Park Spending $40 Million
New Chain Plans 40 to
50 Screens For Russia
MOSCOW Vladimir Potanin, head of Russian financial
conglomerate Interros group, joined with Burnt
by the Sun director Nikita Mikhalkov in September
to announce plans to build a $40 million chain of Russian
cinemas over the next two to five years.
Interros holding company, and Mikhalkovs
Studio Trite will dually control the new exhibition
chain, constructed under the name Cinema Park. Plans
call for reopening Russias first multiplex, Formula
Kino in Moscow, under the Cinema Park name and adding
between 50 and 60 screens throughout the country. Rural
cities such as Novosibirsk, Nizhniy Novgorod, Kazan
and Rostov are among those earmarked for venues, Potanin
told The Hollywood Reporter.
Parks interest in expansion stems from Russias
blooming film industry, with annual receipts for 2001
at around $65 million, an 88 percent increase over 2000,
according to Variety.
Site Up For Sale
Arthouse to Shutter
TAIPEI, Taiwan The Central Motion Picture Corp.
(CMPC) announced in September that its Majestic twin,
the only arthouse cinema in the city, is up for sale.
for the space, led by department store developers, began
on Sept. 17, according to Variety.
CMPC, the nations largest movie producer, owns
an additional nine screens at two other Taipai sites.
Head To Sea
Adjust To Crackdown
PENANG, Malaysia Pirated video, DVD and music
traders remain ubiquitous throughout Malaysia, despite
a recently launched anti-piracy campaign.
to recent press reports, Penangs police superintendent,
Mazlan Ayob, said pirates have now begun producing thousands
of pirated discs daily on boats and carriers anchored
in international waters.
a result of increased arrests of retail and street-stall
traders who sell illicit disks and DVDs, pirates are
now selling to hotel proprietors who sell the goods
directly to their guests, according to The Hollywood
2001, the Motion Picture Association estimated that
piracy losses in Asia amounted to nearly $598 million,
with worldwide losses at over $3 billion.
Loyalty Passes Hit
PARIS The loyalty pass scheme, first launched
by Frances UGC circuit in March 2000, has plateaued
at about six percent of all French admissions, according
to the Centre National de la Cinematographie (CNC).
The pre-paid loyalty pass allows moviegoers to watch
an unlimited number of films at participating venues
over a designated period of time.
loyalty-pass admissions account for 22 percent of the
participating venues sales, the loyalty-pass venues,
concentrated in Paris, constitute only 11.7 percent
of French cinemas, according to the CNC.
There are currently three major loyalty passes available:
Gaumonts Le Pass, UGCs Illimité
and Pathés Ciné à Volunté.
UGCs pass remains the most popular of the three.
Box Office Slump
Germanys Ufa Seeks
Germany Hamburg-based Bertelsmann subsidiary
Ufa Cinemas filed for insolvency protection Oct. 7,
the result of a low summer admissions tally.
struggling circuit, which saw its site-count drop from
99 to 38 over the last two years, can, like many American
companies, trace its financial woes to a 1990s screen
German ticket sales in 2002 plummeted 15 percent from
the prior years.
Sequels Pace Month
2002 Up, August Down
For British Ticket Sales
LONDON By the end of August, year-to-date U.K.
ticket sales were still up 16 percent over the same
period one year prior, despite August 2002 sales lagging
13 percent behind those of August 2001.
August films were the comedy sequels Men in Black
2 and Austin Powers in Goldmember,
which garnered a combined $52 million during the frame.
Cinema Advertising Association predicts more U.K. movie
tickets will be sold this year than during any year
Hosts Euro E-Feed
Live Bon Jovi
LONDON E-cinemas in England, Scotland, Wales,
Germany and Austria played host to thousands of Bon
Jovi fans as the bands Sept. 18 album-preview
concert at Londons Shepherds Bush Empire venue
was beamed live via satellite to UCI screens in at least
a dozen European cities.
has screened pre-recorded music programming in cinemas
before, said circuit business affairs VP Gerald
Buckle, but this is the first time we have been
able to broadcast a live music event across our network
of digitally enabled cinemas.
partnership with UCI represents a new direction for
the music business in terms of reaching a wider audience
and opening up a new stream of business, said
Leo Wyndham, New Media manager at Mercury Records, which
managed the live cinema event.
on Piracy Trade
Grip on Illicit Video
MOSCOW Russia moved to the front of the international
war on movie piracy Oct. 3 when prime minister Mikhail
Kasanyov, calling his nations weak intellectual
property laws a hallmark of a backward country,
announced plans to eliminate street vendors sales
of pirated videos and DVDs.
in the streets around the Kremlin and central Moscow
and fanning out across the city and then the country,
the police and enforcement authorities will clean the
streets of kiosks and stalls selling pirated material,
said Konstantin Zemchenkov, head of the 5-year-old Motion
Picture Association of America-backed Russian Anti-Piracy
CDs, videos and DVDs account for nearly $250 million
a year in lost sales, and 80 percent of all home video
sold across Russia, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
& Production Decline
Forum Sets Out To Repair
Hong Kong Film Industry
HONG KONG In a continuing push to boost box office
figures, the one-day Revitalizing Hong Kong Film
Industry Forum convened recently to discuss the
rapid decrease in citywide movie ticket sales and the
steady abatement of local film production.
box office sales in Hong Kong were down a staggering
55 percent this year compared to the previous summer.
Some 126 releases grossed $58.5 million in 2001. Only
$38.5 million is expected to be accrued during 2002.
shrinking market has also almost decimated Hong Kong
film production. The city, which a decade ago produced
about 300 films annually, produced only 30 films during
2002s first half.
at the forum linked the industrys woes to rampant
piracy and a depressed economy. One panelist implored
officials to excuse Hong Kong from the mainlands
annual film import quota, which creates a competition
between local films and Hollywood blockbusters.
up the southern province of Guangdong to Hong Kong films
was another proposed solution. The Cantonese-speaking
province already has access to Hong Kong TV and radio,
and such an action would give 70 million additional
people access to Hong Kong films.
proposals offered at the forum were creating a centralized
film development council and, with money from the existing
Film Development Fund, a government-supported surety
system for local banks willing to loan money for film
One Line For Popcorn and Tix
SBC Launches 7-Plex
In Northwest England
England SBC International Cinemas opened on Oct.
17 its new 1,600-seat 7-plex in the English town of
Southport, just north of Liverpool.
facility, operating with IBMs Sure POS 500 cash
register and VcsTimeless Vista software, enables moviegoers
to buy tickets at the concession stand, eliminating
the need to wait in line twice.
have all experienced queuing for a ticket, then concessions,
said SBC vice president of operations Rob Arthur. We
have taken one queue away.
began utilizing this technology with the August opening
of its multi in the Scottish town of Hamilton, near
Glasgow. SBC remains the sole cinema operator in England
that offers the option of purchasing tickets at any
SBC, founded in 1999, currently operates 60 screens
at six sites in Portugal, England, Taiwan and Scotland.
The circuit has plans to open at least four sites late
next year: a 7-plex in Parma, Italy; a 10-plex in Blackburn,
England; a 9-plex in Lainate, Italy; and a 9-plex in
Plummet 25 Percent
TEHRAN, Iran Ticket sales in Iran have dwindled
by 25 percent over the past four years, according to
a September report from the Reuters news service. The
number of cinema sites in Iran has dropped from 500
to nearly 300, according to local officials.
an attempt to boost sales, moviehouse owners are requesting
more western films, but owners still lack funding needed
to repair dilapidated cinemas.
Iranian films maintain a creative, well-spoken reputation
abroad with titles such as Children of Heaven
and The White Balloon, domestically they
face fierce competition with pirated western DVDs and
videos as well as strict film censorship.