China Cinema Digest – Thursday 4 December 2014

By Patrick von Sychowski | December 4, 2014 1:15 am PST
Wang Jianlin, founder of Dalian Wanda group, Credit CHINATOPIX, via Associated Press

Wanda Cinemas has been given the OK for an IPO in China in its second attempt. So much for all of our conspiracy theories that it would list elsewhere.

Wanda Cinema Line Co. Ltd., a movie theater company controlled by Chinese real estate mogul Wang Jianlin, has received approval for a share-offering in China in which it hopes to raise up to 2 billion yuan (US$325.6 million).

The listing approval was announced late Friday by China Securities Regulatory Commission. It comes as Wang, who Forbes magazine says is China’s fourth-richest man, prepares a huge initial public offering in Hong Kong for his real estate unit, Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co (IPO-DWC.SS).

The two listings, expected to be completed before the end of the year, would raise capital to accelerate Wang’s expansion in property and entertainment.  LINK

The NYT has a good thumbnail sketch of Wanda’s Chairman Wang Jianlin, who does not sit on the board of any of the soon-to-be-four listed companies that he controls.

Investors in Chinese companies are accustomed to founders having controlling stakes and wielding enormous power. But Mr. Wang has no official role in Wanda’s commercial property division, which is planning to list a minority stake in Hong Kong, or in the upcoming offering of its mainland Chinese cinema business. He is also absent from the American theater chain AMC Entertainment, which Wanda bought in 2012 and refloated a year later, and from its Hong Kong-listed hotel unit.

Wanda executives hold various board seats, including the chairman’s role at all four companies. Yet the tycoon’s lack of direct involvement is unusual.  LINK

Vista Group

Vista has completed a major roll-out with one of China’s largest cinema chains – in record time.

Cinema software company, Vista Entertainment Solutions has finished what they describe as one of the hardest projects the company has undertaken, rolling out 230 cinema sites across China in just six weeks.

Vista chief executive Murray Holdaway said the project, which involved total travel time of 2,376 hours had gone extremely smoothly and he was proud to have set a new “global benchmark”.

“To embark on a project of this scale within such a short time frame was something that as far as we know, has not been achieved before in our industry, and I’m delighted that our teams – Vista people assisted by Dadi people – have executed so brilliantly. They have re-set the global benchmark for the speed at which installation projects such as this can be carried out and we are proud of them,” Holdaway said.  LINK

Cinema City Langham

SAR Hong Kong – Cinema has been in decline in Hong Kong, mainly due to rocketing rents, but legendary actor/producer Raymond Wong is changing that with his cash injection into upgrading the Cinema City complex, run by his daughter.

Cinema City Langham’s managing director , with more than 12 years experience in the film industry – Raymond Wong’s daughter – Miss Huang Yijun, said “the film is a creative industry, and the theater needs to bring creativity to the audience, who today don’t just go to the theater to “see” movies. There is also the three-dimensional nature whereby they must “enjoy” the movies. So our Flagship Studios by landmark environmental design, advanced projection equipment, a comprehensive computer system, and even theater food have spent a lot of efforts to improve the such as the award-winning architect Wang Shiwei invite the theme of “science fiction opera” to create a unique environment avant-garde design, in cooperation with the international trend of fashion brands iiJin unique style design staff uniforms.

designed by Cheng Korea introduced the latest big ball popcorn machine, broke Hong Kong’s unique large popcorn balls, spherical popcorn flavor to a variety of features to attract spectators: corn soup, cheese corn, popcorn and other super caramel taste. In terms of tickets, at a plurality of electronic platforms can also be purchased on their own, such as online ticketing platform 1. 2. smartphone offer program (Apps) platform 3. theater lobby electronic ticketing machines. We highlight the creativity and service new era theater should have, for the customer to bring freshness. In addition to a variety of hardware support, but we also paid great attention to staff training, and hire a smile ambassador initiative to improve service to further enhance good corporate image. ” LINK

Huayi Brothers Media
Huayi Brothers (Tianjin) Co., Ltd.

Seat selection and online ticketing is about to enter its “golden age” in China, according to this article. And it is attracting interest from a lot of major player keen to tap into the O2O (offline-to-online) market.

Continuously appear on the market recently made two related financing transactions: June 16, Huayi Brothers announcement that is going to spend 266 million yuan, through its subsidiary Huayi Brothers (Tianjin) Co., Ltd. acquired blockbuster interactive entertainment network 51% stake . And by the end of June, Guevara also re-financing of 200 million yuan, and its C round of financing received nearly 400 million round of financing led side to the Chinese Cultural Industry Investment Fund.

Huayi Brothers to spend 266 million yuan to acquire 51% stake grossing network, which estimated the market value of the latter is about 522 million. And since listing, Huayi Brothers has been concerned about the development of the Internet field. In recent years, companies in the field of mobile games and other new media have continuous acquisitions. Huayi Brothers has also repeatedly claims that: traditional business, entertainment and the Internet is the real future of enterprise development Troika.  LINK

China cinema ticket machines

There can be no doubting the growth of the online ticket field.

According to the well-known investigative body art advisory survey data show that in 2013 Chinese film market grossed 21.7 billion yuan, the total turnover reached online buy movie tickets 3.64 billion yuan, accounting for 16.8%; movie tickets online seat selection size of the market broke through the 1.2 billion yuan, accounting for 5.5% of the overall market size. 2013 National viewing trips 620 million, of which up to 129 million people online ticketing, accounting for 21%. At the same time, the country has opened the online election seat theater features close to 30% of the national theater of the data. Insiders predict that the next three years, the national online tickets in the domestic film grossed share, or more than 50%.  LINK

But there continues to be a fierce price war to attract buyers to particular online seat selection vendors.

“19.9 yuan grab tickets to see Zhou Xun spoiled”, “100 000 10 yuan grab movie tickets to see Jiang masterpiece”, “buy one get one movie ticket free” Although the major online booking platform has been “occupied” cinema, but to each other the competition is fierce, most consumers ought to benefit from “cheap” strategy.

Traditional buy movie tickets in different ways, another big advantage is that movies online ticket cheap. To currently released “Interstellar” for example, if the tickets through the traditional way to the scene, a 3D movie ticket price is about 120 yuan, and by the way movies online ticket purchase may be cheaper by half, only about 60 yuan .

Now, open a variety of online ticketing website, the director Jiang Wen’s Lunar New Year blockbuster “step away” has become their competing to attract members of the latest “magic.” Guevara movie launched the “20 yuan IMAX gold field, 100,000 movie tickets waiting for you” campaign at home.  LINK

China private cinema

This article on the growing appeal of ‘private cinemas’ highlights the fact that most of the films on offer are illegally downloaded from the internet and have not been certified for official release in China.

Interview that almost all of these hundreds of thousands of private theater department sources, but without exception, are the main foreign films, many can not be seen in the traditional cinema blockbusters can watch here.

Turning to the source of the film, love vip screen cinema operators revealed that the film is basically a website and then download the video to play, mainly because some have not yet ratified the domestic theatrical release or not publicly released movie, including foreign countries has been offline and not yet released movie. The operator also admits that the movie source is in the “nobody” status, he introduced the first of this model appeared on the Internet movie player, is from the Internet cafe owner beat down on the platform where the cafe for customers to watch, not extra charges. With the Internet more and more, this kind of model for commercial viewing began with specification. “It was not much open private cinema, someone will surely be more open pipe.”  LINK

Interstellar poster China

In THR’s roundup of the Mainland box office “Interstellar” continues to perform strong, having crossed USD $100 million, but local films are snapping at its heels.

Roy Chow’s Rise of the Legend added another $12.21 million in its first full week to bring its cume to $25.69 million, while DreamWorks Animation’s Penguins of Madagascar added another $8.22 million to bring its cume after 17 days to $32.58 million.

In fifth place was Brad Pitt’s Fury, which took $7.73 million in its first full week for a cume of $15.04 million after 10 days. The movie is unlikely to have been very much affected by an online screener leak following the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment. Pirated copies are already widely available in China and people tend to go to see a movie for the theater experience, then watch it again on their tablets or cellphones later. The leak is, of course, still hardly welcome news for a film debuting in China.  LINK

McDonalds China

Not a week seems to go by without an article about upset cinema patrons being barred from bringing outside food into the cinema. This man with three children was stopped from bringing in fries and burgers from a nearby fast food restaurant, despite having also bought popcorn at the cinema, on account of the smell of the fries. The article ends, as always, with a lawyer interviewed about consumer protection rights.

Mr. Zhang said that he was very understanding: Why can enter with popcorn, and chips can not take into account, “said tellers fries smell too, affect other customers, said fries bigger than popcorn smell? , he is working to mind the provisions Studios! “For this approach Studios, Mr. Zhang some angry, let tellers to find the person in charge. Soon, a man and a woman to two young people in charge. Upon learning of the situation, that male officials, who said it was Studios provides out to buy food can not be brought in, “he said from the beginning of the film as well as eight minutes, let the baby who ate french fries and then go outside to see movie. “Mr. Zhang was very angry, but I did not expect that male heads in order to prevent them from entering the body will actually block the auditorium with sliding doors. In desperation, Mr. Zhang had to let a friend put the bag of chips on the table in front of the theater, this into the auditorium.

At noon yesterday, the reporter went to Qujiang International Studios geese outanane Square. In Studios hall, the wall is a row of stalls selling food, popcorn, drinks and so on. Wicket placed in a prompt card that says “declined takeaway food.” A man claiming to be the duty manager Studios Ms Lau said the incident the same day she was at the scene, “Studios provision can not take away the food, but the actual operation is the smell of food can not take into account the large, like water, drinks can bring, The durian, hamburgers, French fries are not bands. “She said the smell of food is big by tellers to judge.  LINK

Cinema Opening/Closings

Poly Cinema

An impressive new five star cinema from Poly Films.

(Win Business Network Yunnan station reported) at the end of this year, Chun Fat Land’s Riverside Plaza Chun Fat officially opened its doors, this is Chun Fat property opened in the year’s first commercial projects. As one of the major anchor stores of the project, as early as 2012 had been signed settled Poly International Studios , is still in renovation, according to the staff of Riverside Plaza Chun Fat introduced Studios is expected to be in April 2015 to May to opened.

It is understood that occupancy Chun Fat Plaza Riverside Poly ( thematic reading ) International Studios , is Poly Films second five-star theater company in Kunming, the layout, the area of 4400 ?, with seven viewing rooms, occupied Riverside Plaza Chun Fat entire five-story space. Prior to the opening of the first city in the South Asian style Poly International Studios, a total of eight rooms, 1888 seats, was once the largest building in Yunnan, the largest number of seats, the most luxurious Studios.  LINK


China cinema token white guy

He is an American actor whose films have outperformed those of Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in cinema in China, though chances are you’ve never heard of him.

Jonathan Kos-Read, or “Cao Cao,” came to Beijing after studying acting and Chinese at New York University. After a stint as an English teacher, he saw an ad in a magazine for a foreign actor and replied.

Although actors create illusions, there’s one thing he couldn’t fake — fluency in Mandarin. Over the last 15 years, he has performed in more than 100 Chinese films and TV shows.

“There aren’t a lot of people who can play the white guy in a Chinese movie. You know, there are guys who are much better looking than me. There are guys who are better actors. There are guys who have better Chinese, but it’s hard to have a package. So I work a lot,” Kos-Read said.  LINK

Patrick von Sychowski
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