Daily Cinema Roundup – Wed 22 April

By Patrick von Sychowski | April 22, 2009 4:00 am PDT

– Belgian digital cinema projector manufacturer Barco did not have a stellar first quarter, according to this article by Reuters. Key bullet points were “*Q1 operating loss 6.0 mln euros, vs 4.9 mln loss forecast; * Says cautiously optimistic for 2009; * Shares rise 3.2 percent.” Further into the article we learn that “Barco said it saw good order intake for digital cinema projectors and expected the digital cinema business to continue to grow over the next quarters.”;

– Barco’s rival Christie has meanwhile partnered high-end home cinema company Sumiko / Wolf Cinema to incorporate the latter’s projector technology, know-how and network of service engineers, says the press release. “Sumiko will distribute Wolf Cinema high-end home theatre projectors–with Christie digital projection technology inside–through a select network of highly qualified audio/video specialists throughout North America and the world.” Just don’t call them ‘DCI-compliant’;

– File this under ‘alternative content we’d like to see more of’. UK’s More2screen will be bringing burlesque to the big screen this May, “Performed at London’s Koko Club in May 2009” and “Starring: Immodesty Blaize [pictured above], Marc Almond, Julian Clary, Kitten DeVille, Catherine D’Lish, and many more live performances.” I have seen Immodesty live and it is great old fashioned naughtiness that I am sure will translate well to the silver screen;

– Imax is stemming losses and closing in on profitability, according to The Wall Street Journal.”Imax Corp. has a lot to brag about recently — the successful launch of its digital projector, a rapidly expanding theater network and a rising stock price. All that’s eluded the company is profitability, and that may not be far off. The pioneer of large-format movies always knew developing a digital system would deal a blow to its financial performance, but after its last attempt to find a buyer failed in 2006, it had little choice.” Subscription to WSJ.com required for the full article;

AMC Entertainment has a new President, Programming in the form of Robert J. Lenihan, former SVP of Village Roadshow Gold Class Cinemas. He will also be opening AMC’s new Los Angeles office, according to the press release. “I look forward to leading the AMC team in its return to its roots as an industry leader in traditional movie marketing while taking advantage of the programming flexibility afforded to us with AMC’s impending rollout of digital cinema and 3D technology,” says Lenihan;

– “Consumers” [NB: not ‘viewers’] are apparently not bothered about wearing glasses to watch 3D according to research published by the Entertainment Technology Center at NAB’s Digital Cinema Summit. “If we don’t show visible progress now (on 3D in the home), this momentum could die and move into a niche environment,” said Phil Lelyveld, a strategy adviser for the Entertainment Technology Center.” Eerh – by ‘niche’, does he mean cinemas?;

– The RAND Corporation, in a study backed by the Motion Picture Association (MPA), claims that there is a link between film piracy, organized crime and terrorism. “It presents detailed case studies from around the globe in one area of counterfeiting, film piracy, to illustrate the broader problem of criminal — and perhaps terrorist — groups finding a new and not-much-discussed way of funding their activities. Piracy is high in payoff and low in risk, often taking place under the radar of law enforcement.” The report costs $29.50. “Support RAND Research — Buy This Product!” the website shouts and offers it at a Web discount of $23.60. Alternatively you can wait for the Warner Bros. film adaptation staring George Clooney breaking up a nefarious Taliban-Somali-Chinese terrorist-pirate-drug smuggling nexus;

– According to Silicon Valley’s Mercury News, the Livermore Cinema is now the largest cinema complex in the US to be powered by solar energy. “Monday, local business and city leaders gathered at the cineplex on First Street for a presentation on its state-of-the-art solar-power system, which has been up and running since February. The 132-kilowatt system covers the bulk of the theater’s 20,000-square-foot roof, making it not only the largest known solar-power system to be installed at a movie theater, but one of the largest systems of solar “modules” anywhere in the country.” The system covers some 35 per cent of the cinema’s power needs. The film that inaugurated the installation was Disney’s “Earth“, though I would have voted for “Crank 2: High Voltage“;

Patrick von Sychowski
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