Tag Archives: Cineworld

Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 21 July 2014

dcinex logo

EVS is getting out of the digital cinema business (almost). Having launched a digital cinema server business and set up integrator XDC (later renamed dcinex) almost 15 years ago, the manufacturer is returning its focus to its core broadcast equipment business.

No need for lengthy analysis, other than to note that EVS probably held off longer than it wanted too, isn’t seeing very much return on its overall investment and will not quite be rid of the digital cinema connection until it disposes its newly gained Ymagis shares and bonds. The press release tells us that:

Under the agreement, EVS will receive at the closing:

  • EUR 2.1 million in cash
  • 288,851 new Ymagis shares
  • EUR 6.4 million in Ymagis bonds, which have a maximum maturity of 5 years. These bonds are associated with warrants.
  • In total, the approximate aggregate value of the different components (at last closing Ymagis share price of EUR 7.90) represents around EUR 10.8 million for EVS. On March 31, 2014 dcinex was valued at EUR 7.9 million on the EVS balance sheet.

In addition, dcinex will reimburse the currently existing shareholders’ loans. Today, the loan granted by EVS (including interests) amounts to EUR 1.5 million.  LINK

With digital cinema deployment coming to and end in western Europe (still some mopping up in southerns and eastern Europe), Ymagis can now focus on being a pure service company. Given that digital cinema is a small market with tight margins we should expect yet more consolidation.

Cineworld Ashford Kent

Cineworld has introduced allocated seating in UK, which has lead to confusion and criticism from some customers. A poll of 2,000 readers of a local paper in Kent saw 67% vote ‘NO’ to the allocated seating policy and some customers are threatening to cancel their Cineworld Unlimited. The multiplex chain is alone amongst the major operators in the UK in offering a monthly card allowing unlimited* movie viewing.

Critics said problems with the new system include confusion over row and seat numbers, people ignoring rules, arguments and problems with booking tickets online and the website crashing. Yesterday, KentOnline revealed an argument had broken out during a screening of Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie in Ashford when a group of five sat in the seats booked by other customers. Little Burton resident Kirsty Poynton said the beginning of the film was interrupted due to the disagreement. She said: “There was an argument between a large group of people at the screening.  LINK

But Cineworld is standing its ground with the new policy and a spokesperson quoted as saying, “The decision to introduce allocated seating was made following extensive consultation with cinema users. Whilst we recognise this has not been a popular decision with some customers, the overall and majority of feedback from customers visiting our cinemas has been positive.” (*Terms and Conditions apply – of course). Read More »

Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 7 July 2014

Lotte Super Plex G Is The World's Largest Cinema Screen

What is the largest cinema screen in the world? According to Guinness World Records it is now in the tallest building in South Korea. So that’s officially official.

The screen of the multiplex cinema which will open at the Lotte Cinema World Tower, boasts its unparalleled size in the industry: With 622 seats — the largest available number of seats for a screen, the Super Plex G is an ultra large theater which looks like a two-storey opera theater in appearance. In its 34 meters wide and 13.8 meter long screen, 34 adults can lie on it together.

On July 3, a special ceremony was held to commemorate the recognition of the largest screen “Super Plex G” at Lotte Cinema World Tower by the Guinness World Records that confirmed the huge screen has been qualified as the world’s officially biggest screen. LINK

USA: THR asks what is behind the underperforming summer box office in North America, which is down nearly 20% up to the 4th of July holiday. Underperforming titles seem the culprit and no blame apportioned to World Cup (unlike Europe and Latin America).

What’s behind the summer drought? Hollywood studio executives and box office observers blame a lack of mega-grossing tentpoles, a dearth of doubles and triples and no huge animated family film. In other words, a number of films have underwhelmed (or bombed), including Fourth of July R-rated comedy Tammy, which posted a five-day debut of $32.9 million, Melissa McCarthy’s lowest recent opening (as a way of comparison, fellow R-rated comedy Neighbors launched to nearly $50 million in May).

Revenue for Fourth of July weekend hit only $130 million, down 44 percent from last year’s $229.8 million haul. Granted, the holiday fell on a Friday this year, a disadvantage, but revenue managed to reach $160.2 million in 2008, the last time the Fourth was a Friday. One reason for the dramatic downturn is that no big tentpole rolled out, probably because no one wanted to open in the wake of Transformers: Age of Extinction, which debuted June 27. LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Thursday 3 July 2014

Wanda Cinema Line

There can only be one story to top the Daily: Wanda Cinema Line being denied an IPO at the Shenzhen stock exchange by Chinese regulators. The reason given was insufficient documentation. It is far from alone to have suffered this ignominy as China Securities Regulatory Commission have rejected 597 out of 637 applications as of the half-year mark, with only 40 approved. THR’s Cliff coonan has done a terrific job of summarising the details, so I won’t rehash them. Read his article instead first.

Two points to be considered instead. The first is where does Wanda Cinema Line go now? The listing will go ahead, they have been quite clear about it. Wang Jianlin previously told Xinhua news agency:

“As long as we make profits, we can go public anywhere and on any platform. If mainland China doesn’t allow us to go public, then we can pack up our capital and go public in HK. We have all sorts of platforms,”

But Hong Kong is not as attractive a proxy stock exchange for China as it once was. Expect there to be furious courting by Singapore’s stock exchange going on right now. And if not Asia? New York is most likely out because AMC is already listed there and it would look strange and create problems to have two related yet separate cinema companies on the same exchange. My bet is London if Wanda decided to look outside of its own territory.

It is important to remember that Wanda has to be understood as a real estate company above all. Through a combination of luck (good timing) and clever strategy, the company did unexpectedly well with its AMC listing, doubling in value in just over a year. There is thus immense pressure for Wanda Cinema Line to follow the same path.

But the second point is that the Chinese cinema market continues to grow, but the fundamentals remain murky and the outlook troubling. Wanda’s cinema business will pull through any crash or slowdown in the Chinese exhibition market (for reasons we have written about earlier), but the fact that it was not able to get approval for an IPO in its home market is still troubling.

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Daily Cinema Digest – Tuesday 1 July 2014

Google Glass

In what should be a non-story (or at least a Finally) we are forced to lead with the ‘news’ that UK cinemas have followed the lead of Alamo Drafthouse and requested its patrons not to wear Google Glass to film screenings. The Independent made a big deal out of it, with other media outlets and trades following:

Phil Clapp, chief executive of the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association, said:

“Customers will be requested not to wear these into cinema auditoriums, whether the film is playing or not.”

The Vue cinema chain said it would ask guests to remove the eyewear “as soon as the lights dim”.

Although Google Glass lights up when it is capturing images, one early adopter has already been asked to remove his headset at a Leicester Square cinema as staff could not monitor whether it was recording. LINK

The move is perfectly sensible and it ought not be such a big deal. Just wait until Facebook starts measuring your mood while you wear Oculus Rift! It is important to remember that neither the CEA, Vue nor Alamo Drafthouse are technology luddites, but that this is an issue of film protection AND courtesy to fellow patrons. This last point gets overlooked too often and CEA are right to highlight this in their press statement.

As a courtesy to your fellow audience members, and to prevent film theft, we ask that customers do not enter any cinema auditorium using any ‘wearable technology’ capable of recording images. Any customer found wearing such technology will be asked to remove it and may be asked to leave the cinema.

It is worth noting that while wearable technology is a comparatively new phenomenon in the UK, in the US – where its use is already more widespread – not only cinemas but also casinos and many bars and restaurants have looked to limit or ban its use.

Business

USA: “Transformers: Age of Extinction” may have been making waves with its big opening weekend in both North America and China, but it is not enough to pull up the summer 2014 box office as it stands at the halfway mark. More worryingly, there are no more outsize hits expected that could reverse the trend significantly. Time for more Chinese co-productions!

But the summer box office is now at roughly $2 billion, nearly 13 percent behind the $2.3 billion of last year at this point. It’s a safe bet that it isn’t going to match last year, and that’s going to make it difficult for 2014 to match last year’s record-breaking $10.9 billion domestic haul. The overall box office, which was up 9 percent at the end of April, has now fallen just behind 2013.

It’s not that there haven’t been hits this summer. “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and “Maleficent” have all topped $200 million, and “Godzilla” will get there. But there’s been nothing to compare with “Iron Man 3,” which had taken in more than double that by this time last year. It hurt when Universal pushed “Fast & Furious 7” to next year in the wake of Paul Walker’s death, and there hasn’t been a breakout animated movie this year, either. LINK

And now some rival studios are even briefing against “Transformers: Age of Extinction”, saying that Paramount is being less than completely truthful about the USD $100 million opening weekend. LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Tuesday 10 June 2014

MI-Horizon3D

MasterImage3D – The licence-free 3D company will be showcasing its new MI-HORIZON3D cinema system, which promises a 33% light efficiency and 0.8 throw ratio, at CineEurope 2014.

Show your 3D movies in the best possible light. Our new MI-HORIZON3D cinema system takes 3D to new levels of brightness and picture quality — with better light efficiency, more vivid colors, and sharper images than any other 3D system.

See the brightness for yourself. Get a demo of the MI-HORIZON3D at CineEurope, June 16-19.

DepthQ - CineEurope 2014

And just so you know that we don’t do favouritism here at CJ, DepthQ tells us that they will be exhibiting too. Send us your press releases and you are pretty likely to get coverage. Volfoni didn’t send us theirs, but we will give them a mention nonetheless, though without graphics.

At this year’s CineEurope in Barcelona June 17th – 19th, Volfoni will showcase their game-changing 3D cinema system: SmartCrystal™ Diamond. First announced at CineAsia in December 2013, this system follows the success of their previous 3D systems (SmartCrystal™ Cinema Vertical and Horizontal), which are already installed in over 1000 locations worldwide.

Designed in Europe, and powered by Volfoni’s unique “Triple Beam” technology, the brightness achieved by the Diamond surpasses all other passive 3D systems in the market, with an amazing light efficiency (LEF) of 30%.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 6 June 2014

children in cinema

“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it,” Mark Twain once said. Is the same true for declining cinema youth attendance? Not in France, which is making sure that the next generation values and keeps the ’7th Art’ alive in cinemas.

To overcome this drop and respond quickly to the first problem, exhibitors have at the beginning of the year set a single price of 4 euros for children under the age of 14. The operation caused some gnashing of teeth from the distributors, who have seen their revenues decline. It nevertheless proved a success, and contributes greatly to the revival of attendance in the last six months.

More fundamentally, the education aspect of cinema is subject to multiple touches. A report commissioned by the CNC has been finalized. Directed by Xavier Lardoux, Deputy Director General of Unifrance (Support Association of French cinema export), he advocates through 10 measures, the establishment of a genuine European policy for film education.

The author of the report considers educating young audiences about the 7 th art to be both a political and an economic necessity. “When we see a French child spends more time in front of a screen, whatever it is, at school, and that children are facing more and more young people in these screens, learning how to watch should be taught earlier. As for the economic aspect, it is about creating the spectators of tomorrow for European cinema, which is a major industry,” Xavier Lardoux said.  LINK

Cocteau cinema Game of Thrones

Calling the theatrical platform ‘the largest pay-per-view platform in the world’, Cinemark’s CEO Tim Warner calls for big shows like HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and episodes of “The Voice” to be shown in cinemas. Give the success of TV events like “Dr Who: The Day of the Doctors” even in the US, it would be more surprising if he didn’t call for cinemas to have access to such premium content.

“‘Game of Thrones’ on the big screen would be so exciting,” Warner said. “It’s not that you can’t go to the bar and watch this stuff, but you can’t have that premium experience.”

However, studios may need to become more collaborative. Structurally, media conglomerates tend to run their television and film arms separately without allowing for much overlap.

“They’re going to have break down that barrier within the studios, so that all the content providers take a look at whatever content they’re doing and say, ‘Should this be going into this platform?’” Warner said.  LINK

If nothing else, it gives credence to Quentin Tarantino’s recent rant that “Digital projection, that’s just television in public.” And “Game of Thrones” did screen in one particular cinema.

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Daily Cinema Digest – Thursday 22 May 2014

4D cinema in North Korea

In yesterday’s Daily we highlighted the rivalry between fellow South Korean motion-seat vendors CJ 4DPLEX (4DX) and ACOUVUE Inc. (Cine-Sation). Today we bring you a potentially greater rivalry, with NORTH Korea getting in on the motion-seat market as well. Yes, this is not an April Fool’s joke; the film loving Kim Jong-un is a film fan and a strong proponent of the next evolutionary step in the development of cinema.

North Korean state media have released an in-depth promotional video highlighting visitor experiences at the recently opened Runga 4D Simulation Cinema.

The video – which shows visitors being vigorously thrown around as they watch computer generated shark attacks, military battles and dinosaur scenes – was published last Thursday by Voice of Korea, a foreign-facing international short-wave broadcasting service.

Here is the video.

YouTube Preview Image

The Voice of Korea video said that the 4D cinema became popular with locals after Kim’s visit, when he watched “Winner”, a race car-themed film, and “Don’t Wait For Us”, a 1985 war film portraying North Korean Air Force pilots’ lives.

State media outlet The Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) said that Kim asked about the quality, sound effects and 4D element of the films. KCNA added that the North Korean leader also suggested that additional 4D theatres be built in each of North Korea’s provincial capitals.

This is an area where we hope for a friendly rivalry between the two Koreas and perhaps even an exchange of 4D films to be played.  LINK

Business

Screenland Armour cinema

USA (KA) – It seems the Dealflicks is expanding slowly but surely. This one in Kansas City. [Insert optional cine-literate Wizard of Oz joke here.]

Dealflicks.com, which partners with movie theaters to help them fill empty seats, said it has begun offering deals for Screenland Crown Center and Screenland Armour, plus B&B Theaters in Grain Valley, Liberty and Blue Springs.

The company, which was launched in 2012, said it has agreements with 280 theaters nationwide and would like to add more in the Kansas City area. Dealflicks says it offers savings of up to 65 percent off original prices and adds no fees to the listed price.

Current deals for Kansas City area theaters show savings up to 50 percent, although many of them were for bundles that include a ticket, popcorn and a soft drink. In addition, the deals can be limited to available seats.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Tuesday 20 May 2014

Red London cinema

UK – Is cinema becoming a luxury? By that we mean unaffordable to the average income family? This study makes for worrying reading.

A night out at the cinema is becoming increasingly unaffordable because of rising ticket prices, experts are warning.

The consumer media survey by consulting firm Deloitte found that 70 per cent of people on an annual salary of more than £55,000 go to the cinema at least twice a year — but only 39 per cent of those earning under £20,000 do so.

Since 2007/08, the cost of a ticket has risen 4.4 per cent a year — ahead of inflation, at 3.1 per cent. The average ticket in the UK now costs £6.53, according to the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association. Prices in central London can be around £12.  LINK

In London 27 out of 73 constituencies do not even have a local cinema.

PVR Cinema

India – The newly elected BJP government will have a full IN-tray upon taking office in New Delhi. Here is some sensible advice for them from the head of PVR: scrap the punitive entertainment tax.

While India is the fifth-largest market in the world with box office collections of $1.6 billion, the overall year-on-year growth has been around 9 percent over the last five years, and has been largely driven by multiplexes. In comparison, China’s box office has leapfrogged to $3.6 billion in 2013, representing a year-on-year growth of 27.5 percent. China added approximately 5,000 new screens in 2013 as compared to negative screen addition in India. (It is estimated that 250 new multiplex screens were added but 400 single-screen cinemas shut down in 2013.)

The entertainment tax rates in India are the highest in the world. This acts as a major impediment to the growth of the exhibition industry. Rates are as high as 67 percent in Uttar Pradesh and 45 percent in Mumbai, the movie capital of the country. Consequently, a large portion of theatre ticket receipts go towards taxes instead of being channelled into development of quality exhibition facilities. As a result, most single-screen cinemas are in a dilapidated state because of poor and negative profits. It is imperative that the entertainment tax structure across the country is rationalised by bringing down the rates.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 16 May 2014

NCM logo

USA (NY) - National CineMedia has announced the details of its partnership with Shazam, to create audio-embedded links in its adverts for enhanced content. There are further partnerships with Disney’s Maker Studios and Idea United.

National CineMedia revealed intriguing partnerships with Shazam and Maker Studios today at its upfront event near Lincoln Square in New York. The moves underscore how the cinema ads network increasingly sees itself as a digital company.

As part of NCM’s update to its longstanding FirstLook platform, the Shazam integration is designed to extend advertisers’ reach among smartphone-toting moviegoers. When they observe a sponsor’s FirstLook promo via the mobile app, they can consume and share that content while also making a purchase when it comes to e-commerce pitches.  LINK

Cineplex

Canada - Ticket prices fell in the first quarter of 2014, which is perhaps why Canada’s Cineplex is experimenting with higher charges for some seats and shows.

Later this year, at the Varsity location in Toronto’s Manulife Centre, the company will launch a pilot project in which patrons pay an extra $2-$3 for the prime seats in the middle rows of the theatre.
“We’ve had great success with our UltraAVX cinemas ($3-$5 surcharge) as well as our VIP cinemas ($7-$12 surcharge) which both offer reserved seating; and so people really like that opportunity,” said spokeswoman Pat Marshall.

“It’s really about providing our guests with choices when they go to the movies . . . I sort of position it akin to an aircraft where you have your regular coach seating, then you might want a bit more amenities, so you go into business class, and then you have a first-class.”  LINK

USA - Fandango has added three more exhibitors to its network.

Harkins Theatres, Digiplex Destinations and Premiere Cinemas have joined Fandango’s network of cinema chains, the movie ticketer said Thursday.

The company said that the new agreements will add 1,000 screens to its rolls in a dozen states including California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, New Mexico and Texas. The deals will go into effect this summer.

The online and mobile ticketer now represents more than 24,000 screens domestically.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Thursday 8 May 2014

Wanda Cinema CBD

RealD and Wanda Cinemas have launched a 3D Brightness certification scheme that will ensure that participating screens will be displaying at least 6footLamberts (6FL) of brightness. There is a fear that dim 3D images could soon lead to a similar 3D backlash that has already been experienced in the US. It is calculated that running a 6kW compared to a 3kW bulb will cost 30,000 yuan (USD $4,800) more per year, which is why tickets to these auditoriums will be at a higher premium. Perhaps an idea to export to the West.

This theater standard will come at a higher cost. However, improved viewing experience has become a major pursuit of cinemas. Thus, Wanda Cinema Beijing CBD  became the first cinema hall in Asian with 6FL certification auditoriums. It is reported that this certification means that the auditorium will always show image brightness of 6FL for all 3D movies, with 3D brightness regularly monitored. For tickets the price will be slightly higher than non-certified cinema screen, and will be particularly marketed as such by Wanda Cinema on the ticket.  LINK

Cineworld Logo

UK: Cineworld had a good Q1 but expect cinema attendance to slump during the World Cup – until England gets eliminated in the second round, that is.

Hits including The Lego Movie, The Wolf of Wall Street and 12 Years a Slave helped Cineworld increase its share of UK box office takings from 26.9% to 27.6% in the first four months of the year, as the group pushed up ticket prices almost 5%, against a 1.9% rise in admissions. Cinema goers have been more willing to spend on popcorn and fizzy drinks, and now Starbucks coffee, as retail revenue rose 6.1% on last year.

Revenue growth of 7% at home was beaten in Eastern Europe and Israel after the £500 million acquisition of Cinema City International this year. LINK

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