Tag Archives: IMAX

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 – Monday 24 November 2014

Imax

Imax plans to double its presence in the Gulf region over the next three years, the company’s CEO has revealed.

Imax Corporation, the entertainment technology company known for its network of giant cinema screens, is planning to invest between $10 to $25 million (AED36.7 to AED91.2 million) in the Middle East region in the next three years, according to a report from Gulf News.

The company’s CEO, Richard Gelfond, told the paper that his company planned to increase the number of IMAX theatres in the region from fifteen to thirty.

“By 2017, we would double our presence in the region and have about thirty theatres. It is a huge market,” Gelfond said.  LINK

YouTube Preview Image

Last week Dreamwork’s Animation SKG showcased its 360 degree 3D VR (virtual reality) film plans. The demo included a brief clip of a ‘Super Cinema’ scene with assets from Dreamwork Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise.

At a recent Samsung conference, Dreamworks unveiled “Super Cinema”, a technology that aims to deliver the robust CGI movies that its customers are familiar with in a virtual reality format. That means that Dreamworks would be moving from pre-rendered movies to real-time ones, because just like our video games, the movie has to respond appropriately to where the user is looking.

That might sound simple enough, but consider the fact that Dreamworks demands such a high quality in its films, that rendering a single frame can take more than a day on a given PC. There’s simply no way the company could deliver that level of detail in real-time, so it seems likely that what we’ll wind up with is a really high-quality real-time movie that uses a traditional game engine that makes good use of anti-aliasing. The challenges go beyond that, though.  LINK

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China Cinema Digest – Friday 21 November 2014

Interstellar poster China

“Interstellar” had a good week at the Chinese box office, boosted by Imax showings and holding off competition from both domestic comedies and Madagascar penguins.

Interstellar took $42.33 million in its first five days in China, dominating a week in which Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic went head-to-head with Johnnie To’s romantic comedy Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2 and DreamWorks Animations’ Penguins of Madagascar in the world’s second largest movie market.

Starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway as astronauts trying to save the human race, with an ensemble cast that also includes Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine, Interstellar racked up 7.14 million admissions from 149,316 screenings, according to the research outfit Entgroup.

That was fewer screenings than the second-place movie in the week to Nov. 16, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2, but the space film also showed on 170 Imax screens in China, which gave box office a major lift.  LINK

You might also be interested in this article about advance online ticketing sale for “Interstellar”, which set a new record.

China Imax

The success of Imax and Premium Large Format films in China prompts Broadcast HC 360 to look at the technology behind Digital PLF, both Imax and its domestic Chinese competitors.

Relative to the IMAX “silent like gold,” the theater construction market is more lively. Cinema operators to invest and build its own brand for use in its own theater, the movie started issuing investment Poly Films, is the development of a domestic IMAX DMR system POLYMAX Poly; Wanda independent development of the giant screen projection system “X-Land “; and in digital cinema technology research-based science and technology enterprises Chen Xing Digital technology introduced in 2013 Cinelab laser IMAX screenings of high-quality solutions. These domestic IMAX brand is undoubtedly herald the birth of the modern multiplex cinema building, will move towards high-quality IMAX hall main trends.

And particularly worth mentioning is Cinelab IMAX innovative laser from the light source to the electro-acoustic to build sound, IMAX is a qualitative leap in technological development milestones. IMAX movies the same environment and needs two Barco 2K projectors can only support up to 2K mode with a resolution of 2048 x 1080 pixels, a contrast ratio of 2000: 1, Cinelab laser IMAX system simply uses a laser IMAX Simply using a Christie 4K projector with a resolution up to 4096 * 2160 pixels, with a 2100: 1 contrast ratio, while the same effect, it is easy to see, Cinelab laser relative to the giant screen IMAX giant screen, the screen resolution increases four times, four times the clarity also increased. Given the high brightness laser light source in the screening process 2D center maximum brightness of up 40FL, and IMAX is 15FL, IMAX 2D laser brightness increased 2.67 times, and further optimize the viewers 2D viewing experience.  LINK

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Does Hangzhou Point to Bubble in China’s Cinema Market?

Broadway Hangzhou IMAX

Broadway Cinemas (IMAX) in Hangzhou

Talk about China overtaking United States’ cinema box office within a few years is predicated on the growth rate of the past couple of years continuing in an unbroken upward line. Yet too little attention has been paid to whether growth in multiplexes, screens and seats is outstripping demand for tickets.

Tier 2 City Focus

On-the-ground reports from markets outside of China’s half a dozen Tier 1 cities (Beijing, Shanghai, etc.) are starting to suggest that overbuild has resulted in blockbusters increasingly playing to empty auditoriums. Hangzhou is one such market.

According to Wikipedia, “Hangzhou is classified as a sub-provincial city and forms the core of the Hangzhou Metropolitan Area, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in China,” with Hangzhou prefecture having a registered population of 8.7 million inhabitants. It is considered a Tier 2 City, a group of around three dozen Mainland metropolitan areas increasingly targeted by investors, developers and multinationals in recent years. And as WSJ put it:

When it comes to China, the commonly used term “second-tier cities” is a misnomer, says Robert Lawrence Kuhn, an investment banker and author of How China’s Leaders Think. The so-called “second-tier” cities should actually be called “first-class opportunities,” given that these cities have been growth engines of the Chinese economy, boosted by huge amounts of investment, new infrastructure and an influx of new talent.

Multiplexes are at the forefront of these developments in Tier 2 cities, in some ways epitomising it as they combine entertainment, real estate and retail in one location.

Yet after several years of intensive development and investment, worrying signs of over-supply are starting to emerge, as indicated in the article quoted in Sina.com.cn from Qianjiang Evening News, headlined, “Hangzhou total of 49 cinemas, average of one theater added monthly.”

Hangzhou Cinemas: “Too Dense” – But Still Growing

The article points out that just in the last two months of this year will see the opening of a Jin Yi multiplex, a Wanda multiplex and a Shi Xiang Road multiplex – and this on top of an already saturated market.

The article then points out that in a five kilometer (3.5 miles) area there are five multiplexes, and that with 10 more multiplexes slated for 2015 it will be “too dense” and that next year many cinemas will “barely” get by.

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Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 17 November 2014

Cinemaxx

Germany – Cinema majors Cinemaxx and CineStar have formed a joint venture to promote cinema for business use. Not sure how far beyond regular cinema advertising this goes, but there is talk of “360 degree cinema communication.”

The company CinemaxX and CineStar planning a joint company for the holistic cinema marketing. This was confirmed by a CinemaxX spokeswoman to Hamburg Media Magazine ‘New Business’ (www-new-business.de). The two German cinema providers want so combine their reach, “to business customers providing an easier entry into the world of 360 degree cinema communication”.

The company would be open for the market to other cinema enterprises in Germany, says CinemaxX. Offices in Berlin, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt are planned to headquarters in Hamburg. Currently, a fusion legal review of the project by the Federal Cartel is taking place.  LINK

reald-3d-glasses

USA (CA) – A long interview between Forbes’ Mark Hughes and former head of 2D-to-3D conversion company Legend3D Dr Barry Sandrews. The fact that both are bullish about the prospects of 3D is no surprise, given the title ‘Why 3D Will Dominate Cinema In The Future,’ but the article makes several good points.

It’s particularly notable that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was able to pull down $709 million worldwide due to a large amount of help from 3D that was best of any superhero film that’s been made, allowing it to rank as one of the year’s top-grossing films despite mixed reviews and the press focusing on a lot of negativity in reporting on the film (my own reaction to the film was decidedly more positive, as my review makes clear).

The next several years will see an expansion of 3D’s power at the global box office, with a series of brand new Star Wars films, Avatar sequels, and a huge growing slate of franchises and sequels in the popular superhero genre now that DC and Marvel characters will parade across the big screen at a rate double that of previous years (a total of more than 25 different superhero franchises will actively exist by 2020, as incredible as that seems). More than 70 3D films hit theaters in 2015 and 2016. And despite a modest leveling off of domestic audience attendance at 3D cinema since its modern reintroduction, it has held steady at home while foreign audiences continue having enormous appetites for the format. China in particular seems to love 3D.  LINK

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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 7 November 2014

Steve Cinema robot

Terminator is not the only robot you are likely to encounter in multiplexes in the future, with Belgian cinema advertiser Brightish being the first in the world to launch a cinema robot. Apparently it is much friendlier than the Terminator robot too.

Belgian cinema’s advertising sales house, Brightfish, has unveiled at the Creativity World Forum the very first interactive cinema robot in the world. The robot has been baptized Steve – a nod to the actor Steve McQueen – and will promote cinema to the general public in an original way. Already via social media, he has shared his impressions of the cinema world with videos, tweets and photos, and it’s about to get even more exciting as you’ll be able to meet him in person in the cinema, his natural habitat.

Sylvia Van Cauteren, Marketing Director Brightfish says: “Steve made his first appearance at the Creativity World Forum. As a passionate cinema enthusiast he’ll mingle with visitors and business people and collect ideas about how he can make a cinema outing even more fun. Through his Twitter account, @CineSteve, he’ll keep everyone up to date and well informed. We plan to use Steve to further enhance the cinema experience for both adults and children. We’ll do this in an interactive way with this curious cinema robot that we consider as our colleague.”?  LINK

Children cinema 3D

France – Could the screening of 3D films for children be curtailed, restricted or even banned in France? It is a country that does not hesitate to regulate when it comes to cinema.

A French health watchdog recommended Thursday that children under six be denied access to 3D films, computers and video games, and that those up to 13 have “moderate” access.

The advice is based on a “pioneering” analysis of scientific research into the possible impacts of 3D imaging on the developing eye, the agency ANSES [French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety] said.

It pointed to an explosion of 3D technology in gadgets, now also in mobile phones.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 3 November 2014

Cinepolis

Mexican/international chain Cinepolis is mentioned as one of the potential bidders for Regal, according to the LA Times. Other potential buyers mentioned include No. 3 US chain Cinemark, Shanghai Film Group Corp., Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba, or South Korea’s CJ Group. It is clear that there is no obvious front runner, but nobody is prepared to rule themselves out at this stage.

Cinépolis, Latin America’s largest theater chain known for its luxury amenities, may be among the prospective bidders for the United States’ largest theater chain.

Adrian Mijares Elizondo, chief executive of Cinépolis USA, said his company would consider buying Regal Entertainment after the Knoxville, Tenn., company surprised investors last week when it announced that it would entertain offers to sell the chain.

“It’s not every day that the biggest chain in the industry goes on sale,” Elizondo said. “We would take a look at Regal. This is a growth opportunity, and like any growth opportunity we have available, we will discuss it and evaluate it.”  LINK

Zhovten yellow cinema fire

Ukraine – The apparent arson attack on Kiev’s oldest cinema is starting to make waves with the city’s population and politicians, including the Mayor of Ukraine’s capital. Questions are also being raised if it was a hate crime or related to a rent dispute.

Hundreds of people rallied in front of Kyiv city hall on Oct. 31 to demand an investigation into a fire that recently destroyed the popular Zhovten cinema. They also called for reconstruction of the historic building and Kyiv’s oldest move theater built in 1930, which has been the subject of a years-long rent dispute.

The activists honored the ruined arthouse cinema by wearing yellow jackets, hats and scarves and holding yellow posters that read “Give Zhovten cinema back!” Zhovten means ‘October’ in Ukrainian and derives from the word “yellow.” Others spattered black drops on their placards accompanied by the inscription: “There are still drops in the ocean,” a reference to the popular EuroMaidan Revolution slogan “I am a drop in the ocean.”  LINK

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IHS: 72 PLF Brands Compete With Imax (But Only Two Are a Threat)

PLD Premium Large Format

IHS Technology recently published an Insight Report on “The market for Premium Large Format (PLF) cinema” as part of its Cinema Intelligence Service. Authored by Principal Analyst Charlotte Jones, the report does an excellent job of providing a comprehensive and data-focused overview of the PLF market.

With “Interstellar” shortly set to lift off in Imax, PLF and 70mm screens, it is thus worth shining a bright light on the biggest of all screens in the cinema business.

Premium large format (PLF) is a market that was practically invented by Imax but only took off when the large format (LF) operator switched from 40-50 minute documentaries in museums and institutions to showing first-run Hollywood films multiplexes.

Having survived the “Lie-MAX” backlash in 2009 of retrofitting Imax screens into too-small multiplex auditoriums, Imax has grown strongly on the back of the initial popularity of 3D films (think: “Avatar”) as well as major international expansion.

But Imax strict business terms and high licence fees, coupled with advances in digital cinema technology, has led many cinema chains to launch their own-brand PLF screens, often in competition or in parallel to Imax’s screens.

The PLF space has received a recent boost from the launch of the Dolby Atmos and Barco Auro 11.1 immersive audio (IA) formats that help distinguish PLF screens from non-premium screens, as well as the imminent launch of laser projection for high-brightness stereoscopic 3D on even the largest of screens. High frame rate (HFR) and 3D on the other hand are by themselves not sufficient enablers for PLF, as the report notes, even though they often command higher ticket prices.

It is the brand(ing) that has proven the key differentiator for Imax, with own-brand PLF screens struggling to match it in terms of cache and perceived value. (If you don’t believe us, we invite you to read on-line reviews of cinemas’ own-brand PLFs to see comments littered with ‘rip off’ and ‘pretend Imax’ vitriol). Yet though the report only hints at it, there are two operators/brand that post a significant threat to Imax at least in two key PLF cinema markets, which we will get to later.

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China Cinema Digest – Tuesday 28 October 2014

 

China online ticketing

Beginning in November, China will start reporting box office number and info using social media in an effort to improve transparency. The move is good news for Hollywood studios, but will also provide a better picture of the exhibition market in the world’s second largest cinema territory.

In July, the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television introduced an updated ticketing system, which gives better real-time information.

This week, Li Dong, head of a special unit of SAPPRFT which looks at ticketing and box office issues, said the watchdog was planning to release the information through popular social media, such as Weibo, which is similar to Twitter, and WeChat, which has parallels with WhatsApp. It wasn’t immediately clear at what frequency the data would be reported.  LINK

Wanda Cinemas Logo

The re-submission of their IPO prospectus has lead to plenty of coverage of Wanda Cinemas, including the astonishing revelation that the operator can manage the construction of an entire multiplex in just 105 days from start to finish. Lots of data, number and statistics in this article on China’s largest cinema operator, which still “only” accounts for less than 15% of total Mainland BO takings.

Coupling that is pure theater assets invested directly by theaters, cinemas and theaters all assets owned by relying on the model, capital and Wanda Cinema mode as a link for the film, its unified management, unified row theater piece. Since its inception in 2005, grossing Wanda Cinema faster growth each year, in 2011 box office revenue reached 1.785 billion yuan, accounting for the proportion of the movie grossed 13.61%; 2012 box office revenue reached 2.456 billion yuan, accounting for the movie box office income ratio was 14.39%; 2013, box office revenue reached 3.161 billion yuan, accounting for the proportion of the national film grossed 14.52%; 2014 January to June, the box office revenue reached 1.988 billion yuan, accounting for the proportion of movie box office revenue was 14.46%, continue to maintain the country’s first cinema box office revenue.

Wanda market share

Development of Wanda Wanda Plaza cinema into projects and tenant lease non Wanda commercial real estate development business projects, Wanda Cinema is the only strategic partner Wanda Plaza theater format, along with the rapid expansion of Wanda and other commercial real estate projects, Wanda cinema investment flourish, construction accelerated.

Wanda cinema investment and construction process is divided into the project site, theater design and theater construction, single Wanda cinema construction period is usually 105 days or so, in other words, after the completion of the siting and design of the theater, Wanda only three and a half months will be able to Wanda opened a theater. LINK

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