Daily Cinema Digest – Thursday 13 March 2014

By Patrick von Sychowski | March 13, 2014 6:34 am PDT

India is an amazing country, not only does it produce more films than Hollywood but it has the world’s most thriving cinema culture. A staggering 75 per cent of Indian films’ lifetime earnings come from domestic cinema distribution. The equivalent figure for Hollywood is less than one fifth – and shrinking. The annual Indian box office figures have just been released at the FICCI Frames conference.

India’s box office grew by 10% to reach $1.53bn (Rs93.4bn) in 2013, according to a FICCI-KPMG report released on the opening day of the FICCI Frames conference in Mumbai.

The report said growth is due to increases in multiplex screens and average ticket prices, diversity in content, improvements in distribution due to digitisation and more sophisticated marketing methods. However, box office growth slowed last year compared to the 24% increase in 2012.

In 2013, the industry added 150-200 new multiplex screens, mostly in Tier II and Tier III cities. Multiplexes now account for around 25% of the screens in the country, of which around 90-95% are now digital screens.  LINK


India: The company whose Vice President of Technology was previously caught pirating a major Bollywood release and now controls India’s biggest digital cinema integrator (Scrabble) has bought a smaller E-Cinema rival:

K Sera Sera Digital Cinema Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of KSS Ltd, is acquiring Digital Cinema and Technology India Pvt Ltd (DCAT) for an undisclosed amount, as per a stock market disclosure.

This will make it one of the strongest players offering full HD e-cinema services delivered through the satellite in India and the third-largest player in e-cinema theatre network.  LINK

On its Technology page, K Sera Sera describes itself as “Piracy Proof.” Well, they definitely have a true expert on the subject onboard.

Event Cinema


UK: Despite having no marquee name star (other than the horse puppet) War Horse has broken records for event cinema.

Following the first ever live 4K theatre broadcast, National Theatre Live and Sony is pleased to announce the production of War Horse was seen by over 155,000 people around the world (120,000 people in the UK alone).

This tops National Theatre Live’s previous live audience record of 110,000 people who saw The Audience with Helen Mirren, broadcast from the West End in June 2013 (80,000 of whom were in the UK).

On February 27th 2014, National Theatre Live (NT Live) broadcast War Horse live from the New London Theatre to cinemas across the world. The broadcast was filmed on six Sony F55 cameras and projected using a Sony 4K projector, ensuring cinema-goers enjoyed the best possible 4K viewing experience.  LINK


Pakistan: PepsiCo has signed a major deal with Imax and Cinestar in Pakistan.

Mr Jahanzeb Khan, Vice President and General Manager, Pakistan & Afghanistan Business Unit, PepsiCo International and Mr Ali Chaudary Managing Director Cinestar SMC Pvt Limited signed an exclusive beverage supply agreement for the Cinestar Cinema across Pakistan.

PepsiCo is the market leader in Pakistan with an LRB share of over 50% and has the distinction of being one of the largest PepsiCo market in the world.  LINK



Denmark: An innovative advert for connecting concessions, cinema, cineasts and Coke:

Danish cinema-goers are surprised to see themselves appearing in the background of a short period-style drama, noisily slurping their Cokes and munching on popcorn, in a promotional stunt for Coca-Cola.

Creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi Denmark came up with the concept behind “The Coca-Cola Slurp”, which saw cinemagoers going to see ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ filmed secretly in the cinema foyer and then superimposed into a pre-movie short, that includes steamy romantic scenes.  LINK


Belgium: I am not sure how much of this is new technology and how much is marketing hype and attempted brand building for a turn-key digital cinema solution. Laser?

The technologies may be revolutionary, but the values and inspiration reflect back to the magic and moments that have made cinema special for more than 100 years. As the worldwide market share leader in digital cinema projection, Barco proudly introduces CinemaBarco, a rich and diverse array of entertainment experiences which will allow exhibitors and storytellers to reinvent the moviegoing experience for a new generation.

Imagine a wonderland of sights and sounds from the moment you walk through the door of your local multiplex, where everything around you is a modern expression of storytelling.

Follow us as we light a path to our much-anticipated movie screenings featuring Barco’s ultra-bright laser projector and life-like immersive sound.

Engage, interact and share as you experience the movies in an entirely new way…where you won’t just go to the movies, you’ll go into the movies!

Welcome to CinemaBarco.  LINK

Brazil: Not sure what sort of communication they will use this for, but sounds important.

Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) today announced that it has signed an agreement with Cinemark Brazil, one of the largest cinema networks in the world. Level 3 is enhancing the efficiency of Cinemark’s communications systems by providing the company with Internet services in Sao Paulo to support connectivity to its VPN (virtual private network) of 64 movie theater complexes, which are distributed throughout 36 Brazilian cities.  LINK


UK: Autism friendly screenings are coming to Cumbria.

Workington’s Plaza Cinemas will launch the first of its shows at the weekend where a number of steps will be taken to help people with the condition feel more comfortable.

As some people with autism find going to the cinema intimidating because of the darkness and loudness in the auditorium, as well as finding it difficult to sit for a long time, bosses at the Dunmail Park cinema have worked hard to help them overcome these barriers.  LINK

Cinema Opening/Closings

UK: Oxford’s un-loved 1960s Westgate shopping centre is getting a make-over that will include a cinema.

The development would comprise over 80,000 square metres of shopping space, anchored by a John Lewis department store.

The proposals also include 26,000 square metres of cafes and restaurants; over 5,000 square metres of leisure use, including a cinema; between 27 and 122 homes; and two new public squares to provide pedestrian routes through the city.  LINK

UK: Community centres are becoming cinemas thanks to digital technology.

A new 100-seater cinema looks set to open in Shropshire later this year in a former community centre.

Kinoculture has agreed a five-year lease for the Kingswell Centre building in Arthur Street, Oswestry, which has been empty for three years.  LINK

USA: A 10-screen cinema is coming to Maryland.

Years after a down economy halted its Main Street Eldersburg project, Black Oak Associates is moving forward with plans to build a 10-screen movie theater along Londontowne Boulevard.
Now named Eldersburg Station, the proposed development project also includes five restaurant or retail sites on a 12.5-acre site adjacent to the Home Depot, Safeway and Walmart.
Black Oak is nearing the end of negotiations with a “national cinema operator,” and company President Dixon Harvey said he hopes a formal announcement will be made within several months.  LINK

Digital Cinema Death-watch

Australia: A Kickstarter fundraising campaign to upgrade the town of Bendigo’s single-screen cinema to digital reaches its halfway mark.

The community-run cinema is raising money to purchase digital projection equipment to ensure ongoing operations.

Without the updated equipment, Star Cinema could be forced to go dark.

“It’s getting harder and harder for us to get hold of films we can still screen with our outdated equipment,” Star Cinema manager Hannah Morton said.

“As a not-for-profit cinema run mostly by volunteers, it’s a huge challenge.” LINK


We have only now stumbled across the excellent London Review of Cinema. It rightly raises heritage questions about the redevelopments of Odeon Marble Arch and West End, as well as the Empire Leicester Square, but we will instead share this excerpt from a review of our new favourite London cinema, the Olympic in Barnes.

Overall the building has a feel of a classic cinema about it, the interior of the lobby and bar has a verity of 1930s – 1950s influences. Having not visited before the conversion it’s hard to tell what is original and what is not, but I can say it all looks good. The auditorium – an expanse of rich red – is a pleasure to be in. The seats are the most comfortable in any London cinema (reclining in red wool felt) and my favourite innovation is the addition of small brass drinks tables for each cinema-goer. Typically, there is further attention to detail here with soft felt padding on the tops of the tables in order that upon replacing your glass you do not disturb anyone else.

Unless it’s unusually bad I don’t normal comment on sound quality, but the Dolby ‘Atmos’ system sounds so good at the Olympic that I am moved to do so on this occasion. Every seat has a good view of the very large screen – and even the toilets put their nearest rivals to shame. This place is the new gold standard.  LINK

Patrick von Sychowski
Follow me