Movie theatres worldwide continue to struggle simultaneously with the ongoing effects of both COVID-19 and a lack of first run movies to show their anxious patrons. What, then, will the pandemic’s long-term impact be on a business that is more than a century old? Incredibly, the biggest issue facing the UK exhibition industry as we blindly turned the corner into 2020 was Brexit. Scary and pointless to some, justified and overdue to others, it was heralded as a great success by a few high profile, self-serving politicians but barely acknowledged by the vast majority of UK voters, exhausted after four years of endless debate, negotiation and re-imagined expectations. The exit date of January 31 came and went with little fanfare in the end. A bland, commemorative Brexit 50p coin seemed to hit just the right level of anticlimax at the time. Is that it? After all that?
Distribution & Exhibition
Last August, the Star Cinema Grill in Richmond, Texas, a Houston suburb, was having great success in its premium large format auditorium thanks to having installed the largest Samsung Onyx LED Cinema Screen in North America. It was just the second exhibitor in the country with an Onyx and audiences loved the experience; the theatre was sold out for almost every show. Cut to this August and times have changed dramatically. The United States in general and Texas in particular are still dealing with the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the handful of indoor theatres that are open are working under severe restrictions. In response to that, Star Cinema Grill is in the process of opening a drive-in theatre at its Cypress, Texas location
The Hip Hop Film Festival kicked off its fifth season August 6-9 with four days of film screenings, Master Cyphers, the Boss Pitch competition, and more. Thousands of filmmakers, movie lovers, and culture enthusiasts from all over the world gathered together for a series of live events and film screenings. The Hip Hop Film Festival continues through the month as filmmakers host special private watch parties.
Ymagis Group has reported its consolidated financial revenue for the first six months of 2020, ending June 30, and provided an update on the receivership proceedings currently underway. Among the highlights of that period is the fact that the company’s revenues are down 48 percent, mainly due to the impact of the global pandemic as well as the anticipated decline in virtual print fee activity.
Sena Cinemas, Reykjavik has signed a multi-year agreement with Movio Cinema to better analyze, understand and connect with its cinema audiences. Sena owns and operates Iceland’s largest cinemas including Smarabio equipped with laser projectors for all screens and a Dolby Atmos sound system in the main hall. Smarabio’s fun center hosts an arcade, laser tag, virtual reality games, karaoke, and facilities to accommodate groups of all sizes.
The Digital Citizens Alliance and Nagra have jointly an investigative report showcasing how illegal piracy subscription services in the United States have grown into a billion-dollar industry that steals from creators, circumvents legitimate TV operators, and poses risks for consumers. The report, entitled Money for Nothing, details how a sophisticated ecosystem of thousands of retailers and wholesalers – through content theft and enabled by legal businesses – provides illicit piracy services to at least nine million U.S. households.
Platforms for the distribution of film and TV content are endlessly multiplying and changing in nature. In parallel, the application of copyright rules attached to audiovisual works and their exploitation along the value chain are becoming increasingly complex. Obtaining rights from the rights holders involved in a given project and, in some cases, acquiring licenses for the use of pre-existing works, is an essential aspect of the work of film producers and marks an indispensable preliminary step before they can grant licenses for the exploitation of the work to the various exploitation channels.
Muvi Cinemas has opened the first Dolby Cinema in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the U-Walk Boulevard, Arabian Centres in Riyadh.
Amazon Studios has acquired the worldwide rights to Oscar-winning actress Regina King’s feature directorial debut, One Night in Miami, written by Olivier-nominated Kemp Powers, based on his 2013 stage play. Producers are Jess Wu Calder and Keith Calder of Snoot Entertainment (Blindspotting, Anomalisa) and Jody Klein of ABKCO (The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus). King and Powers are executive producers.
The Movie Studio has submitted an official application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the company says that trademark protection is pending for its recognizable name, insignia, phrase and logo.