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 2006Screendaily.com

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