April 1, 2011
The Spanish Ministry of Culture published lately the cinema and exhibition statistics for the last year.
The number of cinema sites grew with nine new theaters to 860. The actual screen number is 4 080 (two screens less over December 31, 2009). The statistics neither included the number of digital screens nor 3D-capable screens in the country. According to Media Salles, a project operating within the European Union’s MEDIA Programme, Spain had 750 digital screens at the end of 2010, almost tripling the 2009’s count, but still less than one fifth of all the screens.
Every major movie market reports some specific statistics. Among those from Spain are the highest grossing screens of the country, but without concrete revenue numbers. The king of this indicator is the auditorium number 25 in the world largest theatre Kinepolis Madrid. In the top 10 Kinepolis has three more screens with screen #6 in Madrid at the eight position and screens #23 and #24, both in Valencia, at the ninth and tenth position. The second highest grossing screen in Spain is the winner for last four years, an IMAX screen located in Barcelona. A little surprise is on the fifth position, a screen located on the holiday island Tenerife (Yelmo Meridiano, screen #1).
March 29, 2011
BEIJING, CHINA — The IMAX Corporation, in partnership with China’s Wanda Theatres, will be a major part of China’s cinema building boom having announced that it intends to build seventy-five IMAX screens at multiplexes owned by Wanda. IMAX had earlier announced plans to add fifteen screens in South Korea.
“China has set its cultural industries as pillar industries,” said Wang Jianlin, chairman of the Wanda Group, the real estate giant that owns the cinema chain. China’s centrally planned economy now spends only about 3 percent of its GDP on cultural development, less than half the world average, Wang said: “The agreement with IMAX will help China achieve its 12th five-year plan.”
The full story is in the Hollywood Reporter.
March 28, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Dolby Labs will soon be rolling out newer, lighter 3D glassses for use with its 3D projection system. In addition to being lighter in weight, the lenses will last longer after repeated cleanings.
The full story appeared at Ubergizmo.com.
March 25, 2011
Cinema City, recently renowned for its Eastern European deal, was the last large cinema operator in Europe using a 35 millimeter film in its logo. With the acquisition of Palace Cinemas the company has seen a need for change and let create a whole new visual identity. It has been the company’s first redesign since 1997, when it started to expand internationally.
In its press release Cinema City explained: “Whilst we are immensely proud of what we have achieved over recent years, we increasingly felt that our old identity did not reflect our status or ambition for the future. That is why we have created a new identity that reflects the confidence and scale of Cinema City today and repositions us for the future.”
The old fashioned logo was not competitive anymore and was replaced with a simple orange word mark. The traditional corporate color blue disappeared and as a background color now serves black with fuzzy bubbles. Black will be also the main color of the new Cinema City staff uniforms.
March 21, 2011
SEATTLE, WA — The nation’s theater chains are filing challenges against new rules proposed by the Food and Drug Administration that would require movie theaters and other businesses that sell refreshments to supply caloric and other nutritional information comparable to that which is currently required on most packaged foods.
“It’s easy enough to blow your whole diet for a week from one snack at the movie theater,” said Margo Wootan, the director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington. “Just because you happen to be watching a movie while you’re eating doesn’t mean you aren’t eating out.”
The chains claim that it was not the intent of Congress to require theaters and food stands to provide this information. At least one member of Congress disagrees.
The full story is in the Seattle Times.
March 16, 2011
Nevafilm Research, a Russian market research company, released latest data about the Russian cinema market, including last year’s box office numbers and information about the country’s exhibition industry.
After a decrease in 2009 box office revenues reached a new record with more than one billion USD and a 30 per cent increase. The admissions did not grow that fast (17.8 per cent), but also were on a high in the modern Russian era with almost 156 million tickets sold.
In the end of the last year 865 theaters were active in the Russian federation: 85 sites with 331 screens were new openings, 23 cinemas were closed. Most of the closings were traditional single screen or two screen cinemas, what means only 34 screens were abolished.
March 11, 2011
LOS ANGELES, CA — The pace at which new, western-style cinemas are going up all over China is currently very rapid and accelerating. However the implications for films produced by U.S. studios and theater chains is unclear, as China currently has strict limits on the number of films that can be imported into the country and does not allow foreign cinema operators to have a majority interest in any theater ownership.
Still, the main drivers are practical. Unlike in the U.S., where DVD sales can account for as much as 40% of a film’s revenue, rampant piracy has forced studios here to depend almost exclusively on domestic box-office receipts. Bankrolling more pictures and boosting profits requires more screens.
Then there’s boredom. As Chinese workers grow richer and have more leisure time, they’re itching for something to do. The typical ticket costs about $5, slightly less than what many new college graduates earn per day. Still, Chinese movie fans have shown a willingness to pay a premium for better sound, a better picture and swanky venues to hang out with friends.
There is more in this article from the Los Angeles Times.
March 9, 2011
KANSAS CITY, MO — National movie theatre chain AMC, headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, may be jumping from Missouri to Kansas, in a heated battle that has involved Governors from both Kansas and Missouri.
The Downtown Council of business and property owners is joining the bid to keep AMC. The company has 400 employees at the 10 Main tower.
Mike Deggendorf, chairman of the Downtown Council, told the group at its board meeting Thursday that a delegation recently visited Lopez.
“We wanted to know if there was anything we could do to help out,” he said.
Read more in the Kansas City Star.
March 4, 2011
NEW YORK, NY — The movie industry is often one of the last to notice shifts in consumers and respond, but according a an article in the New York Times, both the studios and theater owners are noticing a graying of the audience and responding both in terms of films that are more substantive and in theater amenities. Boomers, in their youth, were raised on film and then moved away as studios catered heavily to the youth market when they reached their middle years. Now, as more and more retire, studios are rethinking the projects to greenlight and theaters are looking at more 21+ services and food offerings.
“There is an older audience that is growing, and it’s an underserved audience, which makes for an obvious and important opportunity,” said Nancy Utley, co-president of Fox Searchlight, whose “Black Swan” has sold over $100 million at the North American box office. If the core audience for a particular film is over 50, she noted, “that’s now a gigantic core.”
The very young still go to the movies more than anyone else — especially on those all-important opening weekends — but distribution executives say they are getting harder to lure in huge numbers. Social networking has sped up word of mouth, turning teenagers and young adults into more discerning moviegoers — a phenomenon pushed along by rising prices. People age 18 to 24 bought an average of seven tickets per person in 2010, down from eight in 2009.
The full story can be read here.
The March 4th, 2011 issue of “Entertainment Weekly” tackles “How to Fix the Movies”…and provides advice on how to make better movie theaters in regard to issues such as ticket prices charged, what services, i.e. drinks, meals, reserved seating, etc.
Examples provided of better movie theaters include the Academy in Portland OR, Alamo in Austin TX, AMC Mainstreet in Kansas City MO, Big Picture in Seattle WA, Cinebistro in Miami FL, Cinefamily, LA CA, Rerun Gastropub in Brooklyn NY, Theatres at Canal Place New Orleans LA.