Tag Archives: Cineworld

Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 19 January 2015

Microsoft smartphone cinema

Has Microsoft discovered a way to make smartphones less annoying in cinemas? For those who can’t bear to switch them off for a couple of hours, this could be the solution.

A patent granted to Microsoft this week could automatically adjust the settings on your phone to make it less annoying in movie theaters.

Granted on January 13, the patent details an “inconspicuous mode” which would automatically adjust brightness, mute sounds and offer reduced information on the lock screen when the owner goes to the theater or is about to head to bed.

Inconspicuous mode would be triggered using sensors on the device when visiting a venue like a movie theater, or could be manually enabled by the user.  LINK

regal-entertainment1

USA – Regal is not for sale. The company has decided against putting itself up for sale. It always seemed unlikely, more like a distraction from two consecutive quarters of bad growth.

Regal Entertainment Group, which operates the nation’s largest theater chain, is no longer looking for a buyer, the company said Thursday.

The Knoxville, Tenn.-based chain announced that its board of directors has “determined that a sale of the company would not be in the best interest of shareholders at this time,” according to a statement. “The board, consistent with its fiduciary duties, remains committed to evaluating any alternatives that would enhance shareholder value.”

Regal said it arrived at its decision after examining strategic alternatives with the advice of Morgan Stanley & Co.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Thursday 15 January 2015

Cineworld lesbians

UK – Cineworld clearly has to work on more LGBT awareness (not to mention common sense) for its staff, after a lesbian couple were evicted for (wait for it) using the Ladies toilet. A £20 voucher and two free tickets hardly seem like an adequate apology for treating paying customers this way.

A lesbian couple were kicked out of the ladies’ toilets during a trip to the cinema because the security guard thought they were men.

Tracey Seaton and Keira Williams had just popped to the toilet after watching a film at Cineworld in east London.

But a guard followed them in and forced them to leave after insisting they were men.  LINK

Odeon wheelchair evict

UK – Meanwhile Odeon staff evicted a disabled man because a few people complained that his ventilator was making too much noise. Seriously, do UK cinemas feel that they have too many patrons to go throwing out ticket-paying customers like this? I mean it as a serious question. Tell me your views in the ‘Comments’ section below, please.

A cinema-goer with Duchenne muscular dystrophy was thrown out part way through a film after complaints his life-saving ventilator was a “noise nuisance”.

Richard Bridger, 31, was asked to leave an Odeon cinema in Epsom, Surrey, as he watched Taken 3, the Liam Neeson thriller, with his carer.

It happened just a week after volunteers from the Motor Neurone Disease Association were allowed to make bucket collections at the cinema, which is screening the film about the wheelchair-bound science genius Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 14 January 2015

AMC Wanda logo

USA (NV) – Is AMC going to ditch Imax for Dolby Cinema? Of course not, but this and other nuggets emerge from a Citi Global Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference transcript with AMC’s Craig Ramsey, EVP and CFO, where he talks about the company’s five different strategies.

But to my point about our proprietary brands, I want to do a plug on — and we love IMAX. I’m not being negative against IMAX, because it’s been a great partner. But if you think about it, really there’s only one party that needs to make the decision on the proprietary brand whether a film is in the big auditorium with the big-screen, the big seats, and the Dolby Atmos sound system that you’ve spent a ton of money on, and it’s us. Because you don’t have to reformat that film.

And so you can deliver, I think, an IMAX-like experience over a broader range of product. Some that hasn’t been. So I think the growth opportunity, at least for us, we’ve got 17 of our private label and I think we have a big growth opportunity in more rollout of our AMC Prime proprietary product. In some cases where we also have IMAX, because the two can be complementary. LINK

Worth reading in full – this is after all the exhibitor that has 67% of the screens of Regal but generates 90% of the revenue that Regal does. Read about the ‘recliner’ strategy. Nothing is more important in the US exhibition business right now than seating. Repeat: nothing. Not even Imax/Dolby Cinema.

I don’t know if you’ve been — we operate — I said 344 theaters. 55 of those theaters we have remodeled, which has included taking out two-thirds of the seats. Where we had three seats, we have one. And that one is a plush, automatic, motorized recliner, which gives the moviegoer seat east and west more room, and north and south more room. We’ve — it’s been an unbelievable positive response from the guest, more privacy, greater comfort.

What you may be thinking well, but you’ve taken all that capacity out of the auditorium. You probably are missing some attendance because of the sellouts.

On the whole, our industry operates on about 11% capacity utilization. There’s a lot of room in this business to take seats out and deliver a better guest experience through a better seat. Recliner reseats, take two-thirds of the seats out, and attendance on average in these theaters has increased 50%. In an industry that is experiencing declining attendance, our recliner reseat theaters are growing attendance by 50% year over year. Pretty dramatic.

cineworld-logo.jpg

UK/Europe – Cineworld’s diversification strategy of spreading out across Central and Eastern Europe (and Israel) seems to be paying off in offsetting declines in cinema going in the UK, where higher ticket prices still kept profits ticking.

Cineworld has unveiled a blockbuster trading update, saying its full-year earnings will be at the top end of analysts’ expectations after it managed to persuade British cinema-goers to spend more on their tickets.

The company said that while admissions in its UK & Ireland business declined by 3.7 per cent during the year, this was offset by growth of 4 per cent in the average ticket price.

Visiting cinemas is not a declining trend across its entire business, however.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – post-Christmas/New Year roundup

Happy New Year to all our CJ reader and may 2015 be a good year for cinema everywhere. Other then the circus surrounding the release of “The Interview”, here are some of the other cinema-related news you may have missed over the holidays.

CGV logo

South Korea: A not-so-Merry Christmas for South Korea’s exhibition majors. We have highlighted allegations of anti-competitive behaviour before and it finally seems to have caught up with them.

CJ-CGV was fined $2.9 million and Lotte Entertainment fined $2.1 million by the country’s Fair Trade Commission.

The fines were imposed after the FTC earlier rejected the two companies’ attempt to obtain a ‘consent decree’ – an offer of voluntary restitution by a guilty party – was rejected.

The FTC said that the two chains had favoured the releases of movies handled by their affiliated distribution companies, by giving them wider releases and longer theatrical runs.  LINK

Megabox

Staying in Korea, not content with buying up cinemas in the /USA and Australia, investors from China (PRC) have bought the third-largest exhibitors in South Korea. Who didn’t get fined.

A Chinese consortium has signed a contract to buy Korea’s No. 3 multiplex cinema operator Megabox, according to reports Thursday.

Megabox is 50 percent owned by Korea Multiplex Investment, a private investment body led by Macquarie Funds and a group of investors.

JContentree Corp., a media group, also holds a 46.3 percent stake in the multiplex cinema operator, with other minor investors holding the remaining shares.  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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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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Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 10 November 2014

Hoyts logo

Variety reports that Australian exhibitor Hoyts’ IPO has been called off.

The flotation had been expected to value the company at up to A$900 million ($773 million) in a pre-Christmas sale handled by investment bank UBS.

The sale process was triggered by majority shareholder Pacific Equity Partners, a private equity firm that bought in to the company in 2007. However after recent roadshow presentations to potential investors PEP is understood to have become concerned about the valuation and the ability to maintain income growth at a time that the sector is facing growing competition from Internet sources.  LINK

Wadjda

Saudi Arabia – It seems that cinemas will finally come to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – the last country on earth without formal cinemas – following an agreement between four government agencies.

A source said relevant authorities assigned to take this decision include the Ministry of Interior, the Supreme Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), the General Commission for Audiovisual Media, and the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia).
He said the SCTA and the audiovisual commission have a direct interest in the matter, while the other two are concerned with consultations and coordination.

The first people who introduced cinema to Saudi Arabia were foreigners working in Aramco (now Saudi Aramco), during the 1930s; in the 1990s they became available to Saudis at their sports clubs.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 31 October 2014 (Halloween)

Zolten cinema Kiev fire

An apparent arson attack has destroyed the oldest cinema in Ukraine’s capital. While nobody was injured, this appears to be a despicable hate crime attack that could have had even more tragic consequences.

The oldest movie theater in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev was seriously damaged as fire swept through the historic building during the screening of an LGBT movie in a suspected arson attack.

There were no injuries reported among the 100 moviegoers, who attended the screening of the French film ‘Les Nuits d’Ete’ (Summer Nights) as part of the Molodist film festival program.

However, the landmark Zhovten movie theater, which was opened back in 1931, suffered severe damage in the incident.  LINK

Curzon Soho Victoria

The same week that Picturehouse (Cineworld-owned) announces that it said would sack staff from the Brixton ritzy after lengthy strikes for a Living Wage (see next story), rival Curzon has agreed to pay its London staff the UK capital’s version of minimum wage.

The arthouse cinema chain Curzon, which runs nine sites around the country, has agreed to pay front-of-house staff the London living wage at its six cinemas in the capital.

It follows a year-long negotiation with media union Bectu as well as an online Change.org campaign, and sees wages rise from around £7 an hour to £8.80.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 27 October 2014


regal-entertainment1
Regal lawsuit

Regal has escaped a major anti-trust lawsuit brought on by a small chain complaining about unfair film booking practices that favour larger cinema chains. Major implications in an age when 35mm scarcity is no longer a reason for denying smaller chains film “prints”. This is bad news for Look Cinema and other small exhibitors.

On Thursday, just a few days after The Wall Street Journal revealed that the DOJ was asking questions about these types of arrangements, a federal judge in California dismissed a lawsuit brought by Starlight Cinemas, the owner of a few independent movie theaters in California, against exhibition giant Regal Entertainment Group.

According to the lawsuit, filed in June, Starlight operates a state-of-the-art 15-screen movie theater in Corona, Calif., but has been suffering because Regal has been having more success licensing the blockbuster films from the likes of Sony and Universal. Regal operates an upscale 18-screen theater in Corona, but is advantaged by the fact that it controls approximately 575 theaters and 7,631 screens. So if studios wish to effectuate a “wide release,” they need cooperation from the likes of Regal. But according to the allegations, Regal demands exclusivity for that privilege.  LINK

Brixton Ritzy

UK – It proved a short-lived victory for the staff of the Brixton Ritzy cinema (owned by Picturehouse/Cineworld), who won the right to a Living Wage, only now to be told that a quarter of them will be laid off.

Picturehouse Cinemas said that the cost of increasing basic wages at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton to £8.80 an hour would be absorbed by reducing the number of staff by at least 20, with a redundancy programme starting next month.

Two management posts will be axed along with eight supervisors, three technical staff and other front-of-house workers from its workforce of 93.

BECTU, the union that represents cinema staff, today described the move which follows a year of strikes and negotiations as a “kick in the teeth”.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 24 September 2014

Iosono lab

IOSONO – when 11.1 speakers just ain’t enough.

Barco is doubling down on its immersive audio efforts by hiring away IOSONO’s audio team and setting up what is now called Barco Audio Technologies [BAT?]. This could potentially mean moving away from a dependance on the Auro brand and Auro Technologies partnership, though the latter is quoted on how thrilled they too are about the new corporate sibling’s arrival.

With 500 screens committed or installed, Barco is now ready to take immersive sound to the next level. The digital cinema leader is adding the team of 3D audio expert IOSONO and its assets to the Barco family to further enhance and customize its object based immersive sound technology. In this way, it wants to help cinema exhibitors bring even more magic to the movie-going experience.  LINK

And since Barco does not have any film immediately lined up to follow “The Maze Runner” for its Escape triptych-screen it is venturing into event cinema, by announcing a concert film with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett.

Barco will collaborate with Universal Music/Interscope Records and recording artists Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga to bring their performance at the Grand Palace in Brussels into Barco Escape theaters in early 2015.

The performance will be filmed today specifically for the Barco format, the day before Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s “Cheek to Cheek” album of jazz and popular standards is set to release worldwide.  LINK

Everstone

The interest in India’s multiplex business is heating up, with yet another private equity company talking to two multiplex veterans about setting up a new cinema venture called Cinemasia, that could be looking beyond just India.

Private equity fund Everstone Capital may team up with two individuals with experience in the entertainment industry to start a venture called Cinemasia, three people familiar with the development said. Everstone is in talks with Shravan Shroff, the former promoter and managing director of multiplex operator Fame India Ltd, and Pramod Arora, who recently quit PVR Ltd as group president, the people said on condition of anonymity.

And:

This would be Everstone’s maiden venture in the multiplex business, which has already attracted other private equity funds. Renuka Ramnath-promoted Multiples Alternate Asset Management Pvt Ltd and L Capital Asia, the third party private equity fund of LVMH Group, backed PVR Ltd to acquire Cinemax India Ltd in November 2012. Before selling off Fame, Shroff also raised capital from India Value Fund and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd.  LINK

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