Cinema News Digest – Wednesday 25 July 2018

By Patrick von Sychowski | July 25, 2018 7:30 am PDT
AMC Facebook Chestnut Hill

AMC partners Facebook; LED screen sound break-through; UK summer BO down 19% as 1H admissions up but BO down; MoviePass’ parent promises turnaround; CGV partners smallest cinema; Inox profits up by share price down; Miraj eye 200 screens; Teperberg and Galano promoted to Cineworld board; Korea concessions labelling questioned; black out for Argentina’s Gaumont; gun scares in UK and US cinemas and Tyneside cinema poster auction. 

Emerging Cinema Markets 2018 - Istanbul 20-22 Nov
Emerging Cinema Markets 2018 – Istanbul 20-22 Nov

USA (CA) – AMC Theatres has partnered Facebook to sell tickets on the social media platform. Facebook has created a new function that will allow its users to search for movie showtimes and locations, as well as booking tickets directly through the platform. Payments will be processed via AMC, Fandango or AtomTickets, with Facebook already integrated with both ticketing platforms. The service has been tested in a few locations and is being rolled out to all AMC sites. AMC is said t be the first exhibitor to have worked with Facebook this way. Variety – 19 July 2018

'Pure Sound LED Display Module' prototype. (photo: Korea Aviation University)
‘Pure Sound LED Display Module’ prototype. (photo: Gyeonggi Provincial Government)

Korea (Republic of, South) – Scientists at Gyeonggi Province Regional Cooperative Research Center, Korea Aerospace University, have developed a prototype ‘LED display module’ with Sonic Tier Audio that allows sound to travel through it. The development of such a ‘Pure Sound LED Display Module’ could have significant implications for cinema, where current Cinema LED solutions, such as Samsung’s Onyx, cannot have speakers behind it but instead above, to  the sides or bouncing sound off the screen. Commercial deployment is, however, likely to be some time away. Hani (KR) – 18 July 2018

Still reasons to be Cher-ful about the UK's BO summer. (photo: Universal)
Still reasons to be Cher-ful about the UK’s summer BO. (photo: Universal)

UK – The World Cup and sunny summer have taken their toll on cinema going in the UK, with box office down 19% since between 1 June and 12 July. “We always expected the World Cup to be a challenging period for cinema. Major sporting events like that and the Olympics always present a challenge, but we didn’t expect perhaps England’s run and the continued hot weather,” UKCA’s Phil Clapp is quoted as saying. However, several major releases (“Ant-Man and The Wasp”) were deliberately held back and “Mamma Mia! 2” and “Incredibles 2” both posted better opening figures than their predecessor, so there is hope yet, even if the sunshine continues. The Guardian – 22 July 2018

UK – Overall UK box office was down 2% but admissions was up 1.5% in the period January-June 2018. This was before the slump caused by the World Cup, so hard to know what might be behind this reversal without access to full article (summary here in IMDB), but it would not surprise me if Vue’s price cuts are starting to have an effect of pushing admissions up but revenue down. One to track. Screen Daily (paywall) – 24 July 2018

USA (NY) – MoviePass’ parent company Helios + Matheson CEO Ted Farnsworth held a presentation in New York called “Disruption in the Movie Business: Monetizing the MoviePass Effect” at the  the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance conference. Shareholders have approved a plan to take the company forward after its share price fell below USD $0.10, which puts it in danger of being de-listed. Farnsworth hinted at several new ventures, such as a movie ratings service and predicts five million subscribers before the end of the year. Deadline – 24 July 2018

Kim Han-seong, CGV development business team leader (left) and Jeon Man-ho Injun Culture Foundation's standing director (right). (Photo: Inje County Office)
Kim Han-seong, CGV development business team leader (left) and Jeon Man-ho Injun Culture Foundation’s standing director (right). (Photo: Inje County Office)

Korea (Republic of, South) – The smallest cinema in Korea has signed a deal with the country’s largest cinema chain CGV. The Inje Culture Foundation operates a cinema with two screens with 56 and 43 seats each. “The Foundation concluded a business alliance contract with the goal of selecting and securing movies, opening distribution, server construction, and contents of services using CGV brand.” The cinema has eight screenings per day all year round. GWMirea (KR) – 20 July 2018

PVR Inox logos

India – Despite posting a profit increase of 15% for the most recent quarter (Q1FY19) to INR 37 crore (USD $5.4 million), Inox has seen its share price slump to a 52-week low. “Revenue of the company was up 7 percent at Rs 414.9 crore (USD $60.4 million) versus Rs 387.4 crore (USD $56.4 million). Operating profit or EBITDA was up 10.9 percent at Rs 83.5 crore (USD $12.15 million) and margin was at 20.1 percent.” The share price has fallen after the ruling in Mumbai that outside food can be brought in to cinemas. Inox has 512 screens across 128 multiplexes in 64 cities. The low share price could make it a tempting acquisition target. PVR just posted a 17% increase in profits and 7% growth in revenue for the most recent quarter. Money control – 24 July 2018

Miraj Cinemas

India – Miraj Cinemas plans to grow from current 92 to 200 screens by 2020. “In the last six years, the firm had invested more than ?150 crore [USD $21.8 million]. Now, it proposed to invest another ?150 crore, said Bhuvanesh Mendiratta, vice president, operations, Miraj Cinemas.” The cinema chain has presence in 25 cities and expect to hit 100 screens by the end of this year. The Hindu – 21 July 2018


CJ 4DPLEX and Cineworld Group Signing at CinemaCon 2018
(Pictured Left to Right) Jung Seo, CEO CJ CGV, Mooky Greidinger, CEO, Cineworld Group, Byung Hwan Choi, CEO CJ4DPLEX, Renana Teperberg, CCO, Cineworld Group.

UK – Cineworld has Renana Teperberg to its board as executive director and Camela Galano as independent non-executive director. Teperberg is currently Cineworld’s CCO, having worked her way up from cashier of Cinema City in 1997, and is said to have played a major role in the acquisition of Regal last year. “We believe in the development of talent at all levels and Renana’s journey from joining at cinema-level, through to appointment to the board illustrates our commitment to these principles. Her capability and expertise will be a tremendous asset to the board,” Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld, is quoted as saying. WebFGnews – 20 July 2018

Concessions / F&B

Nutrition information questioned in Korean cinemas. (screenshot: SBS News)
Nutrition information questioned in Korean cinemas. (screenshot: SBS News)

Korea (Republic of, South) – Multiplexes in Korea are being criticised for not providing proper nutritional informational and labels on concessions. “This popcorn says 328 milligrams of sodium, but actually contains 576 milligrams. Sugar in the instant grilled squid legs differed by more than 12 times from the actual measured value and the notation value.” Questions were also raised about the supervision of cinemas is too cosely tied to the exhibitors. SBS News (KR) – 23 July 2018

Health & Safety

Argentina – Electricity supply has been cut off to the Cine Gaumont (no relation to the French exhibitor) for non-payment of bills. The cinema has an ambitious program of showing local films (214 films, 30 exhibitions and festivals, 60 premieres last year), but has also faced industrial relations disputes following laying off projectionists, outsourced cleaning and not paid elevator inspectors, leading to the elevators not operating. (It has since been re-opened.) Pagina 12 (ES) – 23 July 2018

Law & Order

Police arrive at Reel Cinema Springfield. (photo: Westenr Mass News)
Police arrive at Reel Cinema Springfield. (photo: Westenr Mass News)

USA (MA) – A Reel Cinema in Springfield was evacuated following someone walking into an auditorium and shouting that there was a gun. Police arrived with sniffer dogs but after a detailed search no weapon was found. Western Mass News – 23 July 2018

UK – A false alarm about a man with “a machine gun” being spotted in an Odeon cinema in Birmingham’s Broadway shopping centre led to an evacuation. “Film fans were ordered out of the Odeon following the reports but the deadly weapon later turned out to be a drill.” Armed police were called to the scene before the mistake was clarified. Birmingham Mail – 22 July 2018

UK – A man was evicted from the Savoy cinema in Penzance after he became upset and started shouting at the screen and swearing in front of terrified children, because the movie’s “political opinions” upset him. “Timothy Courtney, of Wesley Street, Penzance, appeared at Truro Magistrates’ Court on Monday (July 23). He pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly and a second charge of criminal damage.” No word on what film he was watching, but it happened a week after the release of “Black Panther”. Cornwall Live – 23 July 2018


Tyneside Cinema movie poster auction. (photo: Chronicle Live)
Tyneside Cinema movie poster auction. (photo: Chronicle Live)

UK – Tyneside Cinema is holding a charity auction of its collection of movie posters on 11 August. “Whether you’re looking for a poster from one of you favourite movies, a great gift for the film lover in your life, or even just some incredible cinema artwork to really tie your room together, then the Tyneside Cinema Poster & Print Event is not to be missed.” By paying a donation or taking part in a secret auction, you could be the proud owner of one of  ‘hundreds’ of 30×40 inch posters. Chronicle Live – 24 July 2018

Patrick von Sychowski
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