Dcinex Acquires Majority Stake in Cinema Next

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Thu, 12/13/2012 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

Belgium-based dcinex has acquired 51 percent of Cinema Next which will now be rebranded as dcinex UK. As a result of this agreement Cinema Next will extend its range of activities and become the exhibitor services arm of dcinex in the UK. The company will also become the flagship of the new consulting business of dcinex in Europe.

 The company will start its exhibitors' direct sales support and maintenance operations in the UK as of January. Keith Pullinger currently director of Cinema Next will become country general manager and director of dcinex UK.

Joining dcinex will give us the unique opportunity to support our clients from initial advice through to execution and beyond said Pullinger. Till Cussmann vice president exhibitor services of dcinex said Thanks to Keith and the field operations team we are setting in place in the UK we will be able to better serve our existing UK clients and extend our footprint in the country.”

 In parallel John Sullivan currently Cinema Next director will reinforce dcinex’s management structure as head of consulting activities and director of dcinex UK. His role will be to grow the current consulting business of Cinema Next outside the UK leveraging the dcinex client base.

We have been advising real estate firms and exhibitors to improve cinema design and operations for more than a decade now. We are happy to join with dcinex to grow that business throughout Europe said Sullivan.

 Having already collaborated with Cinema Next to equip cinemas in Romania Serge Plasch CEO and managing director of dcinex said We are delighted that the Cinema Next team joins dcinex. This transaction is clearly a major step for dcinex as it will enable our existing UK clients to get direct support from dcinex. On top leveraging the consulting know-how of Cinema Next will open another growth avenue for dcinex.

 Within this new structure David Pope – assisted by Zoe Birch – will continue to serve dcinex as head of virtual print fees UK/IE.

Createasphere Announces Keynote Speakers for TransVergence Summit,2012-12-14,Createasphere has announced two important keynotes set for its first TransVergence Summit which takes place March 19-20 2013 at the W Hollywood. Will Wright inventor game designer and CEO of Maxis will deliver the event’s Inspirational Keynote on day one of the Summit. He created groundbreaking games such as SimCity The Sims and Spore. Known for his unique ideas and projects Wright has earned a reputation as one of the most influential game designers in the world. Rolling Stone magazine called him “One of the 100 people that changed America.” Erin McPherson Yahoo! vice president and head of video will present the Motivational Keynote on day two. Erin leads the video business for the Yahoo! Media Network. The unit is comprised of the U.S. consumer-facing media sites on Yahoo.com including: news sports finance the entertainment sites and Yahoo!’s new video destination Yahoo! Screen. She oversees licensed video as well as the development production and distribution of original video content across the network. The TransVergence Summit will explore the convergence of media brands intellectual property marketing technology and delivery in an evolving multiplatform ecosystem.  The conference will provide interactive panel discussions expert consultation opportunities in-depth case study analysis engaging demonstrations and keynote addresses. Attendees will learn about the emerging tools and strategies needed to successfully create integrate and execute cross-platform and transmedia campaigns for maximum audience and consumer engagement. Other conference sessions will focus on the many facets of these powerful new techniques in advertising television cinema mobile music gaming publishing and themed and live entertainment. The first-ever Los Angeles Story Hackathon will be held in conjunction with the Summit. Produced in association with StoryCode (storycode.org) it will bring together participants from diverse backgrounds including film technology publishing game design and theater in a challenge to design a cohesive narrative that spans multiple platforms. Story hackers will execute a single platform over the course of 24 hours and present their hacks to the conference. Finished projects will be judged by Summit attendees providing them with an up-close look at the transformative effects of pushing the traditional boundaries of story and technology. Noted transmedia development consultant and producer Kate McCallum is curating the TransVergence Summit. “We are thrilled to have Will and Erin aboard to deliver the keynotes. Both are undisputed leaders in their fields and they’ll bring a remarkable level of insight and creativity to the Summit ” McCallum says. TransVergence Summit www.transvergencesummit.com ,3753
Digital Cinema Destinations Start Media to Acquire UltraStar Cinemas,2012-12-14,Digital Cinema Destinations (Digiplex) and new joint venture partner Start Media have agreed to acquire seven movie theaters with an aggregate of 74 fully digital screens from UltraStar Cinemas. Six of the theaters are located in the Southern California/San Diego market and the seventh is based near Phoenix Arizona. The acquisitions were expected to be completed December 14. If the acquisitions were completed Digiplex's circuit would expand from 9 to 16 locations with 159 screens located in California Pennsylvania Connecticut New Jersey and Arizona. The aggregate purchase price for the theaters is anticipated to be approximately $13 million. Alan Grossberg CEO of UltraStar said We are very pleased about reaching this mutually beneficial acquisition agreement with Digiplex. They are very well respected pioneers of digital cinema and have developed an intriguing and ambitious growth strategy. As stakeholders we look forward to sharing in the rewards of their future success. Digiplex chairman and CEO Bud Mayo said The accretive purchase of UltraStar's seven West Coast-based theaters is a logical next step for Digiplex as we continue to successfully execute our strategy of opportunistically expanding the company's footprint across the U.S. in leading DMAs. This marks our third acquisition of the year and significantly expands and diversifies Digiplex's revenue and operating base while delivering incremental value to all stakeholders. Bud and the Digiplex team represent both a best-in-class operator and a champion of forward-thinking models and practices and we view this partnership as a tremendous opportunity said Michael Maher CEO of Start Media. Having explored several ways to enter the exhibition business we believe there is considerable opportunity for growth and innovation as the industry rapidly evolves on a digital platform. We believe we have found in Digiplex the ideal partner to address the future challenges facing the industry and we look forward to helping them continue to build a national footprint. Upon completion of the transaction we plan to quickly integrate these additional screens onto the growing Digiplex platform anticipating further benefit from our organization's digital management experience as well as the company's alternative programming and social media outreach expertise. We are also very pleased about forging this new joint venture with Start Media and hope it will be a long and very productive partnership said Mayo. ,3755
China Leads Asia Pacific Region in Digital Cinema Adoption,2012-12-14,Demand for DLP Cinema digital projection remained exceptionally high in China in the twelve-month timeframe between December 1 2011 and November 30 2012 according to Dave Duncan business manager of DLP Cinema & Professional Display Products for Texas Instruments. He announced these findings at CineAsia which was held this week at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Hong Kong. The total number of DLP Cinema screens in China rose to 12 029 from 7 745 maintaining China’s position as the leading adopter of digital cinema throughout the Asia Pacific with 57 percent of the DLP Cinema screens in the entire region. Of those screens 73 percent (8 783) are enabled to show 3D content. As a whole the Asia Pacific region grew to 21 126 DLP Cinema screens (13 679 as 3D-enabled) for 58 and 64 percent increases respectively between December 1 2011 and November 30 2012. “It is an exciting time in the cinema industry. Driven by the end of the film era theatres converted to DLP Cinema at a record pace in 2012 in every region and especially in the Asia Pacific ” said Duncan. “Many companies have worked with distributors and exhibitors to convert an entire industry to digital technology but there’s still much to be accomplished with independently owned cinemas art houses and cinemas in emerging markets. It’s gratifying to hear the positive responses from many of the owners that are now able to convert with our new S2K chipset for small screens. Our licensed partners Barco Christie and NEC are experiencing strong and even record-breaking demand for their economical S2K-powered projectors.” Worldwide adoption of DLP Cinema screens reached 74 965 (up from 51 620) representing a 45 percent boost Duncan said. In terms of those screens that are 3D-capable there are now 40 178 globally for a 33 percent increase from 30 290 previously. The total DLP Cinema worldwide screens do not include IMAX digital powered by DLP Cinema which separately reached 529 theatres globally (300 in North America and 229 internationally) including more than 100 theatres in China; IMAX plans to open 150 more theatres in the next couple of years. Duncan said exhibitors across Europe the Middle East and Africa also continued the move to digital in their theatres during the past year reaching 24 715 DLP Cinema screens total and 13 161 for 3D shifting upward 40 and 21 percent. Latin American screens powered by DLP Cinema moved to 4 481 for an 85 percent increase and with 3D moved to 2 992 screens (28 percent growth). During a special awards luncheon which was held on December 13 at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong DLP Cinema presented its Marketing Achievement Award to Megastar Media Company for its outstanding work in exhibition and distribution throughout Vietnam following the company’s inception in 2005. Megastar’s chairman and CEO Brian Hall accepted the award. “We have always strived to bring our cinemagoers the best possible experiences starting with our first MegaStar location at the Vincom City Tower in Hanoi ” said Hall. “Vietnam’s box office has grown dramatically over the last several years and DLP Cinema has played a great role by bringing 2D and 3D digital technologies into our cinemas.  We look forward to the next generation of innovations from DLP Cinema to help us keep audiences coming again and again.” ,3757
Wanda Cinema Buys 350 Doremi Servers in Exclusive Deal,2012-12-14,Doremi has announced the exclusive sale of 350 digital cinema servers to China’s Wanda Cinema Line — the world’s largest cinema operator.  Wanda Cinema Line has 100 premium cinemas with plans to have more than 1 000 screens across China by the end of 2012. They will add another 35 cinemas with 350 screens in China by the end of 2013. The acquisition of Doremi’s Integrated Media Block with ShowVault digital cinema servers will supplement their continued rapid expansion across Asia. “Our rapid expansion and recent acquisition calls for reliable products and flexible features. Both of which have been proven by Doremi during our initial deployment of their servers and IMBs in 2011 ” said Ye Ning general manager of Wanda Cinema Line. “They offer complete solutions and a future proof product line which is essential for our progression.” “China’s cinema industry is rapidly growing and we are thrilled to supply Doremi’s unparalleled server technology and products to Wanda Cinema Line ” said Michael Archer vice president of Doremi Cinema. “Wanda who is committed to the latest technology and patron satisfaction represents the next generation of exhibition in Asia and across the world. We are happy to assist their growth with our technology.” In May 2012 Wanda Group acquired the U.S.-based AMC Theaters. Following the merger it is now the world’s largest cinema operator. Wanda Cinema Line is a subsidiary of Wanda Group and is the number one cinema chain in China. ,3758
Electrosonic Acquires Global Immersion,2012-12-14,Electrosonic has acquired Global Immersion a leader in the design and integration of high performance digital immersive theater attractions. Global Immersion will continue to serve the planetarium institutional theater and giant screen markets. The acquisition which was completed on December 10 positions Electrosonic as the only company to offer digital immersive solutions across the theme park museum giant screen cinema and planetarium markets. “This is a significant strategic move for both companies and I am excited by the prospects presented by the acquisition ” said Jim Bowie president of Electrosonic Group. “As a single operation we will service an even broader range of markets bringing further innovation and an expanded offering to our customers. Our goal to attract and develop the best industry talent has been one of the drivers of the acquisition. Together we will lead by consolidating our strengths and delivering the best visual systems in the world.” Founded in 2007 Global Immersion is renowned for its work with highly specialized and technically complex digital immersive theaters. The company has won multiple project and business awards and has established a solid base of digital immersive theater attractions worldwide. Its project portfolio includes the California Academy of Sciences Adler Planetarium Moscow Planetarium Swedish Museum of Natural History Peoria Riverfront Museum and Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. Martin Howe CEO of Global Immersion said “I am delighted with this transaction with Electrosonic. It allows us to further expand our activities and develop our product and service offering opening up new doors and bringing with it many synergies. The planetarium and giant screen markets are undergoing significant change as the digital revolution pace quickens. Electrosonic offers a range of benefits that our customers can immediately enjoy. Its international reach and broad technical expertise and capacity mean that we can more cost-effectively service a wider range of customers in more locations while building upon our shared reputation for quality performance and support.” ,3759
Hunan Fayoo Film Culture Installs Barco DP2K-10S Digital Cinema Projectors,2012-12-14, The Hunan Fayoo Film Culture Industry Investment Management Company has installed Barco DP2K-10S digital cinema projectors at its newly opened cinema in Taojiang Hunan Province China. This makes Fayoo the first exhibitor in China to use an S2K projector to show commercial movies. Barco S2K projectors are being installed in five theaters of Fayoo’s newly opened cinema. Cao Yu chairman of Hunan Fayoo Film Culture Industry Investment Management Company said “Investments in local theaters are part of our strategic deployment. Barco’s cost-effective highly reliable S2K projector is just what we need to enable our small-sized cinema to exhibit domestic and overseas blockbusters and provide moviegoers with a premium cinema experience.” Wim Buyens senior vice president Barco and head of the entertainment division said “I am very proud that our DP2K-10S projector has received such high recognition from the market worldwide. This proves that our product research and development are on the right track: no compromise towards the cinema experience and DCI requirement and a lower total cost of ownership [which is] well suited for our China market. We will continue to increase the R&D investment and supply more digital cinema projection systems for more cinemas.” ,3761
The Foundry’s Katana Embraced Around the World,2012-12-14,Over the last few months The Foundry’s look development and lighting tool Katana has been adopted by a growing number of studios of all sizes around the globe. The software which was originally developed by Sony Pictures Imageworks is showing a truly global presence and the list of clients now also includes Mikros Image in Paris Fido in Stockholm Newbreed in Montreal and most recently the famous Tippett Studio in Emeryville California. Sanjay Das CTO at Tippett Studio says “We really looked at Katana as a game changer for us. Pipeline is key to our operation and we need to push shots through it fast. Katana fits the mentality of the way we work. It provides us with industrial strength architecture and is a great foundation to which we can add our own tools. Once integrated it will replace around 50 percent of our existing pipeline and in the long term we expect it will improve our efficiency by at least 20 percent. This kind of streamlining means that Katana will literally pay for itself.” Fabrice Macagno CTO at Mikros Image says “Katana is going to help us to have a more pragmatic approach to the lighting pipeline and at the same time we expect for it to give lighting artists a smoother and a more intuitive working environment especially with the node based workflow. With Katana in our pipeline we will be able to handle large datasets to work in a full asset driven lighting workflow in a collaborative context and to improve the tools available to lighting artists.” Mikros is already using Katana on the CG feature Astérix and the Land of the Gods. Newbreed in Montreal and Fido in Stockholm are two of the growing number of boutique-sized studios to pick up Katana.   Hubert Maston CG supervisor Newbreed Visual Effects says “Katana fulfilled all of our principal requirements regarding look development and lighting work and was very easy to integrate. Katana helps artists to spend all of their time working on what is most important; the final image. And this only results in better looking pictures. Katana has been a fantastic accelerator in our pipeline development schedule and enables us to handle volume and complexity in much more efficient manner and by extension increase our productivity. It makes us able to tackle much more complex work and much bigger volumes than in the past.” Newbreed will be using Katana on the upcoming Alex Aja directed feature film Horns starring Daniel Radcliffe.   Fredrik Limsäter CTO at Fido in Stockholm says Katana is the missing piece to our 3D pipeline puzzle and is now the tool that glues together all our different 3D departments such as animation hair and cloth FX and lighting. The asset based workflow fits extremely well into our pipeline. We have been able to easily integrate our production and asset management with Katana and have our artists pulling assets from FTrack our asset management system. The ability to manipulate a scene graph on demand is a huge benefit to our lighters.” Finally Bill Collis CEO at The Foundry says “Katana has been undergoing rapid in-house development at The Foundry. Its widespread adoption at a range of facilities is testament to the quality of the software. The way Katana streamlines and simplifies the process within facilities is really changing the way that teams are working to deliver lighting and CG elements. Artists find it easier more intuitive and less frustrating and facilities are discovering the cost benefits of choosing a package that ends up paying for itself in a relatively short period of time. The organizational structure Katana enforces allows them to reduce costs and become more efficient than ever before.” Pictured: the cast of Astérix