Digital Cinema Report will, once again, present a Catalyst Award to the best new technology introduced at this year’s CinemaCon. The National Association of Theatre Owners’ annual trade show convenes at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas April 11-14. With the digital cinema transition essentially over and virtual print fee agreements drawing to a close, exhibitors have turned their attention to the future. Quality content is essential to the success of any movie theatre but today more is needed to remain competitive.
Distribution & Exhibition
AMC has announced plans to acquire Carmike Cinemas for a reported $737 million in cash. Under the terms of the deal, AMC will offer $30 a share, an increase of 19 percent over Carmike’s closing price on Thursday. AMC would also Carmike’s debt, making the transaction worth about $1.1 billion. If approved, the deal would give AMC more than 600 theatres, making it the largest theatre chain in the country.
Last night at an exclusive screening at London’s independent Genesis Cinema in Mile End, London, Philips Lighting brought one of the world’s hottest bands to the silver screen as never seen before. Philips Lighting hosted the immersive concert event with an exclusive screening of the critically acclaimed Imagine Dragons: Smoke + Mirrors Live concert powered by Philips LightVibes.
The cinema lobby experience will be among Barco’s highlights during the Digital Signage Expo, which is being held March 16-17 in Las Vegas. Barco’s interactive digital signage technology for movie theaters, turns lobbies into revenue-generating entertainment centers. The centerpiece of the effort is the Barco Lobby Experience, which enlivens the lobby with animated box office and concession boards, interactive movie posters, and dynamic trailer presentations that drive engagement from the moment customers enter the theater.
The Swedish Film Institute, Stockholm, today announced their decision to share and distribute their vast library of classic Swedish films for cinema audiences in partnership with Unique Digital’s Movie Transit network. The Swedish Film Heritage, consisting of more than 8,600 titles, is currently being digitized by the Swedish Film Institute to make selected features available to Swedish cinema audiences everywhere. Utilizing the Movie Transit Network, Swedish Cinema goers will now be able to experience classics such as Körkarlen (1921) by Victor Sjöström, Såsom I en spegel (1961) by Ingmar Bergman, Amorosa (1986) by Mai Zetterling, and Resan till Melonia (1989) by Per Åhlin.
Christie has signed an exclusive deal with National Amusements to deliver digital in-theatre advertising and promotional content through its Christie Experiential Networks displays in theatre lobbies throughout the exhibition leader’s U.S. circuit. The agreement is the latest in CEN’s expansion across North America.
In a collaboration with Disney Music Group, Philips Lighting launched LightVibes in the U.S. at the Downtown Independent Theater in Los Angeles on February 16. An audience of music and film industry professionals and artists experienced the immersive light technology along with music video footage from the Star Wars Headspace album, an inspired-by compilation by some of the top and emerging electronic music artists, featuring tracks that integrate sound effects and dialogue from the Star Wars films.
National Theatre Live will partner with the Royal Court and Playful Productions to broadcast Hangmen from London’s West End. The play will be captured and projected in Sony 4K digital cinema across Vue Cinemas’ chain of 84 theatres. The production marks the fourth collaboration in the year-long partnership between National Theatre Live, Vue Entertainment and Sony Digital Cinema 4K, which has already seen productions of Behind the Beautiful Forevers, The Beaux Strategem and Hamlet hit the big screen from the stage. Working closely with its production partners, Sony has taken plays from different environments, including the Olivier Theatre, The Barbican and the Wyndhams Theatre, to the cinema screen.
Carmike Cinemas today reported results for the three and twelve-month periods ended December 31, 2015 and noted continued growth. “Carmike’s record fourth quarter and 2015 full year financial results reflect the ongoing success of our theatre-level initiatives, the progress we are achieving with our value-building theatre acquisition and organic growth strategies and the overall strength of the U.S. box office. Our admissions revenue growth per screen of over 15 percent in the 2015 fourth quarter and 9 percent for the full year outpaced the industry by almost 500 and 200 basis points, respectively. We achieved record results across several key financial metrics, including a 19 percent rise in operating revenues to an all-time quarterly record, as well as a rise in operating income of over 100 percent, which drove increases in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and theatre level cash flow of approximately 61 percent and 51 percent, respectively,” said David Passman, Carmike Cinemas’ president and chief executive officer.
IP Man 3 will be released in China in 4DX on March 4. The film is highly anticipated there because it stars Donnie Yen and Mike Tyson. 4DX fans are looking forward to being immersed in the action battles between the two men. According to CJ 4DPlex, Chinese audiences love local action franchise movies that are screened with its 4DX technology, which features motion seats and environmental effects.