January 12, 2010
LOS ANGELES, CA — National Amusements, which recently sold off several dozen theaters to Rave Cinemas, is selling the five theaters it operated in Moscow and one in St. Petersburg to Shari Redstone and UFG Private Equity.
The Russian circuit, which Shari Redstone co-founded with Paul Heth in 2002 and has been her passion project, is made up of six theaters in Moscow and St. Petersburg, five of which are the top-grossing cinemas in Russia.
Redstone said she planned to aggressively expand the theater chain under its established Russian brand name Kinostar. Redstone, who bought the chain with Charles Ryan of UFG Private Equity of Russia, will be chairman of the new entity, and Heth will serve as president.
There is more in the LA Times.
January 11, 2010
Nominations are due by this Friday, January 15th, for the annual most endangered historic places list. Go to the National Trust site for more info.
America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places has identified more than 200 threatened one-of-a-kind historic treasures since 1988. Whether these sites are urban districts or rural landscapes, Native American landmarks or 20th-century sports arenas, entire communities or single buildings, the list spotlights historic places across America that are threatened by neglect, insufficient funds, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy. The designation has been a powerful tool for raising awareness and rallying resources to save endangered sites from every region of the country. At times, that attention has garnered public support to quickly rescue a treasured landmark; while in other instances, it has been the impetus of a long battle to save an important piece of our history.
January 8, 2010
According to an article in the LA Times, most of the take of Avatar’s $1 billion and counting box office worldwide has been from IMAX and Digital 3-D showings of the movie, about 75%.
One of the riskiest movies of all times is now officially one of the most successful at the box office.
When “Avatar” opened, its solid but far from stellar results left 20th Century Fox uncertain about whether the $430 million that it and two financing partners had invested to produce and market the 3-D film would pay off.
Less than three weeks later, there’s no doubt. Director James Cameron’s science-fiction epic on Sunday became only the fifth movie in history to gross more than $1 billion worldwide and, by far, was the fastest to do so.
December 30, 2009
Similiar to the program currently done by the Met in the United States, the Paris Opera is planning on coming to U.K. cinemas.
Last night, the evening’s performance at the Paris Opéra was transmitted live to some 30 cinemas across the UK — the first of what film company Pathé-UK hopes to build into a series of live screenings of major cultural events. While this year’s similar scheme for theatre has largely been considered a success, I was curious to see if watching dance in a cinema could be a worthy substitute for a live performance. More to the point,who would go to see it?
Read more in the Guardian.
December 24, 2009
DALLAS, TX — Rave Cinemas, LLC (“Rave”), a newly-formed company, announced that earlier this month it reached a definitive agreement with National Amusements, Inc. (“NAI”) to purchase the business operations and selected real estate assets of up to 35 NAI theaters and that it closed on the acquisition of an initial group of 29 of those theaters. Concurrently, the company acquired the business operations of four theaters from Boston Ventures-owned Rave Reviews Cinemas, L.L.C. (“RRC”), together with RRC’s corporate infrastructure and the Rave Motion Pictures brand. RRC will retain 21 of its existing theaters, which will be managed by Rave under a management services agreement. The day-to-day business and operations of Rave will be managed by RRC’s former management team, which partnered with equity sponsor TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. (“TowerBrook”) and co-investors Lambert Media Group (“Lambert Media”) and Charles B. Moss, Jr. to found Rave and pursue the NAI and RRC acquisitions.
Following the close of the acquisitions, Rave, which will operate under the Rave Motion Pictures brand name, anticipates it will own or manage 65 theaters and approximately 1,000 screens located in 20 states across the country and will have a presence in seven of the top ten Designated Market Areas (DMAs) in the country. Rave is expected to become the fifth largest domestic circuit by box office gross and number of screens.
December 18, 2009
Variety is reporting that James Cameron’s new film “Avatar” grossed $3.5 million in midnight screenings at roughly 2,000 locations last night. While the trade journal refers to it as a “strong start” for the “sweeping 3D sci-fi fantasy,” Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood Daily is throwing a bit of cold water on the film’s expectations by noting that “last night there weren’t the usual reports pouring in to me of long lines and sold-out theaters after midnight, except for the IMAX 3D venues. Instead, Internet chatter and anecdotal accounts indicate moviehouses showing Avatar were not playing to packed houses — at least not yet.” Friday matinees are supposedly strong, however.
Finke does add one interesting quote from Steven Spielberg (“after screening it on the Fox lot”): “The last time I came out of a movie feeling that way it was the first time I saw Star Wars.”
According to Zap2it, the next movie in the Twilight saga, “Eclipse”, will get the IMAX treatment when it comes out next summer. This marks the first time that a vampire-themed movie is getting the larger than life treatment. Select scenes from the movie will be shot with IMAX cameras. The previous entry in the franchise, “New Moon”, has made almost $270 million domestically.
“Eclipse,” the third film in the series, will be shown in the giant-screen IMAX format in addition to its regular release. Both formats will open June 30.
The IMAX release of “Eclipse” will feature digitally remastered sound and images designed to fit the enormous screens of IMAX theaters.
December 9, 2009
DALLAS, TX – Thirty-five theaters currently operated by Sumner Redstone’s heavily indebted National Amusements will be acquired by Rave Motion Pictures, Inc. While the theaters involved in the deal have not yet been announced, they are believed to be all located out of National’s main markets of New York and New England.
Media mogul Sumner Redstone’s family movie theater chain National Amusements Inc. has reached an agreement to sell 35 theaters to Dallas-based exhibitor Rave Motion Pictures, people close to the matter confirmed.
Details of the deal, which is believed to include Los Angeles' Bridge: Cinema de Lux multiplex, are still being worked out, but the transaction is expected to be finalized in the next two weeks.
Redstone would probably use the proceeds from the sale to retire a portion of National’s debt, which was an onerous $1.46 billion until he announced plans in mid-October to sell nearly $1 billion in stock in the two media companies he controls, Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp.
Read more in the L.A. Times.
December 2, 2009
DENVER, CO — According to the Denver Business Journal, AMC and Regal are prohibiting outside food from being brought into movie theaters.
“AMC recently reviewed its company policy regarding outside food and drink and will no longer be permitting guests to bring in these items, as is the case with many entertainment venues,” said Sun Dee Larson, vice president of corporate communications at Kansas City, Mo.-based AMC Entertainment.
November 28, 2009