CJ Cinema Digest – Friday 6 May 2016

By and Patrick von Sychowski | May 6, 2016 3:52 am PDT

In this issue: Wanda interest in India, Cinepolis India bifurcates brands, PVR+DT=finally true, NCM Q1, Cinestar roach sacking compensation, Paris’ Pickup VR Cinema, Cineworld 4DX, event cinema UK invasion, Empire in Doncaster, Everyman in Bristol, Suns in DC and Deadpool Blu-Ray.

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PVR Cinema

A welcome mat out for Chinese investors?

India – China’s Wanda is understood to be exploring buying one or more Indian cinema circuits. According to business paper Live Mint discussions have taken place with PVR and Carnival Cinemas, though the high valuations are said to be a major hurdle. Carnival has confirmed the approach. “We have received an offer from Wanda Group through its representatives. It is looking to buy into an unlisted film exhibition company in India and then later list it. We are yet to evaluate the proposal,” said Shrikant Bhasi, founder and chairman of the Carnival Group. Indian cinemas trade at around 12 times EV/EBITDA, compared to global average of six to seven times. Live Mint – 5 May 2016

Cinepolis India

India – Meanwhile India’s only currently foreign-owned chain Cinépolis is to adopt a two-brand strategy; Cinépolis will be the name for further multiplex expansion, while Fun Republic will be used for single screen cinemas that it acquires and/or operates. The news comes as Cinépolis enters into a strategic alliance with to operate ten single screen theatres in the states of MP and Maharashtra. Business Standard – 5 May 2016

PVR DT Cinema India

India – And it looks like the deal to sell DT Cinema to PVR has finally been finalised and approved by all relevant authorities. “DLF announced that the Hon’ble Competition Commission of India vide its letter dated 04 May 2016 has approved the proposed combination in terms of sub-section (7) of the Section 31 of the Competition Act, 2002.” Business Standard – 6 May 2016

NCM logo (new)

USA (NY) – Nationl CineMedia has announced its Q1 earnings, the first under its new CEO. Revenue was down 0.9% to USD$76.2 million from USD$76.9 million for the same quarter last year, with a net loss of USD$4.3 million. The costs associated with terminating the merger with Screenvision weighed on the results. CEO Andy England was nevertheless “pleased” and said, “While shifts in upfront commitments to the second half of the year have subdued performance versus the first half of 2015, we remain confident in our business for the full year.” Press Release – 4 May 2016


Costly critter in Cinestar (photo: lucky pic)

Germany – A Cinestar manager who has allegedly fired after destroying concessions food following a cockroach invasion in the Neue Filmpalast (Lübeck) has demanded a higher payment through an employment dispute tribunal in Osnabrück. The offer of €16,000 was apparently rejected as the woman asked for twice this amount.  NOZ (DE) – 5 May 2016

Pickup VR Cinema Paris

Pickup VR cinema in Paris. (photo: Sortiraparis / Pickup VR Cinema}

France – Paris will get a one-day pop-up “VR Cinema” on 19 May. Except it is actually more like a cafe with a bunch of comfy chairs where people can sit with headsets and watch something that is not a feature film, but a selection of short films and documentaries lasting 45 minutes, amounting to a demo. It will be more interesting when a proper synchronised VR film event is arranged. It will no doubt happen. Sortirparis (FR) – 3 May 2016

Law & Order

Palace Lumière cinema in Altkirch

Palace Lumière cinema in Altkirch (photo: Archives Alsace / Jerome Gil)

France – A robber with a gun had to leave the Palace Lumière cinema – in the centre of the town of Altkirch – empty-handed when the person at the box office showed him the till was empty. Half an hour later he tried to rob a Total gas station and took a small sum and escaped by car. The cinema had been subject to a previous robbery on 30 December. L’Alsace.fr (FR) – 5 May 2016


UK – Is 4D seating a fad? Yahoo looks at the technology mover and shaker 4DX invading Cineworld and other screens.

Cineworld has invested millions bringing 4DX to the UK and it just opened its fourth 4DX screen at Stevenage, Hertfordshire. The chain’s Senior VP of Marketing Justin Skinner says the public’s reaction to 4DX has – so far – been very positive.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the customer response, “ Skinner told Yahoo Movies, “It has been extremely positive with multiple screenings selling out well in advance. Customers frequently tell us that they love 4DX and drive from much further distances to experience it.”

A total of 10 Cineworld 4DX screens will open this year. Watching it in 3D as well? That will be GBP£6.20 extra in total. Yahoo Movies – 5 May 2016

Event Cinema

Micheal Moore Q&A event cinema "Where to Invade next"

Invading your local cinema soon.

UK – Michael Moore will be invading 113 cinemas across the UK with a live video transmission of the Q&A for his documentary “Where to Invade Next” on 10 June. The film has not been a major critical or commercial hit in the US, so this sort of added extra should help give it a boost, if only for one night. Press Release – 4 May 2016

Cinema Opening/Closings

Empire Doncaster Alhambra

Empire Doncaster Alhambra plans (image: artist’s impression)

UK – Doncaster is set to get an Empire cinema on the roof of the Alhambra Shopping Centre. The 10-screen cinema seating 1,244 will include Empire’s PLF own-brand Impact screen. It will also offer Empire Extras, “The service offers screenings of big stage productions and events on the big screen, from the comfort of their local cinema – be it theatre, opera, ballet, music or sport.” So basically an own-brand for event cinema. Doncaster Free Press – 6 May 2016

Everyman cinema on Whiteladies Road, Bristol.

A general view of the Everyman cinema on Whiteladies Road, Bristol.
(photo: Dan Regan)

UK – A look inside the future Everyman Cinema that will open in Whiteladies Road in Bristol on 20 May. Bristol Post – 5 May 2016

The unfinished Picture Palace cinema on Lower Merchants Road.

The unfinished Picture Palace cinema on Lower Merchants Road. (photo: Connacht tribune)

Ireland (Republic) – No end of bad luck for this troubled arthouse cinema project in Galway, with the local council now threatening to withdraw funding. “The unfinished structure on Lower Merchants Road has been described as a “pantheon of mismanagement and waste” by Fine Gael Councillor Padraig Conneely, who has called for radical action to bring the project to a conclusion.” Ouch! Connacht Tribune – 6 May 2016

Suns Cinema, Washington D.C.

Suns Cinema, Washington D.C. (photo: David Cabrera / Washington City Paper)

USA (Washington D.C.) – The single-screen Suns Cinema is opening this weekend in Mt. Pleasant. The plan to open it was announced shortly after the local arthouse West End Cinema closed. “Suns Cinema will almost entirely screen repertory cinema, starting this Sunday with the 1970 documentary about the flight of Apollo 11, Moonwalk One.” Further films are planned in partnership with Janus Films, Drafthouse Films, and the National Film Archive of Czech Republic. Washington City Paper – 5 May 2016


We like to encourage watching films in cinemas. But as this one is already the highest grossing film in cinemas this year it should be quite safe to get the Blu-Ray. Almost safe. Reasonable safe. Actually, best check with your doctor first.

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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