viernes, diciembre 01, 2006

Bogotá Gets Cinemark 6-Plex

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Cinemark International opened on Sept. 22 a 6-plex in the Plaza Imperial Center, part of the Suba district of Bogotá, Colombia’s capital city.
The new 1,425-seat 27,000-square-foot facility features 23-inch seats with retractable cupholder armrests, stadium-style seating and wall-to-wall screens.
“Plaza Imperial is an exciting concept that is sure to attract the people of Bogotá,” stated Tim Warner, president of Cinemark International. “A Cinemark theater is the perfect addition to this complex.”
Cinemark, based in Plano, Texas, currently operates 3,435 screens in 33 states and 13 countries outside the United States.

lunes, octubre 30, 2006

National CineMedia files $700M IPO

National CineMedia Inc. hopes to raise $700 million through an initial public offering.
The Centennial company announced its IPO Thursday night but didn't file a registration statement with the SEC until Friday.
The preliminary prospectus does not include information on the number of shares to be offered or the price per share.
Launched in 2005, National CineMedia is the sales and marketing arm of the United States' three largest movie-theater chains -- Regal Entertainment Group Inc. (NYSE: RCG), AMC Entertainment Inc. and Cinemark USA Inc.
The company said it will apply for a listing on the Nasdaq Global Select Market as "NCMI."
National CineMedia said it will use the proceeds to buy an equity interest in and become the sole manager of National CineMedia LLC, which provides on-screen advertisements before the start of movies and which is currently the operating company for the business.
The limited liability company was formed in March 2005 by AMC Entertainment and Regal, with Cinemark joining a few months later.
The LLC is 41.2 percent owned by Regal, with AMC Entertainment owning 33.2 percent and Cinemark owning 25.6 percent.
The company serves 1,046 theaters with a combined 13,095 screens. That number will grow after AMC adds the Loews theater circuit. AMC bought Loews in January, but Loews has an existing contract with a rival company for on-screen advertising that runs into 2008.
National CineMedia Inc. said it will distribute the proceeds from the offering to Regal, AMC Entertainment and Cinemark. The company said it would change the way the theater companies are paid. Instead of quarterly payments now made based on a percentage of advertising revenue, the theater companies will get monthly payments based on how many people are in the audience.
Revenue for National CineMedia LLC for the six months ended June 30 rose 95.2 percent from a year earlier, to $84.5 million, and the value of advertising contracts increased 37.6 percent, to $84.2 million, during the same period.
The joint book-running managers for the offering will be Credit Suisse, JP Morgan Securities Inc., Lehman Brothers Inc. and Morgan Stanley.

miércoles, octubre 25, 2006

Imax has big plans for Colombia

TORONTO -- Large-format screen exhibitor Imax is entering Colombia with a deal to install a theater in Bogota's Plaza de las Americas, Colombia's largest mall, in the third quarter of 2007.
"With a population of nearly 9 million, the city of Bogota is an ideal launching pad for the Imax experience in Colombia," said Imax co-CEOs and co-chairmen Rich Gelfond and Brad Wechsler.
In all 30 Imax theaters are set to open in Latin America, including Mexico, by the end of 2008.

lunes, octubre 23, 2006

Summer 2006 boxoffice wrap

On the surface, at least, Hollywood was happier this summer than Captain Jack Sparrow's band of merry buccaneers as it rediscovered a treasure chest of boxoffice gold. A year ago, that treasure seemed to have gone missing -- ticket sales were in decline, and gloom spread throughout the industry. But almost as mysteriously as they wandered away last year, moviegoers returned en masse to the multiplex. They didn't necessarily buy everything the studios were pitching their way: Sparrow's ship the Black Pearl certainly proved seaworthy, but the luxurious Poseidon sank even faster than its story line decreed.Still, the highs were high enough to restore some luster to the whole practice of going to the movies. Walt Disney Pictures' action-packed sequel "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" rode a veritable tidal wave of its own, becoming the summer's -- and the year's-to-date -- biggest-grossing movie, commanding $414.2 million. The next three movies grossed more than $200 million: Pixar Animation Studios' "Cars," also released by Buena Vista, raced to $242.0 million; 20th Century Fox's third installment of its Marvel-ous superheroes, "X-Men: The Last Stand," soared to $234.3 million; and Sony Pictures' religious-themed thriller "The Da Vinci Code" ascended to $217.5 million.By comparison, no movie cracked the $400 million mark last summer. Fox's "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith" was the top grosser with $379.8 million. Beneath it, there were three $200 million-plus movies: Paramount Pictures' "War of the Worlds," at $232.6 million; Warner Bros. Pictures' "Batman Begins," at $203.6 million; and Warners' "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," at $201.3 million. But collectively, they didn't pack as much punch as this year's more potent $200 million grossers.As a result, the overall downward turn the boxoffice took last summer -- coming after four years of steadily improving grosses -- again changed course, once again moving upward.For the 15 weeks of this summer, as traditionally measured from the start of the Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, the national boxoffice total was $3.38 billion, up more than 9% from last summer's $3.09 billion. In terms of dollars collected, it is the second-best summer on record, trailing only 2004's $3.45 billion.Measured by actual admissions, though, the season was not quite as healthy. Estimated admissions rose to 514.5 million, up 7% from last summer's 480.6 million. But that still put admissions 7.7% below the record 2004 tally of 557.4 million. In fact, in terms of admissions, summer 2006 was only the eighth-best summer on record during the past 24 years.Whatever factors might have been inhibiting moviegoers from rushing out to theaters -- culprits range from dissatisfaction with theaters themselves to encroaching DVD windows to competing forms of entertainment -- didn't go away overnight, but with the right, broad-based entertainments, Hollywood was able to counter the trends. At the same time, audiences were selective, and while the biggest movies did prove bigger than last summer's fare, there also were plenty of movies, including some widely promoted titles, that were summarily dismissed.For adherents of the cyclical theory of moviegoing, which holds that several up years inevitably are followed by a number of down years before the cycle begins anew, this year's rebound could signal the beginning of a longer-term rebound. For example, boxoffice rose from 1997-99, then fell for one year in 2000 before growing for an unprecedented four years through 2004, then declining in 2005. Whether this summer represents the beginning of another upswing remains to be seen.As well as this year's leaders performed, they didn't quite measure up to 2004's top draws. That summer, "Shrek 2" grossed more than $436.7 million by season's end. The second-ranked film, "Spider-Man 2," took in $369.9 million."Dead Man's Chest" is now No. 6 among all-time domestic grossers, but it ranks below No. 3 "Shrek 2," with $441.2 million in its account. "Cars," this summer's second-ranked film, currently sits in 42nd place, a long way below 2004's No. 2, "Spider-Man 2," which ranks 10th.Altogether this summer, 11 films crested the $100 million mark, matching 2004's total. That represents an improvement over last summer, when only nine films grossed more than $100 million. The best year for $100 million-plus movies remains 2003, when 15 films hit that mark.As for movies that grossed between $50 million-$100 million, this summer's class performed slightly better than last summer's. Twelve movies grossed more than $50 million but less than $100 million this summer. That was better than last year, when 11 films fell in that category, but not quite as good as 2004, when 13 pictures ended up in that range.Critics might bemoan Hollywood's continuing reliance on sequels and remakes, but there is no denying that familiarity sells. Last summer, which saw the boxoffice drop off, only two films in the top 20 were sequels, though there was a healthy sampling of remakes and adaptations.But summer 2006 put more reliance on sequels and remakes. Of the top 20 films, four were direct sequels: "Dead Man's Chest," "X-Men 3," "Mission: Impossible III" ($133.5 million) and "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" ($62.4 million). "Superman Returns" ($195.8 million), picking up where 1981's "Superman II" left off, had to be considered something of a quasi-sequel. There was a remake: "Poseidon" ($60.7 million). And "Miami Vice" ($62.3 million) offered a big-screen version of the 1980s TV series."Poseidon" and "Vice" might have placed in the top 20, but they nevertheless were deemed disappointments considering that they both carried budgets well in excess of $100 million and arrived with big expectations, as did M. Night Shyamalan's "Lady in the Water," which bottomed out at $41.7 million. Although "Snakes on a Plane" was surrounded by plenty of Internet hype that didn't automatically translate into ticket sales, the movie is performing like a conventional horror programr, grossing $30 million to date.Several book-to-screen adaptations hit their marks this summer, beginning with Ron Howard's screen version of Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code." Arguably the biggest surprise hit of the season was David Frankel's adaptation of Lauren Weisberger's satirical novel, "The Devil Wears Prada" ($122 million). And though the market ultimately proved too crowded to accommodate "The Ant Bully," animated movies generally prospered. "Cars" led that pack, but DreamWorks Animation's "Over the Hedge" ($154.8 million) was no slouch, taking sixth place, Sony's "Monster House" ($69.8 million) ranked 14th, and Paramount's "Barnyard" ($63.6 million) squeezed into the 16th position.It definitely was a family-friendly summer. Of the top 10 films, eight were PG-13, "Cars" was rated G, and "Hedge" was rated PG. Unlike last summer, when the R-rated "Wedding Crashers" made it to the fifth spot, there were no R-rated movies in the top 10. In fact, "Vice" was the only R-rated film in the top 20.Along the way, a number of records were broken. Bowing on May 26, "X3's" opening four-day gross of $122.9 million established both a Memorial Day weekend record (passing the $90.2 million collected in 1997 by "The Lost World") and a four-day holiday weekend record, overshadowing the $115.8 million that "Spider-Man 2" grabbed over its four-day July Fourth frame. But then, a little more than a month later, "Dead Man's Chest" set new standards, pulling an unprecedented $135.6 million over three days."Dead Man's Chest" became the fastest movie to hit $100 million (in just two days) and the fastest to hit $300 million (in 16 days). Along with "Cars," it powered Buena Vista into the summer's market share lead, solidly ahead of second-place Sony and third-place Fox.In terms of strategy, Hollywood bet on slightly fewer wide releases -- movies opening in 1,000 theaters or more -- this summer. There were 40 wide releases, compared with 42 last year. When it came to ultrawide releases -- movies bowing in more than 3,000 theaters -- 16 movies saturated the multiplex on their opening weekends this summer, compared with 17 a year ago. The number of wide releases between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day tends to fluctuate from year to year, from a low of 37 in 2003 to a high of 45 in 1998.Buoyed by record-setting openings from "Dead Man's Chest" and "X3," average opening-weekend takes took on impressive dimensions. The average opening weekend for a wide release this summer swelled from $19.6 million last year to $23.7 million. The average opening also involved more theaters -- 2,780 this summer vs. 2,680 last year. The per-theater average on opening weekends also climbed: This summer that figure stood at $8,531 per theater, besting last year's $7,330 per theater.Of course, what goes up also comes down. But bigger opening weekends managed to hold the line on second-weekend drop-offs. The average second-weekend drop this year was 47%, compared with 49% last year. Actually, this year's trajectory even bettered that of 2004, when average opening weekends of $23.2 million led to 51% second-weekend drops.Meanwhile, national theater chains continued to consolidate. AMC Entertainment completed its takeover of the Loews Cineplex chain, and in August, Carmike, the third-ranked circuit in the country behind Regal and AMC, announced that it was acquiring Century Theatres. There has been no contraction of screens yet, however. For the summer period, about 38,000 screens handled the available product. That's up by about 1,100 screens from the 36,850 screens in use last summer.As for the independent film scene, there were no hits on the order of last year's "March of the Penguins," which had attracted more than $63 million by summer's end. But Fox Searchlight's comedy "Little Miss Sunshine," which didn't begin a slow, controlled rollout until July 26, is showing plenty of signs of life and has grossed $35.8 million to date. Its nearest competition on the indie front came from Lionsgate's horror show "The Descent" ($25.4 million), the Weinstein Co.'s "Clerks II" ($24 million) and Paramount Vantage's eco-documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" ($22.8 million).Whether a long-term upswing at the boxoffice has begun won't be known until next summer. But there are several auspicious signs that bode well for the future.Buena Vista, which scored the winning one-two punch of a "Pirates" sequel and a Pixar movie this summer, has a similar combination primed for summer 2007 when it will release its third "Pirates" movie as well as a new Pixar offering, "Ratatouille," the tale of an epicurean rat. In addition, Sony is spinning a web with "Spider-Man 3," set for release May 4. Then, on May 18, DreamWorks Animation returns with "Shrek the Third."With sequels to the third-top-domestic grosser of all time ("Shrek 2"), the sixth-top-film ("Dead Man's Chest"), and the seventh-ranked film ("Spider-Man"), the summer 2007 schedule could be primed to raise the bar over this summer.
Brian Fuson contributed to this report

viernes, octubre 13, 2006

Mex plexes consolidated Southern Cross snaps up exhibs

Posted: Thurs., Oct. 5, 2006, 3:42pm PT
Private equity firm Southern Cross and Morgan Stanley have bought MMCinemas, Mexico's second biggest exhibitor in terms of screens, and smaller chain Multimax.
The firms bought MMCinemas, which operates mostly in northern Mexico, from GrupoMultimedios, a Monterrey, Mexico-based firm that owns TV and media interests. It purchased Multimax, a six-theater loop, from Entretiene.
The merged chains will have 79 theaters with more than 700 screens in 47 cities.
The equity capital rush is expected to fuel MM Cinemas' plans to build 10 complexes with 100 screens in the next year.
Southern Cross is a buyout firm backed by U.S. investors that operates in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Barclays Capital is financing the buyout, but the price has not been made public.
The buyout marks a long-expected run to consolidate Mexico's exhib market.
Cinepolis, the biggest exhib in Latin America, which is privately owned by the Ramirez family, has expanded aggressively in the last decade, since Cinemex's entrance into the market set off a multiplex-building spree. Mexico City-based Cinemex is now the No. 2 chain in terms of revenue.
The buyout leaves No. 4 chain Cinemark and several small regional chains up for possible acquisition.

jueves, octubre 05, 2006

Film piracy a $1billion business in Latin America

Leon Forde in Rio de Janeiro
03 October 2006
Piracy cost the Brazilian cinema market $102m last year according to figures announced by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) at the Rio International Film Festival.
A seminar featuring producer Diler Trindade, Total Filmes’ Walkiria Barbosa, producer Luiz Carlos Barreto, the MPA´s Marcio Goncalves and attorney Marcelo Goyanes heard that piracy was worth over $1bn across the Latin American market in 2005. Nearly 25% of the Brazilian market is pirated.
However, Brazil is not a major producer of pirated goods, with the majority of pirated DVDs and VCDs coming through Paraguay. The smuggling of black-market film is closely linked to the illicit cross-border trade in weapons, drugs and other counterfeit goods.
Delegates heard that piracy was not limited to Hollywood product. Local hits God Is Brazilian, directed by Carlos Diegues, and Breno Silveira`s Two Sons Of Francisco, were used as examples of local films that have appeared on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks.
Although some educational schemes have been launched in Brazil, enforcing anti-piracy legislation was said to be difficult in the Brazilian market. “Federal police and the legislature are not efficient,” said Barbosa. “You can see pirate copies for sale right outside police buildings.”
There are around 30 million internet users in Brazil, most of which have dial-up connections. Meanwhile, 15 million homes will have DVD players by the end of this year.

domingo, octubre 01, 2006

Ramirez boosts its Mexican cinema domination

Mexico’s largest exhibitor Organizacion Ramirez is fast moving towards its 1000-screen objective by the end of 2002. This week alone the company is to launch a 20-screen multiplex in Mexico City and another 18-screen site in Monterrey.
"We’re targeting a growth ratio of at least 100 screens per year," said Miguel Mier, Ramirez’ Chief Operating Officer. It currently operates 808 screens in this territory of nearly 100 million inhabitants. This year, the family-owned circuit has opened 60 new screens to date and has up to 67 additional screens scheduled to open by the end of December 2001.
Ramirez, which operates cinema chains under the brands Cinepolis, Multicinemas, Gemelos (Twins) and Cinemas, enjoys a 45% share of the national market and 30% in Mexico City. Its rivals include Mexico City circuit, Cinemex and Texas-based Cinemark International.
In addition, the giant circuit is expanding into Central America, starting with an eight-plex in Guatemala 18 months ago. It aims to open 19 screens in Panama and another 14 in Guatemala in 2003.
"An economic slowdown in Mexico will probably affect our growth plans," said Mier. "As the saying goes, when the U.S. catches a cold, the rest of the world sneezes," he added, in reference to the current economic downturn in the U.S.
With nearly 3,000 screens, Mexico boasts the largest screen count in Latin America. Despite the capital’s size (pop. 22 million), exhibition in some parts are in danger of reaching saturation point especially in the middle and high income neighborhoods. "Low income neighborhoods are generally under-screened but we lower our ticket prices by 15% in these areas," said Mier.
Meanwhile, Spanish multimedia conglom Grupo Prisa has acquired 50% of Mexican radio company Radiopolis from Mexican media giant Televisa for $50m. Prisa will additionally invest another $10m in a capital amplification of Radiopolis, a group which houses a network of 17 different radio stations across Mexico.
Staff reporters in Los Angeles15 October 2001 22:47

Cinepolis fast-tracks Mexican IMAX expansion

Spurred by impressive results at its IMAX cinema in Mexico City, Latin American exhibitor Cinepolis has moved forward to 2005 the target opening dates for two proposed Imax cinemas in other Mexican cities.
The cinemas are part of a deal previously announced in 2004 and were originally scheduled to open in mid-2006 and late-2007 respectively. One screen will be in Monterrey and the other location will be announced at a later date.
According to Cinepolis, since its opening in November 2004, the Cinepolis Perisur IMAX has been regularly achieving 90% capacity for its weekend screenings. The company claims the addition of the IMAX cinema in the multiplex has increased weekday attendance by more than 20 per cent.
"We are extremely pleased with how an IMAX theatre has impacted our flagship multiplex in Mexico City - driving box office performance, enabling us to charge a premium price for a premium experience, and 'wowing' our audiences," said Alejandro Ramirez, deputy CEO of Cinepolis.
With 1,121 screens, Cinepolis is the largest exhibitor in Latin America and the eighth largest in the world.
Denis Seguin in Toronto10 January 2005

IMAX to launch first cinema in Brazil

IMAX Corp and Brazilian retail developer Tacla Shopping have signed an agreement to build the South American nation’s first IMAX cinema.The new cinema will be part of a 10-cinema multiplex to be installed in the proposed Palladium Shopping Centre in Curitiba, which is anticipated to be the largest shopping mall in southern Brazil.As with most new IMAX facilities, the cinema will be designed to handle both traditional 2D and 3D IMAX content as well as MPX pictures, which are reformatted conventional 35mm Hollywood titles.IMAX co-chief executive officers and co-chairmen Richard Gelfond and Brad Wechsler said they hoped the move into the large and untapped Brazilian market could drive expansion throughout the Latin American region.This marks the giant-screen company’s fourth Latin American deal in 2005. More details will be announced at a press conference in Curitaba on Oct 26.
Denis Seguin in Toronto21 October 2005 04:00

IMAX, Cinearte sign for IMAX cinema in Sao Paolo multiplex

IMAX Corp and Brazilian exhibitor Circuito Cinearte have signed an agreement that will see an IMAX cinema as part of a 10-screen mulitplex in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The new facility is scheduled to open in 2007. The deal is IMAX's second in Brazil. In all there will be 29 IMAX theatres in Latin America by 2008. The new cinema will be capable of showing Hollywood blockbusters as well as IMAX original productions.
"Brazil is a vast and relatively untapped market that holds great potential for expansion of the IMAX theatre network," said IMAX co-CEOs and co-chairmen Richard Gelfond and Brad Wechsler in a statement. "We are delighted to join one of the country's fastest growing exhibitors."
Added Adhemar de Oliveira, managing director of Circuito Cinearte, "The impressive box office performance of Hollywood movies in IMAX's format shows us that moviegoers are drawn to the uniquely immersive experience that only IMAX theatres can deliver."

Denis Seguin in Toronto11 September

More multiplex cinemas planned for Argentina

Village Cinemas opened a nine-screen, 1.800 stadium-seating complex this week in one of the fast-growing districts of Buenos Aires.
This $ 14m investment -in cooperation with the development group Galerias Pacifico- is the seventh multiplex Village to have been built in Argentina since 1996. The company now operates 78 screens in the country.
"We expect 1 million admissions a year in the new Village Caballito," says Sebastian Valenzuela, Village's general manager.
Village is the second-biggest exhibition loop with a 20% share of the local market, after Hoyts General Cinemas (29%), and ahead of Cinemark (17%) and National Amusements' Showcase (12%).
Last month, two U.S. investment funds, Southern Screens Entertainment II and Blue Ridge, have bought the exhibition chain from Australia's Village Cinemas Intl. and New Zealand's Sky City Cinemas, and now own 78% and 22%, respectively.
With the Argentinean economy recovering robustly from the 2002 economic crisis (9% in 2003, 8,4% in 2004 and an estimated 9% in 2005) exhibitors are reviving investment plans.
Argentina is considered a growing market. Film attendance rose more than 50% in the last two years and the country has only 1000 screens for a population of 37 million people.
During 2005, Showcase opened a 14-screen multiplex comprising more than 3,500 seats in Rosario, Argentina's third city, and is planning to build the first IMAX 3D theatre in a new 14- screener near Buenos Aires next year.
Cinemark also opened a 5-screen complex this year in the western outskirts of Buenos Aires and is eyeing more locations.
Pablo Bossi, general manager of local leading producer company Patagonik Film Group, announced the opening of an eight-screen arthouse in the exclusive neighbourhood of Palermo, while the 12-screen, 3.300 seater Portal Rosario -another local project- is scheduled to open in the next few weeks.
Diego Batlle in Buenos Aires
07 December 2005

Anschutz Properties Become 5,949-screen ChainRegal, UA, Edwards Form Megacircuit

DENVER — Top executives of the Regal Cinemas and United Artists Theatres chains confirmed in late January that parent company Anschutz Corp. will consolidate three recently acquired cinema circuits — Regal, UA and Edwards Theatres — into a 5,949-screen megachain overseen by Regal CEO Mike Campbell. UA CEO Kurt Hall is expected to head a new Anschutz company that Hall says will concentrate “on all the new businesses.” Those businesses are said to encompass the new circuit’s advertising, digital strategy and satellite network operations.“I think on the operating side this consolidation gives us the critical mass that hasn’t been seen before in the exhibition industry,” Campbell told The Hollywood Reporter. “On Kurt’s side it allows for an entity to focus on the ancillary revenue streams that have always been talked about but have never been implemented.”Both Campbell and Hall will have their own board of directors and will report to a holding company comprised of Anschutz, Oaktree Capital Management and several other investors. Campbell and Hall are also expected to share the title of co-vice chairman of the parent company.Greg Dunn, Regal chief operating officer, will serve in the same capacity for the new circuit. UA executive vice president Mike Pade will oversee the combined circuit’s Los Angeles-based film office. Regal’s Denise Gurin will be the head film buyer for the western half of the United States, while UA vet Ted Cooper will head film buying for the eastern half.
In Focus - April 2002

Onex Takes Majority Stake in Cinemex

TORONTO – Onex, Canadian parent company of recently restructured Loews Cineplex, announced on June 19 the acquisition of a majority stake in Mexican exhibitor Grupo Cinemex.
According to Variety, Onex paid $123.5 million for a 58 percent stake in the Mexican circuit while Oaktree Capital will provide an additional $89 million for the remaining 42 percent.
Toronto-based Onex bought Loeks-Star in April 2002 following its March 2002 acquisition of Loews. With its acquisition of the Mexico City-based circuit, Onex controls 2,877 screens at 296 sites in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain and Korea.
In Focus -September 2002

Cinebox Plants Brazil 10-Plex

CAMPINAS, Brazil – Spanish exhibitor Cinebox launched its first 10-plex in Brazil Dec. 12.
Located in Campinas, just north of Sao Paulo, the multi boasts 2,000 seats.
Cinebox currently operates 13 sites in Spain, Venezuela and Brazil
In Focus - March 2003

NA Buys 111 From UCI

DEDHAM, Mass. – National Amusements announced on Nov. 1 its acquisition of UCI Cinema’s exhibition interests throughout Brazil.
UCI’s holdings in the Portuguese-speaking nation included 111 screens at 10 sites in seven cities, including Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo.
According to figures published by Dodona Research, Brazil’s screen total in 2003 was 1,720.
National Amusements, based in Dedham, Mass., operates more than 1,425 screens in the United States, the United Kingdom, Latin America and Russia.
In Focus - January 2006

Cinemark & Century To Make Megacircuit

PLANO, Texas – Two of the nation’s six largest cinema chains – Texas-based Cinemark USA and California-headquartered Century Theatres – announced on Aug. 8 plans to become one.
The combined company will operate out of Cinemark’s headquarters in Plano, Texas, under CEO Lee Roy Mitchell. Century officers Raymond W. Syufy and Joseph Syufy will join Cinemark’s board of directors.At the time of the announcement, Cinemark was ranked as the country’s 3rd-largest circuit with 2,469 U.S. screens at 202 U.S. sites. Sixth-ranked Century at that time operated 994 screens at 78 U.S. sites.
Only Regal Entertainment Group, with more than 6,400 screens, and AMC Entertainment, at 4,597 U.S. screens (following its 2005 merger with Loews Cineplex), boast larger screen-counts than the combined Cinemark-Century enterprise.
In Focus - October 2006

Cinemark Situates San Salvador Cinema

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Cinemark International on May 20 opened a new 8-plex in San Salvador, the company’s fifth plex in El Salvador.
The nearly 35,000-square-foot plex features stadium-style seating, high-backed rocker chairs, cupholder armrests and wall-to-wall screens. The new site is a part of the La Gran Via mall, one of the first lifestyle centers in Latin America.
Based in Plano, Texas, Cinemark operates 3,216 screens in 33 states and 13 countries outside the United States.
In Focus - July 2005

Carmike Buys GKC Cinemas

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Carmike Cinemas, one of the nation’s four largest theatre chains, announced in April that it had entered into an agreement to purchase the 263-screen George Karasotes Corp. (GKC). The $66 million deal will increase Carmike’s holdings by 30 sites.

The acquisition of the GKC sites will enhance Carmike’s presence in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin.

Carmike chairman and CEO Michael Patrick stated, “We expect to continue to expand our presence in small-market America by taking advantage of organic growth in underserved markets and opportunities to acquire other exhibitors as our industry continues to consolidate.”

Columbus, Ga.-based Carmike’s pre-acquisition screen count stands at 2,173 screens at 280 sites in 36 states

In Focus - July 2005
Brazil Hotbed For Expansion SAO PAOLO, Brazil – Having displaced locally based exhibitor Severiano Ribeiro as Brazil’s dominant exhibitor, Dallas-based Cinemark International now plans to add 40 screens at four Brazil sites in 2002 and as many as five sites a year for the next several years.Cinemark currently operates 258 screens nationally; Ribeiro 170 (with 15 more to debut this year); and Brazil’s third-largest exhib, Encino, Calif.-based United Cinemas International, 99.Cinebox, a European-based concern new to the Brazilian market, also plans to open an average of 30 screens annually in the coming years. Screen count has risen 44 percent from about 1,000 screens in 1997 to a current estimated 1,600-plus, while admissions have also risen from 56.6 million in 1999 to 67.8 million between January and November 2001.
In Focus - May 2002

Cinemark in talks to buy Century Theatres - WSJ

NEW YORK, Aug 3, 2006 (Reuters) - Cinemark Inc. is in talks to buy Century Theatres Inc., a combination that would create one of the largest players in the movie theater business, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
Cinemark, owned by the Chicago private-equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLP, approached Century about the possibility of a purchase last year, the report said.
But the price tag of up to $1 billion that Century Theatres' owners sought at that time was significantly higher than the Cinemark bid and no deal was struck, the paper reported.
A combination of the two movie chains would create a serious rival for Regal Entertainment Group (RGC.N: Quote, Profile, Research), the report said.
Representatives for Cinemark and Century Theatres could not immediately be reached for comment.

New Cinemark Int’lQuad For Lima Seen

LIMA, Peru – Cinemark International opened May 5 its new 4-plex in the Peru capital of Lima.
The site, located in the Plaza Lima Sur Mall lifestyle center in the city’s Chorrillos district, offers stadium-style seating with retractable armrests and wall-to-wall screens.
“Cinemark International is excited to be a part of this new commercial development,” stated CI president Tim Warner. “Plaza Lima Sur is an outstanding mall that will serve its area well.”
The Plano, Texas-based Cinemark International operates 3,396 screens in 33 states and 13 countries outside the United States.
In Focus - July 2006

Purchase Of Giant Cinemark Expected

PLANO, Texas – Cinemark, the United States’ 3rd-largest cinema chain, announced March 12 that it has signed an agreement to be acquired by Chicago-based private investment firm Madison Dearborn Partners. The transaction was approved by the circuit’s board and its shareholders, and was expected to close in April.
The deal, valued at about $1.5 billion according to The Hollywood Reporter, ends a 1996 investment made by private equity concern, the Cypress Group, which invested $139 million for a 44-percent stake. The circuit’s founder, chairman and CEO Lee Roy Mitchell, and other senior executives will “retain significant equity stakes in the company” according to the trade publication.
Mitchell, along with other existing Cinemark staff, was expected to remain with the company after the acquisition.
Plano, Texas-based Cinemark operates 3,142 screens in 33 U.S. states and 12 international markets.
In Focus - May 2004

Loews Cineplex Parent To Acquire Landmark Theatres

TORONTO – Loews Cineplex’s Toronto-based parent company, Onex Corp., announced Nov. 11 its intent to purchase the 290-screen Los Angeles-based Landmark Theatres chain.
Landmark’s assets include 53 specialty sites operating 178 screens (comprising the United States’ largest arthouse circuit) as well as 14 Silver Cinemas sub-run sites encompassing 112 auditoria.
The purchase price is expected to be roughly $126 million, including approximately $57 million in equity capital. Onex’s initial share of the invested capital is expected to be around $34 million.
“Landmark is an exceptional fit for Loews Cineplex,” said Anthony Munk, managing director of Onex Corp. “We believe there are no better operators in the expanding niche of art and specialty exhibition than the management of Landmark.”
Onex, Canada’s 5th-largest company, currently controls a worldwide exhibition empire boasting 2,877 at 296 sites.
Onex purchased Loews Cineplex in March 2002 and Star Theatres in April 2002. It acquired a majority stake in Mexican exhibitor Grupo Cinemex in June 2002 (In Focus, September 2002).
Onex’s current U.S. screen count totals 1,534 screens at 153 sites. Its Canadian presence constitutes 745 screens at 87 sites, while Mexico boasts 349 Onex-controlled screens at 31 sites. In Spain and Korea, the company’s tallies are 207 screens at 20 sites and 42 screens at five sites, respectively
In Focus - January 2003

Cinemark Bows 7 In East Brazil

NATAL, Brazil – Cinemark International opened in March its Midway Mall 7-plex in Natal, Brazil, on the easternmost tip of South America.
The 34,400-square-foot multi, Cinemark’s 36th site in Brazil, offers stadium-style seating and wall-to-wall screens.
“Midway Mall is an excellent development,” said Cinemark International president Tim Warner. “We are pleased to provide the best in entertainment to the people of Natal.”
Based in Plano, Texas, Cinemark operates 3,374 screens in 33 U.S. states and 13 countries outside the United States, including countries in South America, Central America and Asia.
In Focus - May 2006

Cinemark Opens Two South America Multis

PLANO, Texas – Cinemark International unveiled two South American multis in December – a 4-plex in Manizales, Colombia, and an 8-plex in Curitiba, Brazil.
The circuit’s fourth cinema in Colombia, Manizales’ Cable Plaza boasts over 12,169 square feet and 740 seats. The multi is an addition to a modern retail complex that features entertainment areas, restaurants, bingo and high-end retailers.
The 39,720-square-foot, 2,150-seat Parque Barigui 8-plex in Curitiba is part of a large center comprised of popular stores, a medical center, a large apartment complex, a hotel complex and a fitness center.
Both facilities feature stadium-style seating, high-back rocker chairs with cupholder armrests, state-of-the-art sound and wall-to-wall screens.
Plano, Texas-based Cinemark currently operates 3,043 screens in 33 U.S. states, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, England, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Taiwan.
In Focus - March 2004

sábado, setiembre 30, 2006

Cinemark Launches 13 For Brazil Market

PLANO, Texas – Cinemark International was slated to unveil in May two new Brazil multis: an 8-plex in Curitiba and a 5-plex in Sao Paulo.
Located in the heart of Curitiba, the 2,200-seat Mueller Shopping Theatre is part of an existing 5-level mall. The 40,904-square-foot facility is the circuit’s second site in the southern city.
Part of a major regional mall development, the 29,064-square-foot Center Norte Theatre is Cinemark’s 14th facility in the Sao Paulo market. The development was set to include restaurants, chain retailers and a large supermarket.
Both facilities were expected to feature stadium-style seating, high-backed rocker chairs with cupholder armrests, Dolby Digital sound and wall-to-wall screens.
Plano, Texas-based Cinemark currently operates 3,181 screens in 33 U.S. states, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Taiwan.
In Focus - June 2004

Cinemark Unveils South America Duo

PLANO, Texas – Cinemark International unveiled in August two new South American multis: an 8-plex in Bogota, Colombia, and a 7-plex in Niteroi, Brazil.
The 35,739-square-foot Bogota site, which bowed Aug. 13, is the fifth multi Cinemark has opened in Colombia. A component of the Paseo San Rafael Mall, the 1,645-plus-seat facility is situated in an upscale neighborhood in the southeastern part of the city.
Part of the pre-existing Plaza Shopping Niteroi near Rio de Janeiro, the new 46,130-square-foot 7-plex opened its doors Aug. 27. Boasting over 2,000 seats, the facility is Cinemark’s 33rd multi in Brazil.
Both facilities feature stadium-style seating, high-backed rocker chairs with cupholder armrests and wall-to-wall screens.
Cinemark currently operates 3,244 screens in 33 U.S. states and 13 other nations, including Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Taiwan.
In Focus - October 2004

Cinemark Bows Colombia 6-Plex

BOGOTA, Colombia — Cinemark announced on Dec. 12 the opening of a 1,650-seat 6-plex in Bogota, Colombia — Cinemark’s second site in that city — within one of South America’s largest shopping centers.The 3,300-square-foot Cafam Floresta multi features stadium-style seating, high back rockers with retractable armrests, digital sound, wall-to-wall screens and 6-day advanced ticketing.The Cafam Floresta shopping center offers approximately 17,000 square meters of retail, restaurant and entertainment venues.“To date, we have constructed 22 modern high-tech screens in Bogota and Medellin,” said Cinemark International president Tim Warner, who has overseen the circuit’s international operations for more than half a decade.“Cinemark could not be more thrilled about our newest theatre in Colombia
In Focus - March 2002

Cinemark Bows Colombia 6-Plex

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Cinemark oversaw in December the launches of 19 screens at two sites in São Paulo, Brazil. Dec. 7 brought the 2,600-seat Station Santa Cruz 11-plex; the 1,500-seat Manaus 8-plex bowed 14 days later.Both sites feature stadium-style seating, high-back rockers with retractable armrests, digital sound, wall-to-wall screens and advance online ticketing.An unusual component of the 11-plex will be its “Cinemagico” auditorium, a collaboration with Buena Vista International festooned with the images of classic Disney characters and dedicated to the exhibition of Disney product, old and new. “Cinemark is excited to form such a strong relationship with Disney,” said Cinemark International president Tim Warner. “This alliance will enable us to offer children’s films to our customers and their families throughout the year.”Warner describes the 8-plex, Cinemark’s 28th site in Brazil, as the “most modern multi-screen theatre in the entire northwest region of Brazil.” Cinemark currently operates 2,931 screens in 33 U.S. states, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, England, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Taiwan.
In Focus - March 2002

Cinemark Opens 6, Plans 14

TUXTLA GUTIERREZ, Mexico – Cinemark International unveiled its new 8-plex in the Southern Mexico town of Tuxtla Gutierrez June 6, and announced fall openings for an 8-plex in Costa Rica and a 6-plex in Chile.
The 1,850-seat, 35,389-square-foot facility on Tuxtla Gutierrez’s Galerias Boulevard in Mexico was built within the popular Liverpool, a site named for the region’s largest department store.
“To date, we have constructed 265 screens throughout Mexico,” said Cinemark International president Tim Warner. “We have always believed in the potential of the Tuxtla site.”
Set to bow in October, the 8-screen 1,600-seat Multiplaza del Este in San Jose, Costa Rica, will be the circuit’s second cinema in that nation. The 29,148-square-foot facility will be a component of a large entertainment, shopping and activity development center.
The 6-screen Plaza Norte Theatre in the Santiago, Chile, suburb of Huechuraba was set to bow in early November and will be the circuit’s 12th facility in Chile.
Filling 24,844 square feet, the 1,340-seat plex will be an addition to a modern retail development center.
All facilities feature, or were set to feature, stadium-style seating, high-backed rocker love seats with cupholder armrests and wall-to-wall screens.
Cinemark currently operates 3,045 screens in 33 U.S. states and 14 countries outside of the United States, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, England, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Taiwan
In Focus - September 2003

Cinemark Seven For Ecuador

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador – Cinemark International on Oct. 20 opened a 7-plex in the Mall del Sur in the southern part of Guayaquil, Ecuador.
The new multi serves as a component of what Cinemark describes as the region’s sole modern shopping and family activity center.
Spanning over 24,000 square feet, the cinema features stadium-style seating, high-backed rocker chairs with cupholder armrests and wall-to-wall screens.
“Cinemark is constructing a modern, state-of-the-art complex that should grow the movie viewing market in Guayaquil. We are pleased to be part of this remarkable project,” stated circuit president Tim Warner.
Plano, Texas-based Cinemark currently operates 3,238 screens in 33 U.S. states and 13 countries outside the United States.
In Focus - December 2004

NA Chain Launches Argentinian 14-plex

ROSARIO, Argentina – National Amusements opened on June 1 its Showcase Cinemas Rosario 14-plex, the chain’s sixth site in Argentina.
The 3,400-seat multi, which houses a restaurant serving sandwiches, hot food, coffee drinks and spirits, features stadium-style rocking recliner seats, lobby ticketing kiosks and two “function rooms” available for private rental.
“Showcase Cinemas Rosario is one of the most significant projects to take place in this country in the last five years,” said circuit senior vice president Tad Jankowski, “and we are confident that it will benefit the community both on an economic level as well as providing a world-class entertainment experience.”
Based in Dedham, Mass., National Amusements operates more than 1,425 screens in the United States, the United Kingdom, Latin America and Russia.
In Focus - August/September 2005

Cinemark Opens Ecuador Triplex

AMBATO, Ecuador – Cinemark International on May 19 opened its Mall de Los Andes 3-plex in Ambato, establishing the circuit’s fourth site in Ecuador.
The 910-seat 17,298-square-foot plex features stadium-style seating, high-backed rocker chairs, cupholder armrests and wall-to-wall screens.
A dining patio area seats 650 and affords a panoramic view of the nearby Tungurahua volcano.
“Cinemark is very excited about our newest theatre in Ecuador,” stated circuit president Tim Warner, who added the project “promises to be one of the grandest developments in the city of Ambato.”
Based in Plano, Texas, Cinemark operates 3,242 screens in 33 states and 13 countries outside the United States.
In Focus - August-September 2005

AMC & Loews Form Exhibition Colossus

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – AMC Entertainment and Loews Cineplex Entertainment announced on June 21 plans for the two companies to merge into a single chain boasting 5,936 screens worldwide.
Only Regal Entertainment Group, with more than 6,000 U.S. auditoria, boasts a larger screen count.
The combined company will retain the AMC Entertainment name and be operated out of AMC’s base in Kansas City, Mo. Current AMC chairman, CEO and president Peter C. Brown will head the newly formed company. Brown and Loews CEO Travis Reid will co-chair an integration committee to facilitate the merger, which is expected to take six to nine months to finalize.
AMC and Loews are not only two of world’s largest cinema chains, they are two of the oldest. Loews was founded in New York as The People’s Vaudeville Co. in 1904, changing its name to Loew’s Theatrical Enterprises in 1913. AMC traces it origins to Kansas City’s Durwood Theatre, launched in 1920. Durwood Theatres pioneered the indoor mall multiplex in 1963, and changed its name to American Multi-Cinema six years later.
Both chains have grown quickly in recent years. Loews tripled its screen count to more than 2,700 screens in 1998 when it was merged with the Toronto-based Cineplex Odeon megachain.
AMC purchased all of Boston-based General Cinema Corp.’s more than 600 screens, as well as 68 Gulf States Theatres auditoria, in 2002. It purchased 48 screens from MegaStar Theatres the following year.
The combined entity will operate 447 sites in 30 states and 13 countries.
In Focus - August/September 2005

Four Imax Sites To Ecuador and Chile

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador – Imax Corp. announced plans Oct. 16 to launch four new Imax venues in Ecuador and Chile.
Locations in Ecuador will include Guayaquil, the country’s largest city, and Quito, situated in northern Ecuador. Malecon 2000 Foundation will operate the Guayaquil location utilizing the Imax Dome Technology, while the later site will be run by the Universidad San Francisco De Quito, equipped with the Imax 3D technology.
Expansion into Chile includes a Santiago facility. The exact location of the nation’s other new Imax has not yet been determined, but both Chilean venues will be operated by Megascreen S.A. and feature Imax 3D technology.
“We have found that once an Imax theatre opens in a new region of the world, that theatre typically drives demand for even more theatres and we are optimistic that this will be the case in South America,” said Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler, co-CEOs and co-Chairmen of Imax Corp.
As of June, more than 225 Imax facilities were operating in 30 countries.
In Focus - January 2003