Tag Archives: India

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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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 – Friday 12 September 2014

As you may have noticed Patrick von Sychowski is in Amsterdam attending IBC which means you must suffer my attempt at putting together a Daily Cinema Digest.  Be sure to check out all of Patrick’s coverage of IBC after catching up on the day’s (or in this case, week’s) cinema news.

Big Cinemas

Hey, remember when North American exhibitors built way too many multiplexes during the 1980′s and 90′s over extending themselves to such a degree that during the early 2000′s the industry began to consolidate with cinema chains buying each other out or merging?  Well, it seems this is a trend that might be hard to avoid.  India has been going through a huge multiplex boom over the past decade and now it seems has entered the consolidation phase of the business cycle.  Rumors are afoot that Carnival Films is in negotiations to acquire the majority of Reliance MediaWorks theatre chain Big Cinemas.  This would be the third such merger or acquisition for India’s exhibition industry in as many months:

Inox Leisure, India’s second largest multiplex operator, acquired Delhi-based Satyam Cineplexes Ltd for nearly Rs.240 crore, paying Rs.182 crore in cash and taking over its debt in a deal that expanded Inox’s presence to 50 cities, with 91 multiplexes and 358 screens; and Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) sold its multiplex business Broadway Cinemas to Carnival Cinemas for an undisclosed amount.

If the deal goes through Carnival would end up with 280 screens.  That really seems to be one of the main reasons for all the mergers and acquisitions; more screens a bigger market share of the box office and thus more leverage when negotiating with film producers and distributors over film rental.

According to the omnipresent anonymous source “familiar with the situation” Reliance isn’t looking to completely exit exhibition:

“The contour of the final transaction is yet to be arrived at, but Big Cinemas will not entirely exit the business. It will form a strategic alliance with an existing cinema exhibition chain that will run the daily operations and it will receive proportionate revenues from them as part of the partnership. Reliance MediaWorks will also invest in the venture as part of its growth strategy because it believes there is growth potential in this business.”

Don’t expect the consolidation of the Indian exhibition industry to slow down anytime soon.  Jehil Thakkar, head of the media and entertainment practice at KPMG, told LiveMint:

We certainly do see the cinema multiplex industry continuing to consolidate inorganically as the real growth opportunity lies there… Most of the big players are seeking inorganic growth options and scale is a very important part of this business.”

I just love that word “inorganic”.  Do you think since organic products usually cost more at stores that inorganic ones would cost less?  If so, maybe Carnival could get a discount on Big Cinemas since it would technically be considered “inorganic growth”.  LINK

Megabox

South Korea – The sale of exhibition circuits isn’t limited to India.  Over in South Korea an investment group is looking to cash out on their seven-year investment in Megabox.  Korea Multiplex Investment Corp.

Inside, though anonymous, sources have told various media outlets that backers Korea Multiplex Investment Corp., whose shareholders include the National Pension Service, Public Officials Benefit Association and Military Mutual Aid Association, are pushing for a sale of the company and have been reaching out to potential buyers.

Megabox is one of South Korea’s largest multiplex operators controlling 21% of the screens in the country as of last year. That figure is third to CJ CGV which operates 43% of screens and the film division of Lotte Shopping Company which controls 32%. Korea Multiplex, which owns 50% of Megabox (Jcontentree Corp. holds a 46% stake in the exhibitor), is hoping the circuit will sell for as much as 13 times its current earnings.

In 2013 Megabox netted KRW 25.6 billion (USD $24,745,216) on KRW 206.1 billion (USD $199,218,321) in revenue.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Thursday 24 July 2014

Sex Tape header

The summer isn’t over but already it seems that last rites and post-mortem are being performed on what has been a disappointing box office season, at least in the US. Thank goodness there is China and other emerging markets to cheer up Hollywood, though this is cold comfort for US-based exhibitors. Apparently its men’s fault for staying away in droves.

Less than six weeks before Labor Day, hopes for recovery at the North American summer box office have evaporated. The season is expected to finish down 15 to 20 percent compared with 2013, the worst year-over-year decline in three decades, and revenue will struggle to crack $4 billion, which hasn’t happened in eight years. As a result, analysts predict that the full year is facing a deficit of 4 to 5 percent.

And

Although there have been no Lone Ranger-size debacles, for the first time since 2001 no summer pic will cross $300 million domestically (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Maleficent and Transformers: Age of Extinction hover near $230 million). May kicked off with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 earning $200 million less domestically than 2013′s Iron Man 3; by July 20, the divide had swelled to nearly $690 million as revenue topped out at $2.71 billion, down 20 percent compared with the same period last year.  LINK

Could it be partly because US ticket prices are up compared to Q1 this year (but down compared to Q4’13)?

The average cost of going to the cinema in the U.S. rose to $8.33 in the second quarter of 2014 as the summer season kicked into high gear, according to the National Association of Theater Owners.

That’s up from $7.96 in the first quarter of the year, when there were fewer 3D tentpoles.
However, it was notably down from the second quarter of 2013, when the average movie ticket price clocked in at $8.38 (the reason for the year-over-year decline could include fewer 3D tickets being bought overall as the appetite for the format wanes).  LINK

 Screen Australia chief executive Graeme Mason

Australia - Federal budget cuts means that Screen Australia has to cut staff by one-tenth and decrease funding for cinema-related projects.

Chief executive Graeme Mason has announced plans to save more than $5 million this financial year, including up to $3 million in development and production investment and another $1 million by cutting staff from 112 to 100.

Faced with a $38 million cut over four years in the May budget, Screen Australia will also reduce what it spends to help a film’s cinema release – so-called ”print and advertising” support – and end direct funding of such industry training organisations as Sydney’s Metro Screen, Melbourne’s Open Channel and Adelaide’s Media Resource Centre.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 18 July 2014

Vista Murray Holdway

New Zealand – Ticketing specialist Vista has been valued at $188 million. Not clear if US or NZ dollars, but as it is on the NZX bourse most likely the latter, meaning it is would be worth USD $163.4 million.

Investors in cinema software company Vista’s sharemarket float will pay $2.35 for its shares, valuing the company at $188 million.

The price was set following a book build open to institutional investors and retail brokers who had been told to expect the price to fall between $2.10 to $2.70.

Vista, one of a stream of technology companies listing on the NZX, is raising $40m of new capital through its initial public offer. Its existing shareholders are seeking to cash up $52m by selling down their stake in the company to 47 per cent.  LINK

Laxmi Talkies

India – Yet another article noting the loss of single screen cinemas in India as multiplexes march on, with Ranchi (the city in question) having four multiplexes but only three stand-alone cinemas left.

Licensing authority for theatres, Ranchi deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey, says: “We have just issued a licence for a new multiplex in Lalpur. We expect more such theatres to come up in the next few years. The biggest advantage that they have vis-a-vis single-screen theatres is that with multiple screens showing one movie at the same time, the money spent on making the film is recovered in the first weekend itself.”  LINK

Yet it is not smooth sailing for all multiplexes, including this one in Sambalpur that has not opened, despite construction work being finished back in January.

Though its operator Eyelax Films had scheduled to open the multiplex on January 26, it failed to do so as the district administration did not issue the licence.

The town used to have three cinema halls – Ashoka Talkies, Laxmi Talkies and Gaiety Talkies- till pirated CD market spelled doom for their owners. While encroachment by locals forced the Kerala-based owner of the Gaiety Talkies to sell the land to a real estate owner, others are running with old infrastructure. In absence of any option, cine lovers flock the Ashoka and Laxmi Talkies.  LINK

Meanwhile more reports that Reliance ADAG is looking to dump Big Cinemas.

The company is said to be in talks with other multiplex majors like Inox, @PVR_Limited1 Limited and also other PE firms.

As per reports if the strategic sale does not consummate the company would rope in the PE partner to invest in the multiplex chain after being spun off as a separate entity to be listed. LINK

Perhaps Reliance should sell them to Carnival, which is looking to acquire 3,000 screens over the next three years – a figure to be taken not so much with a pinch as a barrel of salt.

Shrikant Bhasi, chairman of the Carnival Group, said that his company is in talks to acquire 175 screens from three separate multiplex operators in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Bhasi did not share details of the plans, but confirmed that consulting firm KPMG is advising the company on the transactions, which he said will be concluded in the next two to three months. “The immediate goal is to have 300 screens,” said Bhasi, who is also a movie producer and has played minor roles in Malayalam films. “My team is already working for a 3,000-screen project.”  LINK

Not sure if they will want screens in southern India where state governments keep setting price controls on tickets and now also concessions.

The Congress government had promised to introduce uniform fares to contain the multiplex lobby in January.

But, in an interview to NDTV, state Information Minister Roshan Baig said, “I used to feel the pinch as a movie-goer. But then we are not paying for the ticket alone. Chennai has uniform rates of Rs. 120 and we wanted to bring the same to control the prices imposed by multiplex owners, but I realized it cannot work. Malls are now turning away from Chennai. But I have ordered multiplex owners in Bangalore to reduce prices of food items because they are very expensive”.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 11 July 2014

Big Cinemas

India – After the surprise merger of its RMW film services division with Prime Focus, Reliance ADAG looks set to sell off its Big Cinemas operation. Good analysis as always from Variety’s Patrick Frater.

The company is in advanced negotiations to sell its Big Cinemas circuit to an unidentified private equity firm, according to Indian business media. RMW is also reported to be holding similar talks with PVR and Inox Leisure, the country’s two largest cinema operators. Big Cinemas operates some 280 screens across India, making it the third-largest circuit. Born from the Adlabs group that Reliance ADA acquired in 2006, Big Cinemas was previously the largest exhibitor in India. But it lost ground to its smaller rivals because it opened too many single-screen cinemas and missed some key acquisitions. LINK

India – And like most other multiplexes, Big Cinemas has completed the transition to DCI-grade digital cinema while most single-screen cinemas in India now have lower grade e-cinema systems from the like of UFO Movies, meaning that the country is close to complete digitisation.

With nearly 95 per cent of Indian cinema screens now digitised, the industry is expected to see buoyant growth in the long run. The Government has approved an anti-piracy plan for combating piracy which impacts movies’ box office collections. The Government has also signed co-production agreements with nine countries including Italy, Brazil, Germany, France, New Zealand, Poland and Canada. India is also a sought after shooting location, as the Government gave permission to 31 foreign production houses in 2013-14. Also, the first phase construction of the National Museum of Indian Cinema in Mumbai has been completed and will open for the general public shortly. LINK

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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 – 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 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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