Weekly Cinema Digest – Friday 14 August 2015

By Patrick von Sychowski | August 14, 2015 3:31 am PDT
Aurora cinema victims

USA (CO) – The Aurora mass killer James Holmes was spared the death penalty after the jury could not unanimously agree for him to be executed. He will now spend the rest of his life in prison instead. Holmes never expressed any remorse for killing 12 people (above) and injuring many more. Variety – Ted Johnson – 7 August 2015

USA (NJ) – The man who was arrested carrying a concealed two guns, extra ammo, a bullet-proof vest and a fake badge in a complex housing an AMC multiplex in Morristown, NJ, owned the guns legally. But, “If you’re near a movie theater or a day care center with a bag of weapons that you’re not allowed to conceal or carry, that’s a serious crime,” the town’s mayor is quoted as saying. NJ.com – Ben Horowitz – 7 August 2015

USA (MA) – Showcase Cinemas is banning backpacks at its multiplexes, following the two most recent shooting incidents. Handbags are also subject to search by staff. WHDH.com – Kelli O’Hara – 9 August 2015

USA (CA) – Variety reports that Universal has offered the reimburse cinemas for the extra cost of security this weekend relating to screenings of “Straight Outta Compton”. Variety – Dave McNary – 12 August 2015

USA (CA) – Three people were injured when a man ran into a screening of “The Gift” shouting “I’ve got a chainsaw”. He was in fact carrying a leaf blower, but triggered panic and a stampede amongst the patrons at the Edwards Big Newport 6 cinema in Newport Beach, Los Angeles. The man had two accomplices, said the local police, which is not treating the incident as just a “minor prank.” The Independent – Rose Troup Buchanan – 11 August 2015

Disney Ferdinand Bull
Bull! (photo: The Walt Disney Company)

Spain – Bull fights contributed more to Spanish state coffers than the VAT recipes from cinemas. It contributed 45 million euro last year, 62% more than cinemas, and that was despite a record year for Spanish box office. But unlike Spanish films, bull fights don’t get state support from the Spanish government.  Marca (ES) – Carlos Llian – 7 August 2015

Venezuela – Hyperinflation is pushing up the costs of cinema tickets in Venezuela. The increase between January and July this year is 100%, while a 3D 4DX at Cines Unidos has gone up 186% during the same time. El Nacional (ES) – Sergio Moreno Gonzalez – 10 August 2015

UK – Cineworld has reported revenue of GBP £329.1 million (USD $513.28 million) in the first six months of 2015, up 11.3% compared to the same period last year. The exhibitor has opened six new multiplexes in the UK this year and is planning a further 18 in the next three years. The Irish Examiner – Geoff Percival – 14 August 2015

Canada – Cineplex has reported revenue for its second quarter, which was CAN $345.5 million (USD $264.3 million), a rise of 6.8%. F&B spend was up 8.3%, but film rental was up to 55% compared to 52.5% a year earlier. THR – Etan Vlessig – 13 August 2015

USA – Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition (DCDC) is predicting that it will have connected 32,000 screens in 3,000 locations to its satellite distribution network by 2018. Current number is 28,000 screens, 2,300 locations, of which 22,000/1,700 are connected to its proprietary satellite equipment for DCPs and live events. Variety – Seth Kelley – 7 August 2015

Cinelingue (photo: La Voix Du Nord)

France – Cinélingue brings cinema to small French towns and villages that lack their own permanent cinema. Their focus is primarily children, i.e. the next generation of cinema goers. La Voix Du Nord (FR) – Emilie Laurette – 6 August 2015

USA/India – A study by Chicago Booth assistant professor of marketing Anita Rao and Stanford University professor Wesley R. Hartmann found that in urban areas highly educated cinema goers prefer larger cinema screens over more film showtimes, whereas in other regions the preference is for more film showings than for larger auditoriums. The study was published in the journal Quantitative Marketing Economics. IBNlive – 11 August 2015

France – Knives and jewels were found on a table in a back room of a Corsican cinema that’s been closed for almost ten years. Corse-Matin (FR) – 8 August 2015

Germany – With the country sweltering under a late summer heatwave, CineStar has issues a press release promoting its air-conditioned multiplexes, which guarantee 21 degrees celsius (70F), as well as their 5 euro ticket spacial. CineStar (DE) – Press Release – 12 August 2015

Carnival Cinemas logo

India – Carnival Cinemas were awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 6th CMO Asia Multiplex Excellence Awards in Singapore. (Carnival claims to be the largest multiplex chain in India, though PVR is likely still ahead in the screen-count.) newKerala.com – Press Release – 11 August 2015

USA (NY) – Ever wondered why it is that films get released on the weekends that they do? NYT takes a look at the part-science-part-voodoo of programming “Straight Outta Comption” against “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” and “Tango Negro: The African Roots of Tango” in the same weekend. This year the late-summer calendar is “very unkind” because Labor Day falls late, on Sept. 7, which makes the weekends of Aug. 28 and Sept. 4 undesirable, while the following weekend that is normally good for art-house releases coincides with September 11th, “another date some folks arbitrarily avoid.” New York Times – Cara Buckley – 11 August 2015


India – Market leaders PVR and Inox are busy extending food offerings beyond just popcorn and samosas. “”One of the things we wanted to put an end to is people skipping food inside the hall and going to food courts,” said Gautam Dutta, chief executive of PVR Cinemas. “Hence, we have an exhaustive menu with about 100 to 120 odd variants of food serving in a high-end cinema.” The Economic Times – Richa Maheshwari & Rajesh Naidu – 13 August 2015


CJ 4DPlex cinema seats

Germany – Die Welt has a long article on 4DX and CJ CGV, which is now entering the German market (see Cineplex opening with D-Box below), looking at the latest evolution of the cinema experience and what various Hollywood directors think of it. Andreas Kramer, head of the Filmtheater trade body is sceptical, while CineStar is not interested and Cinemaxx replied to an email question with “No comment.” Die Welt (DE) – Soren Kittel – 8 August 2015

USA (MA) – Meanwhile in Boston the Showcase Cinema de Luxe in Revere has installed MediaMation’s motion seats, the first exhibitor in the East Coast and only the third in the US to opt for MediaMation’s solution. The Boston Globe – Hiawatha Bray – 8 August 2015


UK – Digital Cinema Media (DCM) is looking at targeted advertising and experimental events as a means of growing the business, rather than just relying on blockbusters like Bond and Star Wars. Revenue was up 21% in the first half of the year for DCM. The Drum – Seb Joseph – 10 August 2015

Cinema Opening/Closings

Cineplex Baunatal
Cineplex Baunatal (photo: Volkan Basel/FTB Schäfer GmbH)

Germany – Cineplex has opened a six-screen multiplex with 690 sears (115 seats/screen average) in Baunatal. Three of the auditoriums have stages for in-theatre events. It was envisioned as a premium cinema and is first in Germany to offer “Longchair” loungers. It also features a Dolby Atmos screen, 4K laser projection, D-Box seats and a High Noon Burger Bar / Lounge offering regional products.  Blickpunkt:Film (DE) – 10 August 2015

Germany – The cinema in Tichelpark is replacing its 20 year old seats – but is not replacing them with larger or cutting down on the number of seats. NRZ (DE) – Andreas Gebbink – 7 august 2015

Israel – Ultra-orthodox jews are protesting the opening of a new 16-screen multiplex by Yes Planet in south Jerusalem. They object to it being open on Shabbat. Unlike the Cinema City complex, which has had to close on Shabbos, Yes Planet’s multiplex is built on private land so is free to be open when it pleases. The Jerusalem Post – Jeremy Sharon – 10 August 2015

India – Cinepolis has opened its second multiplex in Hyderabad. The Mexican operator now has 206 screens in India, with plans for further 50 this year and a target of 400 by 2016. Business Line – K V Kurmanath – 14 August 2015

Belgium – Is this the final nail in the coffin of any hope to re-open the old ABC porn cinema in Brussels as a hip art-house cinema? Sadly it seems so. l’avenir.net – 18 August 2015


Batman Curzon Soho cinema London

The Curzon Soho is launching a short-film competition in partnership with Shooting People network to highlight the likely closure of the central London cinema. Chris Boyd, of Curzon Cinemas is quoted as saying: “The competition aims to support new film-makers whilst highlighting the idea that the Curzon is an institution for film and a place where film-makers get together.” The cinema would have to make way for the Crossrail 2 project. West End Extra – Tom Foot & Daniel Kraemer – 7 August 2015

Patrick von Sychowski
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