Industry

  • January 6, 2004

    Tickets Sales Drop in 2003

    Boxoffice ticket sales last year dropped for the first time since 1991, according to a report by tracking firm Exhibitor Relations. During the 2003 season, ticket sales totaled $9.27 billion, compared to $9.32 billion in 2002, a 0.5 percent drop.

  • December 30, 2003

    NYC Ticket Prices Hit $10.25

    NEW YORK, NY — Ticket prices at NYC movie theaters have broken the $10 dollar barrier for the first time, according to Newsday.com. During the past week, both Loews Cineplex and United Artists have raised ticket prices by 25 cents, bringing adult admissions to $10.25 per ticket.

    “In comparison to other entertainment options, movie ticket prices are modest and remain one of the most affordable out of home entertainment activities,” Loews spokesman John McCauley said Monday.

    What do you think? Is this increase reasonable? Comment below.

  • Renovation Consultant Writes Book

    David Jenkins, 50, former Executive Director of the Fox Theatre in Salina, Kansas, has written a new book: 501 © Blues: Staying Sane in the Nonprofit Game.

    Jenkins said in an article in THE SALINA JOURNAL, “I decided I wanted to write a book that exectutive directors and responsible board members could use as a weapon, as a tool to try to get their boards to behave in a more businesslike manner.”

    Jenkins was executive director of the Fox Theatre project in Salina, Kansas from the start and has been involved in nonprofit theater groups for the past 15 plus years His book is available on line at www.amazon.com and www.fandangopress.com.

  • December 29, 2003

    New Book Profiles Southern Movie Palaces

    TAMPA, FL — Janna Jones, a University of South Florida professor, has written a new book about the history of Southern movie palaces. The Southern Movie Palace: Rise, Fall, and Resurrection, the first such book to focus exclusively on cinemas of the South, profiles theaters in Atlanta, Memphis, Durham, and other large Southern cities.

    “As far as I know, she’s the only one who’s taken such an in-depth look at the Southern movie palace,‘’ says Cecil Whitmire, president of the nonprofit group that owns the Alabama Theatre, one of those Jones covers in her book. "I thought she did a good job putting it together. It was well researched and well done.‘’

    More information can be found in this report in the Tampa Tribune.

  • December 1, 2003

    IMAX Debuts New MPX Screen

    LANSING, MI — Celebration! Cinema has installed the very first IMAX MPX screen, according to a report in the State News. MPX is a new, low-cost version of IMAX that’s designed specifically for use in traditional multiplex and megaplex theaters.

    Here’s how IMAX’s press release described the new system:

  • New Landmark Owner: “I’m a Maverick, Not a Mogul!”

    The December issue of Wired Magazine has an interview with Mark Cuban, the new owner of Landmark Theatres. Cuban, a colorful figure who founded Broadcast.com (and later sold it to Yahoo for $6 billion), also owns the Dallas Mavericks NBA team and HDNet, a high-definition cable channel. The interview includes some interesting thoughts on digital cinema and the future of moviegoing.

  • November 20, 2003

    AMC and Loews Cineplex in Merger Talks

    AMC Entertainment, whose theaters account for about 12 percent of domestic theater revenue — more than any other chain — is in talks to merge with Loews Cineplex Entertainment, which accounts for 4.6 percent of the market, published reports said today (Wednesday). Spokespersons for each chain declined to comment on the reports. A merger of the companies would face intense regulatory scrutiny inasmuch as the two chains currently closely compete in many large markets and in some cases have theater complexes situated in close proximity to one another.

  • More AMC/Loews Coverage

    Here’s a roundup of reports about a possible merger of the country’s most successful mega-circuits:

    Variety: AMC, Loews eyeing major screen team (sub. required)
    “AMC Entertainment and Loews Cineplex are in talks about a merger with a goal of striking a preliminary agreement by year’s end. agreement by year’s end. A combo of AMC and Loews — the No. 1 and No. 5 U.S. exhibs — would create a mega-circuit of more than 5,600 screens.”

    The Hollywood Reporter: Double feature: AMC, Loews talk
    “Details about the structure of a possible AMC-Loews union are still murky, in part because Loews' parent company, Toronto-based Onex Corp., and AMC’s majority investor, Apollo Management Lp., have no immediate plans to liquidate their respective stakes in the theater chains, sources said. What is clear is that AMC chief executive Peter Brown would head up the combined entity, though plans for the rest of the two management teams remain uncertain.”

    AMC: AMC Entertainment Inc. Confirms Preliminary Discussions
    “AMC Entertainment Inc. (AMEX:AEN), one of the world’s leading theatrical exhibition companies, confirmed today that it is engaged in preliminary discussions with Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corporation about a possible business combination.”

    National Post (from Canada): Onex in talks with AMC to create movie colossus
    “The announcement of talks between the two comes shortly after it was revealed that the initial public offering of Onex’s Canadian movie theatre business will likely raise less money than originally expected. The Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund now is selling 17.5 million units at $10 each, raising about $175-million. That’s down from $235-million in the original prospectus. The trust’s yield also was boosted by about one percentage point.”

  • Pioneering Theatre Historian Remembered

    Brother Andrew Corsini Fowler, 87, a native Chicagoan who helped found Theatre Historical Society of America in 1969 with Time-Life Editor Ben Hall, of New York, died recently while in convalescent care in Notre Dame, Indiana.

  • October 28, 2003

    Muvico Theatres Unveils Larger-Than-Life Entertainment Concept

    I recently wrote a profile of Hamid Hashemi, the president of the Muvico Theater chain, for Film Journal International. You can read a quick preview below or the full article on the Film Journal website.