website during September and October, we would ask that you please check your credit or debit card statements as they arrive to confirm whether your payment was made.

If you find that your tickets haven’t been paid for, please contact us to pay for your tickets.

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China Cinema Digest – Thursday 27 November 2014

Despicable Me 2 poster China

Universal has set up an office in Beijing, joining the other Hollywood majors to want a permanent foothold in the Chinese market, not least as it has also just opened the Universal Studios project just outside of Beijing.

Universal Pictures set up China office in Beijing this week. So far, there is Hollywood “six,” said the film company Disney, Warner, Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount, Sony and Universal have set up offices in mainland China. Together with the recent strength of the limelight large IMAX Corporation and DreamWorks, Legendary Pictures, etc., with the Chinese film market emerged as the world’s second largest film market, Hollywood hand of cooperation with China is more and more tightly grip.

A special trip to Beijing, President of Universal Pictures International release Duncan Clarke interview with reporters, said the establishment of the China office of Universal Pictures is an important page in the history of 102 years. And he was so feeling, partly because the Chinese film market has great potential, on the other hand is the North American market is nearing saturation, forcing Hollywood film overseas strategy implementation. Universal produced before the “Fast and Furious 6″ and “Despicable Me 2″ in China were made at the box office success of 413 million yuan and 324 million yuan, “Despicable Me 2″ is so popular in China small yellow people [sic! Presumably meaning Minions].  LINK

China ticket software

Sina Entertainment has a long and good article about automation replacing manual labour in Chinese cinemas. Ticketing is the first instance, but taking the Beijing Financial Street theater as its showcase, looks at how other areas such as concessions sales are also being automated. Interestingly it is not primarily labour costs that are the main motivator for this push. Worth reading in full.

It is reported that large quantities of multiplex cinemas are equipped with TMS and the effect is obvious. Information, such as TMS Beijing Chen Xing Technology in theaters such as the earth has been applied, Guangdong Branch Technology and Digital Film Development Corporation has been jointly developed by TMS’s Zhejiang Time Cinema theater uses, Film holy Bo’s TM S is also some domestic theater equipment.

Concerned that, TM S and ticketing, food gifts, broadcasting and other aspects of theater control system combined audience viewing experience can be improved, together constitute the automated, unmanned theater system package. TMS and ticketing system docking, co-managed theater operators can make theater “unattended” concept can be further realized.

Currently, TM S with automatic ticket sale items, recount, radio ads and other management systems to cooperate fully with the theater concept, although not perfect, but it aimed at “one-stop” theater automation management, no doubt so that everyone hopes for the future of cinema.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 26 November 2014

Underground Film club

While Secret Cinema has been getting lots of publicity, it is only now that there is recognition for Experience Cinema, which hosted 280 sold-out Rooftop Film Club events in London this summer, as well as 70 drive-in screenings and now also the Underground Film Club under the railway arches of Waterloo Station in London.

Their company, Experience Cinema, has catered to more than 60,000 film-lovers in the capital this year, and now they are looking wider, to the rest of the UK and America.

“Cinema experiences have become a popular night out,” says Cottle, who used to be a circus juggler and clown, before moving into public relations a decade ago and launching his own business.

“We’ve brought community back to cinema. We have themed nights, cocktails and the right atmosphere for the film we’re showing. People come in big groups. It’s like going to a West End show, but a fifth of the price.”  LINK

And here is how the venture inspired one person, who took the concept back to Calgary in Canada.

Vista Murray Holdway

Fresh off its IPO, ticketing software major Vista is rightly proud of having completed its roll-out with Regal Cinemas in the USA.

The company said Regal Entertainment’s 574 theatres across 42 US states represent 20 percent of the North American market.

Vista and Regal reached agreement on installing Vista’s software in February 2012.

Vista chief executive Murray Holdaway said the contract with Regal was worth multiple millions of dollars in revenue each year and there was potential to expand beyond Vista’s core software.  LINK

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