Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 25 July 2014

By | July 25, 2014 2:26 am PDT

Much has been made of the success of Transformers 4 in China (biggest hit of all time, etc. etc.). But at the risk of coming across all Cassandra, it should be noted that before Transformers 4 and the local hit Tiny Times 3 lit up the mainland box office, the outlook for China’s cinemas was no less glum than the malaise currently gripping the US. Here is what local media had been saying.

While China has experienced several years of high growth, the local cinema industry is facing multiple challenges: the increasing number of cinema, opened more and more concentrated, higher rent, buy shock …… by Chongqing Municipal Cultural Commission (“City Culture Committee”) Recently released in May 2014 theater box office statistics show that the local movie theater in the top 15, most of the cinema box office fell. Daily Reporter each month according to statistics released by the city of Culture Committee found that from January to May, ranking in the top 15 local cinemas, more than half the theater box office fell.

Yesterday Commercial Daily reporter in an interview that, in the case of the city’s theater box office in recent years of steady growth, the major theater theater district has noticed too dense, the rapid growth of the number of the main city theater box office year downward trend, not little theater began adjusting their development plans.  LINK

So over-development is starting to take its toll as noted by the operators of cinemas in the city.

A staff member of Studio City, Metro Plaza, 6th Floor Studios, told Business Daily reporter: “non-weekend day there are more than 200 seats in a movie, only to sell more than 20 tickets, attendance is less than 10%. night is better, but only sold about half. ”

Chongqing, in the end how many cinema? Chinese Commercial News reporters Zuo Ricong and Shi Wenwei Film Department learned that in 2012 the city’s total operating operating theater 85, 2013 rose to 104, as of May of this year has reached 108, which accounted for half of the main city.

Other cities in China are reported the same type of problems.

“At present, most theater Shenyang are losing money.” Person in charge of a theater box office in Shenyang in 2013, said the top five.

Theater insiders, at the cost of the theater, the largest part of the rent, some of the theater’s annual rent of up to five or six million good location, in addition to annual labor costs have more than 100 million, utilities and other expenses are added together, so that up to 7000000, “a movie ticket average fares 31 yuan, can only make a few dollars.”

Reporters Statistics found that the top five of Shenyang theater attendance is not higher than 30%.  LINK

Fortunately Transformers 4 and Tine Times 3 have helped. But they have not altered the underlying problems of over-supply, high rents and low attendance.

Ireland (Republic) – Box office is in ruddy good health in Ireland, thanks to cross dressing comedian Brendan O’Carrolls’ Mrs Browns Boys D’Movie, which took over a million euros in its opening weekend in the republic. It is second only this year to The Lego Movie and with €3.2 million set to overtake the brick film’s €3.3 million shortly and also become the biggest grossing Irish film of all time.

But the success of comedies ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ and ’22 Jump Street’ left the Irish scene looking far healthier with summer figures up 3.8pc on last year.

The total for the year is also looking good with attendance figures up 2.6pc on last year.

Rentrak EDI, the company that gathers box office figures worldwide, said the strong Irish showing should continue through the rest of the year as a lot of big titles were held back to avoid clashing with the FIFA World Cup.  LINK

CineStar logo

Germany – CineStar rewards loyal customers, with the CineStarCARD launched across all venues to offer value add for frequent movie goers. Snippet of article from paywall site.

After extensive testing, the CineStar Group attaches immediately on all their houses an extensive customer loyalty program. With the CineStarCARD be regulars Awards, benefits and other rewards audiences can now save.  LINK

Golden Screen Cinemas Malaysia

Malaysia – One of Malaysia’s largest cinema chains has ambitions to expand beyond its existing 242 digital screens in 28 sites domestically (with a further 260 screens in 32 cinema in Malaysia and Vietnam through a joint venture).

Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd (GSC) will continue its expansion plan with the setting up of four new cinemas by year-end, says GSC chief executive officer Koh Mei Lee.

She said the four cinemas would be located in GSC Klang Parade, GSC Quill City Mall Kuala Lumpur, GSC Ipoh Parade and another flagship cinema, GSC Nu Sentral.

For next year, GSC has already signed-up for GSC IOI City Mall in Putrajaya, GSC Aman Central Alor Setar and GSC Bintulu Times Square, said Koh at the opening of a 10-screen GSC Palm Mall here yesterday.  LINK

Health & Safety

China_cinema_2144703b

China – Are 3D glasses safe – from a germ perspective? That’s the question being asked in China. Given the country’s many food scares (most recently one about meat for McDonalds), these questions of public health need to be taken seriously. It seem from this article that there are still serious shortcomings. This issue has also previously been raised in Italy.

In Chengdu, a large theater every day most of the time about using the 3000 3D glasses, the glasses often repeated use of hidden viral conjunctivitis, “pink eye” and other germs. With the advent of the summer movie files, and more young children into the cinema, the repeated use of 3D glasses, it is easy to become an important medium for transmission of the virus. According to media reports, Xiamen, an audience watching a 3D movie, very swollen eyes, “three-dimensional”, after the hospital diagnosed as acute keratitis, because no disinfection suspected of 3D glasses.

Since June 11, Chengdu health inspection for the health situation detachment theater downtown Chengdu to conduct random checks, and the first to focus on supervision and inspection of 3D glasses for cinema. Check in Jinjiang, Taurus, Wuhou, Qingyang, into China, the high-tech city of each of six random sample of a normal business of the theater.

The first spot check of three theaters, although 3D glasses are equipped with a professional cleaning and disinfection facilities, but not in accordance with the “cultural entertainment health standards” after each movie, 3D glasses for UV disinfection.  LINK

Law & Order

Vue cinema attack suspect

UK – An unpleasant incident. Hopefully the alleged perpetrator will be caught soon.

A TEENAGER was sexually assaulted during a trip to the cinema, police said.

The man, believed to be in his mid 20s, approached the 19-year-old girl at a screening of a horror film at The Vue Cinema in Blackburn, detectives said.

Officers said he touched her breasts, put his hands on her upper thighs and kissed her during the film.

The man has been described as Asian, around six foot tall, of muscular build and had some facial hair.  LINK

Event Cinema

Back to the Future Secret Cinema DeLorean

UK – The race is on for Secret Cinema to have its ambitious Back to the Future screening ready, after having to call off the opening night’s show. Ticket holders, some who had travelled from afar vented their fury on Facebook and Twitter. There were inevitable jokes that they should have gone back in time to sort out the problems.

The company offered no further details but staff at the site last night told the Standard fire safety inspectors had refused to sign off the venue, and the set was not finished.

Ticket-holders complained they had spent hundreds of pounds travelling from as far away as America to attend what organisers called the “most epic and detailed production” in its seven-year history.

But while disappointed crowds stood around Hackney Wick train station, the crew were still putting the finishing touches to the set.

Staff were seen painting road markings on the ground, picking up litter and clearing away scaffolding as two iconic DeLorean cars stood in front of a mock town hall.  LINK

Cinema Opening/Closings

Paragon Theatre

Australia – This restored cinema in Queensland looks as gorgeous as the bride who got married there.

THE Cinema And Theatre Historical Society of Australia (CATHS) has congratulated the residents of Childers on the re-opening of the Paragon Theatre.

CATHS Queensland convenor Steve Maggs said it was wonderful to see new life breathed into such a historic building.

“We are very excited to see such a historic theatre building being brought back to life,” he said.  LINK

Australia – But a serious bunfight in another part of Australia about bringing back a cinema to town.

The lengthy and at times heated ordinary meeting of Council on Wednesday night also saw two distinct blocs emerge among Queanbeyan councillors in the ongoing debate over bringing a cinema to Queanbeyan.

While all ten councillors say they support Council bringing a cinema to Queanbeyan, they have now split into two separate camps – one supporting Mayor Tim Overall’s seven-cinema multiplex to be run by Metro Cinemas, and another seeking a feasibility study be held into the idea first before Council commit to a location and an operator.  LINK

Wentzville multiplex

USA (MO) – The geographical centre point of the United States is to get a 12-screen multiplex.

Wentzville, Missouri calls itself the ‘Crossroads of the Nation’ because it sits smack-dab in the middle of the U.S. of A! And what better place to open a state-of-the-art megaplex!
B&B Theatres is pleased to announce that they have entered into an agreement with Capital Constructor’s Development to build a new 12-screen theatre in Wentzville, MO, in the Wentzville Bluffs Development. Bob Bagby, President of B&B Theatres said: “We are excited to be working with Capital Constructor’s Development. The state of the art theatre will be a great addition to this premier retail development. We still have details to work out, but we hope to open the new theatre in the spring of 2015.”  LINK

Whiteladies Picturehouse Cinema Bristol

UK – Confusion about the prospects about the Everyman in Bristol, with David Fells, founder of the Whiteladies Picture House group, claiming that last month’s plans approved by councillors fail to fully secure planning requirements.

He said there was there was nothing to stop the owners going back on their work and building a gym instead of a cinema. A previous application to build a gym and flats was rejected last year – but planning regulations state that a gym and cinema fall under similar categories, which could allow a back-door change of plans that would not need a new planning application.

But owners Medinbrand insisted last night their plans to build a new cinema remained and were on course to open it in autumn next year.  LINK

Vue Doncaster Lakeside

UK – We somehow missed this story, but the fact that Vue is spending £3.4 million to overhaul this multiplex in Lakeside (Doncaster), including solar panels (!) is worth a mention.

Other improvements will include the full refurbishment of all existing auditoriums, including the introduction of stadium style seating along with new seats, larger screens, improved acoustics and sound systems and completely redesigned and renewed toilet facilities.

The foyer area will also be redesigned and will feature the introduction of a new Ben and Jerry’s ice cream parlour.

The cinema will also be the first in the Vue group in Europe to be installed with solar panels, which will be fitted on the roof and will help to improve energy efficiency at the building.  LINK

Reading Cinemas Otago

New Zealand – Queenstown has a plush new six-screen cinema, or rather, a refurbished Hoyts cinema with 30% fewer seats. Don’t just come there for the movie.

The sense of space is striking on stepping from the Octagon into the lobby of the new Reading Cinema. The $5.5 million cinema fit-out included an industrial theme lobby design.

The coldness of the expansive grey concrete walls is softened by a scattering of suspended lights and large dining booths surrounded by warm wood.

Reading Entertainment managing director Wayne Smith, of Melbourne, said he expected people to come to the cinema not only to watch movies but to eat and drink.  LINK

Pearl-Qatar Imax cinema

Qatar – Imax continues it relentless march across the globe. But will it be showing Salman Khan’s Kick?

The Pearl-Qatar is set to open its first cinema on Monday morning, July 28, just in time for Eid al-Fitr, staff at the building told Doha News on Thursday.

The $10 million standalone movie theater complex has 12 screens, including Qatar’s second IMAX screen (after Villaggio mall’s cinema) and a VIP theater.

Originally slated to open in 2012, the complex, which is operated by Novo Cinemas, has seen a series of delays since then.  LINK

Finally

Paramount Picture theatre Surry Hill

Who can resist a cinema described as ‘if director David Lynch ran a venue, this would be it’? That’s what the newly renovated Paramount Pictures screening theatre in Surry Hill, an inner-city suburb of Sydney, is pitched at. But where is the red velvet lounge and midget singing backwards?

The bar area is a brown velvet, timber veneer and brass delight with a secret stage hidden behind a remote controlled curtain. The menu consists of things like The Spielburger, a toasted sandwich with proper New York-style pastrami, sauerkraut and Gruyere cheese served with a pickle, as well as movie-inspired cocktails, craft beers, natural and organic wines from Australia and abroad and cocktail shaker popcorn that comes in a range of flavours including Szechuan. There’s also vintage Dom Perignon for those nights when you win an Oscar or an Emmy.

The screening theatre has a more heritage vibe, with chairs purchased from an old cinema in Switzerland, a palette of moss green and vintage film projectors direct from Rome.

The bar has 45 seats and fits 60 people standing. The screening room fits 56 seated and another 15 people standing.  LINK

Paramount Picture theatre Surry Hill

Patrick von Sychowski
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Patrick von Sychowski

Patrick was a Senior Analyst at Screen Digest, went on to launch the digital cinema operations of Unique and Deluxe Europe, then digitised Bollywood at Adlabs/RMW, and now writes, consults and appears on panels about cinema all over the world.
Patrick von Sychowski
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