Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 20 February 2015

Cineworld didsbury

Cineworld has been fined a total of £9,500 and ordered to pay £2,573 costs after two of its staff were given potentially fatal electric shocks by a faulty popcorn machine. Defending Cineworld Kathryn Turner said the exhibitor “has an exemplary record with no previous convictions.” Technically true, but the same Cineworld site had a cockroach infestation in 2014 and staff were allegedly told to hush up the issue.

Staff at Cineworld in East Didsbury failed to prevent a second worker suffering a potentially lethal shock by switching off the wrong machine, a court heard.

The cinema chain has now been convicted of a breach of health and safety laws for the first time in its history after the incident on December 4, 2013.

The machine, which keeps popcorn warm, was being switched on by a member of staff working at the theatre at Parrs Wood shortly after 11am when he suffered a shock.  LINK

PVR Sathyam deal called off

India – So far only a rumour but money control.com claims that the PVR-Sathyam deal may be off.

One of the largest M&A deals in the multiplex space has been called off. Sources say PVR ‘s ambitious plans to buy Chennai-based Sathyam Cinemas has been shelved.

PVR was supposed to buy Sathyam for Rs 1200 crore. According to sources, the deal got called off due to concerns over valuation.

Sources also add that Cinepolis Group is now likely to buyout Sathyam Cinemas. Cinepolis Group recent bought Fun Cinemas.  LINK

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Metropolitan Opera Announces “Live in HD” Series For 2015-16 Season

The Met: Live In HD 2015-16 Season

The annual announcement of The Metropolitan Opera’s upcoming season is always certain to spur a bit of highbrow cultural reportage among media outlets that go for that sort of thing. Such was the case today when The Met revealed the list of productions being planned for their 2015-16 season. While opera aficionados like myself yearn to visit Lincoln Center in person to catch one of the 25 productions The Met will be staging next season, having ten of these operas brought to us via our local cinemas is just as good, if not at times better, and certainly less expensive.

Once again, The Met will produce the award winning series “The Met: Live in HD“, beaming it out to 2,000 movie theatres in 70 countries around the world. As in previous years, The Met will include all six of its new productions among the ten that will be broadcast via satellite to cinemas. This includes new stagings of Verdi’s “Otello” with tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko on , Berg’s “Lulu” starring soprano Marlis Petersen in one of her signature roles, Bizet’s “Les Pêcheurs de Perles”, Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” and Strauss’s “Elektra”.

One new production sure be a big draw is Donizetti’s “Roberto Devereux” on April 16, 2016. Not only is the opera being performed for the first time ever by The Met, but it will star renown bel canto soprano Sondra Radvanovsky singing the role of Elizabeth I. This will mark the first time a soprano has attempted to sing all three of Donizetti’s Tudor Queens (including “Anna Bolena” and “Maria Stuarda”) in New York during a single season. Performing Donezetti’s Tudor trilogy so close together is an operatic Triple Crown not achieved on a New York stage since Beverly Sills pulled off the extraordinary feat in the early 1970s.

Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” will kick off the 2015-16 season on October 3rd with the role of Leonora being sung for the first time at The Met by soprano superstar Anna Netrebko. Netrebko is a favorite of The Met’s (and frankly at any opera company in which she performs). She won raves in Verdi’s “Macbeth” last year and has appeared in at least 11 of The Met’s over 90 “Live in HD” productions. Netrebko will return to The Met on February 28, 2016 to make her New York recital debut in a solo show.

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Regal To Convert Quarter of All Screens To Luxury Seating

Regal premium seat

Regal premium seats in Avalon, Alpharetta (photo credit: Jonathan Phillips)

The world’s largest exhibitor Regal has announced plans to convert 25% of all its screens to luxury seating. The move mirrors similar efforts by other large chains such as AMC and Marcus Theatres, and is an attempt to extract more revenue from patrons as cinema attendance declines in the United States.

The announcement came during Regal’s Q4 2014 earnings conference call when CEO Amy E. Miles gave an overview of plans for capital investments “to enhance the customer experience in 2015,” covering several areas including seating, concessions/F&B and more.

Regal installation of luxury recliner seats has been going on for some time, but was said to have gained ‘significant momentum’ in the last quarter of 2014. Significantly, a large enough installed base of luxury seating now exist to make meaningful year-on-year comparison in terms of revenue generated from premium seating.

Converted screens were said to be producing box office revenue growth in excess of over 40% for the first six weeks of 2015. While some of that can perhaps be attributed to the surprise success of “American Sniper”, one film alone cannot shift all converted screens. Overall box office was said to ‘only’ be up by around 10% in the same time period.

The success of the first wave of premium seating has led Regal to accelerate its conversion program, with 40 multiplex sites representing 500 screens scheduled to have their seats swapped out in the coming year. Ultimately Regal expects to outfit at least 25% of their screens with luxury seating.

Miles also discussed the “ low-cost, low-risk investment” to upgrade food and beverage offerings to offer greater food menu options and alcoholic beverages. Though not mentioned in the conference call, the latter may be “low risk” but still requires approval or local regulations to be amended and relaxed, which requires political action at the county or district level. This means that cinemas can only ‘convert’ to alcohol serving once they have local permission to do so, while the pace of rolling out luxury seating is Regal’s decision in conjuncture with the landlord. The “enhanced menu” will be rolled out to a further 65 locations in 2015, while Regal will offer some type of alcoholic beverage in around 80 properties.

Regal’s CFO David Ownby expanded on what the capex would entail in 2015 (transcript of the con. call by Seeking Alpha). “In light of the customer-focused initiatives Amy outlined earlier in the call, we expect our 2015 capital expenditures, net of asset sales and landlord allowances, to be between $135 million and $145 million.”

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Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 17 February 2015

AMC Wanda logo

AMC has published its 2014 Q4 and year-end figures and though admissions and ticket sales were down, F&B revenue was up as the exhibitor continues to focus on the “guest experience.”

Highlights for the fourth quarter 2014 include the following:

  • Total revenues were $712.2 million compared to total revenues of $713.0 million for the three months ended December 31, 2013.
  • Admissions revenues were $460.3 million compared to $482.1 million for the same period a year ago. Average ticket price was $9.54 compared to $9.57 for the same period a year ago.
  • Food and beverage revenues were $215.3 million, compared to $197.9 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2013. Food and beverage revenues per patron increased 13.5% to $4.46, representing the highest in the history of the Company.
  • Earnings from continuing operations and diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were $29.8 million and $0.30, respectively, compared to $282.6 million and $3.62, respectively, for the three months ended December 31, 2013.  LINK

Light Cinema under water

UK – Up-amd-coming coming UK exhibitor The Light Cinemas has secured GBP £5.2 million in new funding from Connection Capital to further expand.

The investment from Connection Capital was supported by £4.5m of funding from Santander.

The investment will be used to acquire a nine-screen multiplex cinema in the centre of Cambridge from Cineworld.

It will also fund the roll-out of further sites across the UK – Bolton, Sheffield, Thetford (Norfolk), Dundee, Stockport and Walsall – all of which are secured under a signed agreement for lease.  LINK

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Women Behaving Badly at “Fifty Shades” Screenings

FSOG Girl's night out

Yesterday we reported how cinema patrons’ bags were searched and a man was attacked with a broken bottle (by women!) in relations to screenings of “Fifty Shades of Grey” in Glasgow. It seems that this was only the start of various antics tied to the S&M romance film across Britain – plus cold showers in Canada and one very red faced woman in Mexico.

It appears that some people (mainly women) attending screenings of “Fifty Shades of Grey” are enjoying it in the style of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” midnight screenings, according to cinema staff.

Moviegoers turned up wearing full-body latex suits, and one even asked if SEX TOYS were supplied.

Staff have found all sorts of x-rated objects on cinema floors since the movie’s release last week – including used condoms, masks and handcuff packaging.

A group of women were caught in the dark after other audience members made complaints during the movie, which is filled with explicit sex scenes.  LINK

In Northern Ireland alcohol was apparently frequently consumed prior to patrons going to see the film, according to the owner of Movie House Cinemas, Michael McAdam:

“Particularly in the city centre, where people were certainly high-spirited, I think there were people who came along with groups of girls, maybe one or two didn’t really want to be there – there’s nothing more annoying that when you go to the cinema, people are just sitting talking.

“While other people were saying ‘look, hang on a minute, I want to see this I bought my tickets two months ago’, these people just didn’t care and were incredibly rude. Incredibly rude to each other, rude to staff and it just isn’t acceptable.”

The managing director said he was shocked that some cinemagoers refused to leave when asked.

“We were taken a little bit by surprise at the [im]maturity, I mean we’re talking about women in their 40s and 50s who were totally out of order,” he commented.  LINK

Living up to the stereotype as the hard drinkers of Britain, an Odeon cinema in Scotland’s Dundee had to evict an allegedly drunk woman from the premises.

An incident during the first batch of screenings of the blockbuster hit in the City of Discovery saw two would-be movie goers become embroiled in a foyer stand-off at the Odeon.

Odeon confirmed the “disagreement” between the two guests at their multiplex in Douglasfield as temperatures rose ahead of the raunchy film.

It is understood cinema workers had to intervene to calm the feuding pair before the movie started.LINK

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Cinemaxx and CineStar Launch German Cinema Marketing JV

Red Carpet Communication

Stephan Lehmann (Cinestar, left) and Christoph Ahmadi (Cinemaxx, right) announce Red Carpet Cinema Communication.

Details have been announced about Germany’s new cinema marketing venture, formed as a JV by Cinemaxx and CineStar, aimed at corporate and advertising clients. Red Carpet Cinema Communication GmbH & Co. KG. will target German B2B clients in an effort to enhance the position of cinema for corporate 360° marketing and use.

The JV between Germany’s two largest cinema chains was first announced in mid-November last year and was later approved by the German competition authorities in early December.

The aim of the JV is to enable corporate clients to have “an even easier entry into the world of cinema.” The largest venture of its kind in Germany and Europe means that clients in every German city with more than 100,000 inhabitants will have access to 685 screens across 86 cinema properties. The business is open to the inclusion of further cinema chains in the future.

The headquarter of the JV will be in Hamburg – where Cinemaxx is based and most of Germany’s advertising business is concentrated – with regional offices planned for Berlin, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt-am-Main. The venture will comprise two divisions: Red Carpet Media and Red Carpet Events.

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Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 16 February 2015

Cineworld 50 Shades

Women attending the opening night screening of “Fifty Shades of Grey” at Cineworld in Glasgow’s Renfrew Street had their bags opened and searched as they were waiting to enter. It is not known what the staff were looking for.

Cineworld have yet to comment on the searches, but their terms of entry on their website state that: “Cineworld reserves the right to search a customer’s possessions whilst on the premises for any item which a staff member believes may contravene these terms and conditions. Customers must consent to being searched for any item which a staff member believes may contravene these terms and conditions. Cineworld reserves the right to refuse entry or require a customer to leave without entitlement to a refund if consent is not given.”  LINK

50 shades Glasgow

Maybe they were looking for sharp glass that rowdy and drunk women could do serious damage with, as was the case in this cinema also in Glasgow. There were also drunk women throwing up in the isles of the cinema.

Three women were arrested after a man was attacked at a screening of Fifty Shades of Grey on Valentine’s Day.

It’s understood the victim was glassed when he asked a group of rowdy women to keep quiet.

Witnesses said cinema staff had to wipe blood off the seats before the next screening of the sexy film, starring Jamie Dornan.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 13 February 2014

regal-entertainment1

Regal has announced its 2014 Q4 figures, which are up, up, up in all departments, on the back of an improved film slate. Reason enough for it not to want to sell itself any longer. Dividend was also announced.

Total revenues for the fourth quarter ended January 1, 2015 were $799.1 million compared to total revenues of $739.9 million for the fourth quarter ended December 26, 2013. Net income attributable to controlling interest was $46.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to $24.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. Diluted earnings per share was $0.30 for the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to $0.15 during the fourth quarter of 2013. Adjusted diluted earnings per share (1) was $0.30 for the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to $0.17 during the fourth quarter of 2013. Adjusted EBITDA (3) was $163.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to $125.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2013. Results for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2014 and for fiscal 2014 were significantly and positively impacted by the timing of our fiscal calendar which consisted of a 14 week period in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to a 13 week period in the fourth quarter of 2013 and a 53 week period in 2014 compared to a 52 week period in 2013. The additional week was the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, a traditionally high attendance week for the company and the industry. Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures are provided in the financial schedules accompanying this press release. LINK

Lotte Popcorn

South Korea – Popcorn profeteering and misleading film start times (actually advertising block) has become a civic cause in South Korea.

South Korean civic groups and the Democratic Youth Federation and the promotion of the Law Society was held in front of the 9pm news conference, said Lotte Cinema, South Korea Studios CGV, Lotte Cinema and theater in general MEGABOX the existence of “popcorn profiteering” and “mandatory advertising,” and a series of injustice, against the interests of consumers. According to the Korea Association of consumer groups last year statistics, the results of the three big companies sell snacks original show that vat of popcorn sells for 5000 yuan (about 29 yuan), but the raw material price is only 613 yuan, the price of the raw material actually 8.2 times the price. One consumer said, can not help but read more than 20 minutes of advertising, movie tickets in actually also includes the cost of 3D glasses, himself unknowingly become “taken for a ride.”  LINK

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Breaking News: Quanta DGT Recovers Part of Their Stolen Digital Cinema Equipment

A truck seized in Belo Horizonte, Brazil was filled with digital cinema equipment stolen from Quanta DGT

A truck seized in Belo Horizonte, Brazil was filled with digital cinema equipment stolen from Quanta DGT

The thieves who made off with more than 120 screens worth of digital cinema equipment from Quanta DGT could run, but they couldn’t hide. Actually scratch that. Apparently they could run, but they couldn’t hide all of the digital cinema devices they stole from the Latin American integrator earlier this month.

When police in Belo Horizonte, Brazil stopped a semi-truck on Wednesday for further examination they discovered at least 40 digital cinema projectors and servers inside. Police pulled the truck over to inspect the lock on its 11 meter (40 foot) trailer, but when they stepped away to check the driver’s documentation, he managed to run away, leaving his cargo behind. Naturally the police wanted to investigate the contents of the trailer and upon opening it they discovered it was packed with Barco, Dolby and Doremi cinema equipment, all of it stolen from Quanta DGT.

The original theft took place from Quanta DGT’s warehouse in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where the digital cinema kits were prepped, packaged and loaded onto trucks for delivery to exhibitors beginning on February 2nd. On or about February 1st the equipment was offloaded by thieves who used their own transport to haul the stolen goods away. Since then the crime has been under investigation by Brazilian law enforcement, including the Delegacia de Roubos e Furtos de Carga (Department of Robbery and Theft of Cargo).

Authorities are now tracing ownership of the seized truck whose original owner in Rio de Janeiro sold it to someone in Belo Horizonte, the sixth largest city in Brazil some five hours away by car. Law enforcement will continue to investigate the heist in hopes of recovering the remaining stolen equipment. Quanta DGT is offering a generous reward for any reports, anonymous or otherwise, leading to the location of the stolen devices. (And by generous, we mean enough to actually outfit a cinema auditorium of your own).

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China Cinema Digest – Thursday 12 February 2015

China digital cinema satellite

China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television’s (SAPPRFT) Digital Program Management Centre has inaugurated a test NOC for the satellite distribution of DCP copies of films. It is not clear which cinema are participating in this, but it’s one to monitor.

The platform now has 90Mbs ~ 120Mbs sent per second speed, which can be transmitted nearly 10,000 theater 400 films annually. Start platform replaces the traditional hard mail, movie digital copy within eight hours after the service platform can be transferred to the theater, greatly improving the film transmission speed, ensure the film’s nationwide simultaneous release. Satellite transmission uses a multipoint broadcast mode, with the increase in the number receiving theater, film distribution costs will be further reduced and ultimately may be able to provide more opportunities for outstanding movie theater screen board, so the theater with the audience more viewing choices, promote development and prosperity of the movie industry.  LINK

China cinema Wanda

Lots of juicy cinema statistics from Win Business Network, ranking cinema operators and cities in China, with Wanda ahead but finding it difficult to keep up the momentum.

Core Tip: from the theater suggests that, in order to develop the industry benchmark Wanda 7 above the main multiplex cinema, theater and other core cinema hall in 4-6 dominant. Taking into account the number of people viewing a single screening decreased year by year, other core cinema hall may need to consider increasing the number of (screen number) in order to increase the theater box office.

2015, Tencent Finance jointly launched nine square big data “Chinese hot industry rankings” series, this series will become the benchmark single-ranking Chinese industry and investment field in 2015.  LINK

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