CJ Cinema News Digest – Friday 27 January 2017

By Patrick von Sychowski | January 27, 2017 2:22 am PST
"Your Name" poster

Japan 2016 BO up 8%, record Kiwi BO year, Major Cineplex to add 80 screens, Atom Tickets partners Bow Tie Cinemas, Mars renews Sony 4K wows, Bollywood back in Pakistani cinemas, PVR wants to buy 100 screens, Christie RGB laser with Major Cineplex and Taiwan Showtime Cinemas, Severtsons SAT-4K screen, VIP Cinema Seating can make 2,000 luxury seats day, George Scheckel joins Power Technology, RIP Michael Stirling, power outage at Glasgow Cineworld and ScarJo Yummy Pop popcorn – we want it in cinemas!


Japan – Box office in Japan rose 8% in 2016 on the back of “Shin Godzilla”, “Your Name” and other local hits. Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan  reports total BO was JPY ¥236 billion (USD $2.08 billion) with admissions at 180 million, the highest it has been since 1974. Animation “Your Name” was the top title, with “Star Wars: the Force Awakens” the second highest. Domestic films’ market share was 63.1%, up from 55% in 2015 and screen count increased from 3,437 to 3,472. Variety – 25 January 2017

"Hunt for the Wilderpeople" was BO gold in 2016.
“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” was BO gold in 2016.

New Zealand – It was also a record year in New Zealand, helped by local hit “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”, which took NZD $12 million (USD $8.7 million) and is the country’s biggest ever local film. The country’s total BO office for 2016 was NZD $206.6 million (USD $149.78), up 6.8 per cent from 2015 according to figures released by the Motion Picture Distribution Association of New Zealand (MDPA). Stuff.co.nz – 27 January 2017

Major Cineplex - set for more screen and upgrades. (photo: Patrick von Sychowski / Celluloid Junkie)
Major Cineplex – set for more screen and upgrades. (photo: Patrick von Sychowski / Celluloid Junkie)

Thailand – Major Cineplex has announced plans to add 80 more screens this year, mainly in the country’s north, spending THB 1 billion (USD$28.34 million). Thailand leading exhibitor will also be upgrading its premium locations in Bangkok and recently installed a Christie RGB laser projector (see below). Major Cineplex currently has 700 screen and aims for 1,000 across Thailand and neighbouring countries by 2020. The Nation – 27 January 2017

USA (CA) – Atom Tickets has partnered Bow Tie Cinemas to expand the mobile ticketing platforms reach in northeastern US. Bow Tie has presence in  New YorkNew JerseyConnecticutColoradoMaryland and Virginia. Atom has already partnered Regal Cinemas, AMC Theatres, Arclight Cinemas, Landmark Cinemas of Canada, Studio Movie Grill and Emagine Entertainment. Press Release – 26 January 2017

Turkey’s Mars goes with Sony 4K – again.

Turkey – Mars has renewed its contract for 4K projectors with Sony Digital Cinema. The CJ CGV-owned operator began its digital deployment with Sony in 2015. In tis round it will install eight cinemas with 69 screen with Sony 4K projectors. ” The project will be completed within a 12 month period, beginning first with Çorum AHL Park in January, followed by Vadi Istanbul and Emaar Square to be opened in March 2017.” Press Release – 23 January 2017

"Kabul" is good to screen in Pakistan.
“Kaabil” is good to screen in Pakistan.

Pakistan – The first Bollywood titles to be released in Pakistan after the court month ban will be “Kaabil”, which was issued with a No Objection Certification (NOC) and Shahrukh Khan-starrer “Raees”, which is still awaiting NOC. Both films are distributed by Hum Films. News18 – 27 January 2017

PVR is looking to grow.

India – PVR is on the hunt for +100 screen acquisition opportunities. Unfortunately it can’t big for the largest chain on offer (SRS) because of the DT acquisition, so it will have to smaller operators. “There is stuff available…We are evaluating what is the right fit for us,” PVR joint MD Sanjeev Kumar Bijli is quoted as saying. PE company Warburg Pincus recently acquired a 14% stake in PVR. Economic Times – 26 January 2017


Major Cineplex RGB laser
Major Cineplex RGB laser

Thailand – Christie has deployed its flagship RGB projector with Major Cineplex’s flagship multiplex the Famous Siam Paragon Mall in Bangkok. “The projection system will be fitted in Siam Pavalai theater, Thailand’s single, grandest theater equipped with 23-meter screen and 1,096-seat capacity, making it an ideal venue for the deployment of the Christie RGB laser projection system.” Major Cineplex is the first exhibitor in Thailand to install Christie RGB laser projector. Christie also installed laser projection in an all-Christie multiplex in Taichung, central Taiwan, that also used Christie Vive Audio. Press Release – 26 January 2017

Severtson Screens logo

USA (AZ) – Severtson Screens has launched its new SAT-4K screen. The foldable and “acoustically transparent” screen features “even finer weave and whiter material that makes the viewing image even better than before.” Press Release – 25 January 2017


VIP Cinema Seating. (photo: VIP Cinema Seating)
VIP Cinema Seating. (photo: VIP Cinema Seating)

USA (MS) – VIP  Cinema Seating has expanded its factory to 190,000 square feet (17,651 sq meters) and increased capacity by 60%. The move allows the self-proclaimed world’s largest manufacturer of premium seating to 2,000 luxury seats per day – yet another sign of the ferocious speed at which the likes of AMC, Regal, etc are switching to luxury seating. Press Release – 25 January 2017

George Scheckel
George Scheckel at the HPA Awards 2012.

USA (AR) – George Scheckel has joined Power Technology as Sr. Dir. of Business Development for cinema products, which focuses on its laser light business. Press Release – 25 January 2017

RIP Michael Stirling.
RIP Michael Stirling.

USA – Recently the digital cinema industry did not just lose Jim Whittlesey but also Technicolor’s Michael Sterling. He was also associate director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ (AMPAS’) Science and Technology Council, as well as having been instrumental in developing the encrypted delivery system for “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones”. He was 61 when he died on 18 December last year. THR – 4 January 2017

Health & Safety

Glasgow Cineworld notice. (photo: Evening Times)
Glasgow Cineworld notice. (photo: Evening Times)

UK (Scotland) – Cineworld Glasgow has shut for the second time in six months because of a power outage. Cineworld Renfer Street closed on the afternoon of Thursday 26 January and refunds were offered to ticket buyers. Evening Times – 26 January 2017


ScarJo's Yummy Pop! Hopefully soon in cinemas. (photo: Rhonda Richards / THR)
ScarJo’s Yummy Pop! Hopefully soon in cinemas. (photo: Rhonda Richards / THR)

France – News reaches us that Scarlett Johansson has launched a popcorn business. Sadly it is not available in cinema (yet!) but together with her husband started the Yummy Pop store in Paris. There are six flavours: cheddar, truffle parmesan and olive oil and salt n’ pepper for the savoury-minded, while those with a sweet tooth can choose from Canadian maple, chocolate strawberry and strawberry cream. We hope to see it in cinema in time for Ms Johansson’s next big screen outing. THR – 25 October 2016

Patrick von Sychowski
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