CJ Cinema Digest – Wednesday 11 May 2016

By Patrick von Sychowski | May 11, 2016 2:57 am PDT
Alibaba Pictures logo

In this issue: Alibaba signs deal with Dadi, PPB expands in Vietnam, Angry Arabic Birds, Webedia buys Tixos, Cliff Marks President of NCM, Landmark cut energy, Coke brings Overwatch to Vue, Aurora jury selected, and music videos in 35mm.

China (PR): Alibaba Pictures Group (APG) is set to invest CNY¥1 billion (USD $154 million) in China’s second largest cinema operator Dadi. This is the first foray into the cinema business by APG and is interpreted as a move to counterbalance the expansion of Wanda Cinema Line, China’s largest cinema operator. It also highlights the three-way connection between film producers/distributors, cinema operators and online companies, the last of which China’s BAT (Baidu, Alibaba and Taobao) dominate. APG and Dadi also singed a side deal that covered movie promotion, e-commerce and other film-related businesses. Variety – 9 May 2016

GSC group chief executive Koh Mei Lee
GSC group chief executive Koh Mei Lee (photo: The Star)

Malaysia – PPB Group has high hopes for its Vietnam cinema venture Golden Screen Cinemas. The group recently raised its shareholding in the Vietnam-based Galaxy Studio Joint Stock Company from 25% to 40%. Galaxy plans to open four to five new cinema per year in Vietnam. PPB will also push into Cambodia with the opening of a nine-screen cinema in Phnom Penh in the third quarter of this year. The Star – 11 May 2016

Angry Birds Movie - Arabic poster

Egypt – When “The Angry Birds Movie” opens this week in the Middle East it will be one of the first Hollywood films to be dubbed into Arabic. Lebanese television presenter Raya Abi Rached, who voices one of the characters, is quoted as saying:

“It is hugely important to have these films localised… This transformation will give Arab audiences a chance to engage more with the film alongside their English-speaking counterparts.”

In a concession to local sensibilities the green piggies have been re-named ‘khanazir’, which loosely translates as ‘squishy’. The National – 11 May 2016

Tixos Logo

France – Global media major Webedia has signed an exclusive agreement with Tixos to acquire the company that provides ticketing systems. It is expected to be merged with the Côté Ciné Group that Webedia acquired last year. Tixos is integrated with the Vista and Veezi ticketing solutions. Press Release (FR) – 10 May 2016


Canada – Landmark Cinemas has engaged Energy Advantage to promote energy and sustainability in its business. Energy Advantage first completing an in-depth Total Energy and Environmental Management (or TEEM) Assessment for Landmark, which points to 20% potential energy savings. Press Release – 10 May 2016


Cliff Marks, National CineMedia Networks
Cliff Marks, National CineMedia Networks

USA (CO) – National CineMedia has promoted Cliff Marks to President of the company.  He was previously president of sales and marketing with NCM, and will continue to head up the company’s marketing, sales and advertising division out of New York City. Press Release – 9 May 2016

Event Cinema

Overwatch Vue 23 May
Overwatch – watch it in Vue cinemas thanks to Coke and Blizzard.

UK – Vue will be screening special Overwatch shorts on the big screen in partnership with Coke eSports and Blizzard Entertainment on on 23 May. “A developer panel will also be shown, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the heroes and lore of the Overwatch universe. Every participant will receive limited edition swags.” For those over 30, Overwatch is a multiplayer online video game. Press Release – 10 May 2016


André Bonnet
André Bonnet does not like ‘blue’ movies. (photo: Boris hornet / AFP)

France – Meet André Bonnet, the head of the l’association vauclusienne Promouvoir. He will not be seen on the red carpet in Cannes as he is the man who would ban under-18 from seeing film such as Cannes-winner “Blue is the Warmest Colour” that feature graphic sex scenes and/or violence. He has successful targeted everything from “Blue..” and “Baise Moi” to “Hateful 8” and “Fifty Shades of Grey”. Midi Libre (FR) – 10 May 2016

Law & Order

USA (CO) – A six member jury has been selected for the civil lawsuit against Cinemark in the case of the families of the Aurora shooting victims. A separate federal lawsuit against Cinemark is expected to begin in July. In an early history for Cinemark, Arapahoe County District Judge Phillip Douglass ruled the Homeland Security warning about a potential terrorist threat to cinema inadmissible. The judge said it “might mislead and confuse the jury.” Reuters – 9 May 2016

Cinema Opening/Closings

Vue cinema Feetham Darlington
Vue cinema opening here… soon. (photo: Sarah Caldecott / The Northern Echo)

UK – Darlington’s new multiplex is on track to open in June the company building it claims. The nine-screen Vue cinema will be the anchor tenant of Darlington’s new Feetham’s shopping site. The opening has been postponed previously and Vue is not committing to a specific opening date. The Northern Echo – 11 May 2016



USA – Music videos are best enjoyed on 35mm film in cinema. That is the view of director Paul Thomas Anderson, who has directed Radiohead’s new video for the song “Daydreaming”. It will be screening in Alamo Drafthouse, The Egyptian in Hollywood, The Aero in Santa Monica and Quentin Tarantino‘s New Beverly Cinema this weekend. If you are impatient or can’t get there, watch it on YouTube above. Slash Film – 9 May 2016

Patrick von Sychowski
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