CJ Cinema News Digest – Tuesday 25 July 2017

By Patrick von Sychowski | July 25, 2017 3:33 am PDT
Golden Village Katon logo Singapore (photo: Patrick von Sychowski / Celluloid Junkie)

mm2 won’t buy GV, US Q2 ticket prices, China island cinema, China invests in Vietnam’s Beta, CGR’s LightVibes reviewed, Everyman 1H ‘successful’, UAE arthouse, Tamil Nadu under-multiplexes, Movies@ profits, trailer releases, MK2 evacuation, The Light fire, Cayman Regal popcorn smoke, Hoyts lift crash and cow at moo-vies.

IBC Big Screen 15-18 Sept. Amsterdam
IBC Big Screen conference, 15-18 Sept in Amsterdam

Singpore – mm2 will not be taking over 50% of Golden Village after announcing that its S$184.25 million (USD $153.44 million) deal was vetoed by GV’s co-owner. mm2 announced on 13 June that is was buying the stake owned by Village Cinemas Australia, but Hong Kong’s Golden Screen, which owns the other 50% did not sign off on the deal. GV is Singapore’s largest cinema chain with 11 multiplexes and 92 screens. Straits Times – 24 July 2017

Gal Gadot as "Wonder Woman"
Gal Gadot as “Wonder Woman” (Photo: Warner Bros.)

USA (CA) – The average ticket price for the second quarter of 2017 has been released by NATO: USD $8.95. This compares to Q1 2017’s USD $8.84, Q2 2016: USD $8.73 and Full Year 2016: USD $8.65.

By way of comparison the average ticket price in 1977 was USD $2.23 , which adjusted for inflation becomes USD $9.34. So it really wasn’t any cheaper on average to watch the first “Star Wars”.

“The quarter included high-grossing movies available in 3D and premium large formats, including Guardians of the Galaxy 2Wonder Woman (both over $300 million), Pirates of the Caribbean 5, the hold-over of Beauty and the Beast, as well as  Fate of the  Furious in large format. These titles accounted for 46% of Q2 box office.” – NATO email

Woody Island - now with a 4K & 3D cinema. (image: Google Earth)
Woody Island – now with a 4K & 3D cinema. (image: Google Earth)

South China Sea – China has opened a cinema on the disputed Woody Island in the Parcel Chain, which has been controlled by PRC since 1974 but is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam. Known as Yongxing in Chinese and Phu Lam Island in Vietnamese, the island’s first cinema screened the documentary “The Eternity of Jiao Yulu” to 200 soldiers and ‘residents’. The cinema will operate once a day. THR – 23 July 2017

Beta Cineplex logo

Vietnam – Cinema startup Beta Media is getting an investment from Hong Kong-based financial group Blue HK,  valuing it at 600 billion Vietnamese dong (USD $26.5 million). This gives Bet funding to open six more multiplexes, in addition to the four cinemas it already operates in Hanoi, northern Thai Nguyen province, and southern Dong Nai province. Korea’s CGV and Lotte control 73% of the Vietnamese cinema market. Xinhua – 25 July 2017

Philips LightVibes technology. (image: Philips)
Philips LightVibes technology. (image: Philips)

France – A preview review of the CGR cinema ICE auditorium (there are seven in total) equipped with Philips LightVibes technology. The chairs are big and comfortable, with no need to get up to let people pass. The Dolby Atmos sound also impressed. What about the panels? Previews of “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” only start today (25 July), but let’s hope the reviews of the LightVibes technology are better than those for the film itself. UPDATE: this article has an actual review (audience is “surprised”) and reveals that CGR is pushing SPE to release “Blade Runner 2049” in LightVibes. Ouest-France (FR) – 24 July 2017

UK – Everyman is on track for the first six months of 2017 and predicts a “successful outcome” for the year as a whole. “The cinema operator ended the period with 21 cinemas and remains on track to open a three-screen cinema at King’s Cross in London in November. In addition, Everyman has exchanged contracts for the acquisition of a 28-year lease for an existing five-screen Reel cinema in York, which is expected to be fully refurbished and open as an Everyman in early 2018.” Full half-year results on 6 September. Interactive Investor – 24 July 2017

U.A.E. – Arthouse cinema is growing in Dubai, with two dedicated venues opening this year. “With Cinema Akil reopening in Warehouse 68 last week, and Diff365@Vox launching at Mall of the Emirates in April, UAE moviegoers have more say than ever when it comes to what films they can watch on the big screen.” Four-walling an arthouse screen in an existing multiplex is a smart solution. Gulf Times – 24 July 2017

The state of multiplexes in TN. (statistics: HSBC)
The state of multiplexes in TN. (statistics: HSBC)

India – South Indian state of Tamil Nadu has just over one multiplex screen per million inhabitants. That is just one-fifth of what states like Maharashtra (Mumbai), Gujarat and Punjab have, according to a report by HSBC. “According to the report, Tamil Nadu has the potential for accommodating 152 additional screens in Tier-1 cities alone.” But TN also caps ticket prices and prevents single screens from being converted to multiplexes. So don’t expect a change any time soon. The Hindu – 24 July 2017

Movies@cinemas logo

Ireland (Republic of) – Movies@Cinemas had a record year thanks to a stellar Irish box office year. Pre-tax profits doubled to €344,921. “According to accounts just filed, retained profits at the company, which runs cinemas in Dundrum and Swords, were up to €4.9m at the end of 2016.” The chain is run by the O’Gorman and Spurling families. The Times (paywall) – 23 July 2017

Movie trailer release dates. (graph: Stephen Follows)
Movie trailer release dates. (graph: Stephen Follows)

UK – How far in advance of a film’s release does the trailer come out? Stephen Follows has been crunching the numbers.

Across these films, the average time between first trailer and theatrical release was 126 days (i.e. around four months).  Fourth-fifths of movies had their first trailer released within six months of their theatrical run.  Only 4.5% of movies released their first trailer over a year before the movie appeared in cinemas.

Animation has the longest spread and romance films the shortest. Insightful as always. Stephen Follows – 24 July 2017

Health & Safety

MK2 quai de Loire (image: Google Earth)
MK2 quai de Loire (image: Google Earth)

France – The MK2 quai de Loire cinema, located in Paris’ 19th arrondissement, was evacuated on Sunday 23 July due to a suspicious package. It turned out that the cause was a patron leaving the cinema in a haste and forgettig their bag. “Several spectators present at the time of the incident complained of the lack of information communicated by the direction of the cinema.” RTL (FR) – 24 July 2017

The Light Cinema Wisbech - evacuated. (photo: KL.FM)
The Light Cinema Wisbech – evacuated. (photo: KL.FM)

UK – The Light cinema in Wisbech closed temporarily after a “small electrical fire” broke out last Friday evening. “It was contained but caused some system damage. The cinema was evacuated for customer safety and there were no injuries.” The cinema was closed most of Saturday due to system checks and four of the six screens have now been re-opened. KL.FM – 23 July 2017

Cayman Islands – The Regal cinema was forced to evacuate after smoke emanated form a popcorn machine. Around 100 patrons had to evacuate, but there was no fire found. Cayman27 – 24 July 2017

Cine Hoyts La Reine. (photo: ADN)
Cine Hoyts La Reine. (photo: ADN)

Argentina – Five adults and six children were injured by a falling elevator in Hoyts cinema in La Reina. The elevator rode up from -2 to the first floor when it suddenly dropped. The accident took place during the busy winter holiday season. ADN (ES) – 21 July 2017


At the moo-vies. (photo: Trudi Mainland / SWNS)
At the moo-vies. (photo: Trudi Mainland / SWNS)

UK – A runaway cow was photographed checking out the listings of the local cinema. It is not known what the Studio Cinema in Coleford was screening that attracted the rogue heifer’s attention. “Planet of the Apes”? “Dunkirk”? But proof that even cows sometimes have enough of Netflix and chew. Metro – 22 July 2017

Patrick von Sychowski
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