CJ Cinema Digest – Monday 16 May 2016

By Patrick von Sychowski | May 16, 2016 4:44 am PDT

Alibaba ticketing worth $2bn, India cinema deaths, Ballantyne overhaul, PVR piracy trace, FilmExpoGroup website re-launch, Live Cinema Conference streams, Overwatch globally and dog cinema.

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China – Having recently invested USD$150 million in China’s second largest cinema chain (Dadi), Alibaba Pictures Group has raised CNY¥1.7 billion (USD $260 million) for its Taobao Movies ticketing service, valuing the service at CNY¥13.7 billion (USD $2.1 billion). The deal highlights the disproportionally large role that online ticketing services play in the Chinese cinema ecosystem. Variety – 15 May 2016

Seven construction workers dead under mud after landslip
Seven workers killed at multiplex construction site. (photo: News Nation)

India – Seven construction workers were killed in a landslide on the building site of a multiplex in Lakshmipuram, in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Some 18 workers were in the basement section when the landslide occured. The state government has promised compensation on INR 200,000 (USD $2,995) to the families of each worker killed. Angry family members of the victims destroyed the car of social welfare minister Kishore Babu who visited the disaster site. News Nation – 16 May 2016

Ballantyne Strong Chairman and CEO Kyle Cerminara
Ballantyne Strong Chairman and CEO Kyle Cerminara (photo: Brendan Sullivan/The World-Herald)

USA (NE) – Ballantyne is undergoing a major overhaul under its new CEO.

D. Kyle Cerminara, who became Ballantyne’s chairman in May of last year and chief executive in November, said he’s renewing the company’s emphasis on cinema and digital media even as he’s transforming it into a holding company with diverse interests, some related to the cinema and digital industries, some not.

In the next three to six weeks there may be a few more tweaks in store, he said — evaluating the health of Ballantyne’s various businesses, making sure capital is deployed smartly.

Ballantyne is also selling its lightning division and taking a stake in an insurance business. The stock is down 20% over five years, mening that a shakeup in overdue. Omaha.com – 16 May 2016

24 movie poster India
“24” – pirated less than 24h after its release.

India – Multiplex major PVR has been blacklisted in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu after one of its cinemas was traced as the source of a camcording piracy theft. Distributor Studio Greene traced a pirate copy of “24” to PVR Orion Mall, Bangalore, on the first day show (9.45 AM, May 6). Sify Movies – 14 May 2016

cinema ticket prices UK
Cinema fans are better off in Wales (image: BT Money)

UKVoucherbox.co.uk has mapped the cheapest and the most expensive places to buy cinema tickets in the UK. The Welsh capital is your wallet’s best friend, while London leaves you with the least spare change for popcorn (no surprise), closely followed by Manchester. BT Money – 13 May 2016


USA (NY) – FilmExpoGroup has launched their new look website.

It’s official: TODAY marks the launch of the new Film Expo Group website! Created with YOU in mind, we have launched a NEW DESIGN with a more FOCUSED STRUCTURE for simpler navigation and enhanced information for EACH of our ventures – CineEurope, ShowEast, & CineAsia, along with easier access to the Film Journal International website.

So whether you are attending CineEurope, ShowEast or CineAsia, it should make for a better online experience.

Work underway at the main hall of the Saudi Cultural Center in Dammam. (photo: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)
Work underway at the main hall of the Saudi Cultural Center in Dammam. (photo: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia – And it’s once again on, with cinema supposedly coming to Saudi Arabia. “The announcement of an independent body for entertainment in Saudi Arabia has triggered anticipation and high expectancy from artists and citizens to launch cinemas, entertainment hubs and cultural events as part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.” Construction is apparently afoot for a screening venue in the main hall of the Saudi Cultural Center in Dammam. Digital Production ME – 16 May 2016

Event Cinema

Live Cinema Network

UK – For those unable to attend the Live Cinema Conference in Berlin, you can now have it streamed live in high definition to your cinema (or laptop) for GBP£250. The programme is looking good, so this seems like a sensible way of widening the audience for this typ of event. You;d be interesting to know what the uptake is. LinkedIn – 15 May 2016


Global – The “Overwatch” screening with Blizzard and Coke will not just be taking place with Vue but with several exhibitors in around 11 countries in Europe: Finland, Norway, France, The Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria and Italy. In the US Coke is working with Tugg and it will even showing in alaska, which must be some sort of first.

Cinema Opening/Closings

Eldorado Cinema Munich
Eldorado Kino Munich – soon lost. (photo: Stephan Rumpf/SZ)

Germany – Munich’s Eldorado art-house cinema is set to close before the end of the year. Opened in 1971 Eldorado had a varied art-house profile in programming. It is the latest of several screens to go dark in Germany’s wealthiest city, as rents go up and up. Suddeutschezeiting – 13 May 2016

Indiranagar BDA complex
Indiranagar BDA complex

India – Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) can finally build a planned multiplexes after a court ruled against 41 shop keepers in the Austin Town and Indiranagar shopping complexes. “The HC held that these shopkeepers were only ‘licensees’ and not tenants of the BDA.” The BDA has been trying to re-construct the shopping complexes to feature multiplexes since 2009. Bangalore Mirror – 16 May 2016

Shanti Cinema Chennai
We Shanti forget you. (photo: The Hindu)

India – Chennai’s Shanti theatre is closing after 55 years of operation. The single-screen cinema is being demolished to make way for a multiplex, reflecting the changing tastes and habits of India’s urban cinema-going middle-class. Nyoooz – 16 May 2016


Dog in cinema
It’s a dog-watch-dog day in the cinema. (screen grab: MSN)

UK – Dogs watching a movie at an actual cinema. Need we say more?

Amusing footage, filmed this week, of dogs watching a special screening of the movie Heart of a Dog at a cinema, part of Dog Gone Crazy season at Picturehouses.

Dig the special blankets that they get. MSN – 13 May 2016

Patrick von Sychowski
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