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By Daniel Garris

Paramount's Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation took in $4.51 million on Thursday to lead the daily box office for a seventh consecutive day. The fifth installment of the Tom Cruise led action franchise was down a sharp 13 percent from Wednesday. Holdovers in general experienced sharp daily declines on Thursday, in part from Fox's Fantasstic Four entering the marketplace Thursday evening and in part from the highly watched Republican presidential primary debate. Rogue Nation was the week's top film with a healthy seven-day start of $79.25 million. The film is performing in line with expectations and is currently running 32 percent ahead of the $60.09 million seven-day take of 2006's Mission: Impossible III.

Minions held steady in second place with $1.64 million. The 3D computer animated prequel from Universal and Illumination Entertainment was down 6 percent from Wednesday and down a solid 42 percent from last Thursday. Minions placed in third for the week with $20.16 million. The film was down 43.5 percent from the previous frame and has grossed an impressive $295.35 million through four weeks of release. Minions is set to surpass the $300 million domestic milestone sometime over the weekend.

Ant-Man was up one spot from Wednesday to move into third with $1.66 million. The Paul Rudd led 3D superhero film from Disney and Marvel declined 9 percent from Wednesday and 45 percent from last Thursday. That represented a solid daily hold, especially given the new competition the film faced from Fantastic Four. Ant-Man placed in fourth for the week with $20.08 million. That represented a 47.5 percent decline from the previous week and brings the film's three-week total to a very solid $139.61 million.

Warner's Vacation fell one spot from Wednesday to land in fourth with $1.49 million. The comedy franchise re-launch starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate fell 10 percent from Wednesday and 40 percent from last Thursday. Vacation took second place for the week with $21.86 million and has grossed a significantly softer than expected $28.18 million in nine days of release. That places the film an underwhelming 18 percent behind the $34.25 million nine-day start of last year's Let's Be Cops.

Pixels rounded out Thursday's top five with $1.29 million. The Adam Sandler led 3D action comedy from Sony was down a sharp 12 percent from Wednesday and down a solid 42.5 percent from last Thursday. Pixels placed in fifth for the week with $17.00 million. The film was down 52 percent from its opening week performance and has grossed a very lackluster $52.22 million through two weeks.

Meanwhile, Shaun the Sheep Movie placed in eighth on Thursday with $0.719 million. The stop-motion animated film from Lionsgate and Aardman Animations was down 16 percent from Wednesday's opening day performance. Shaun the Sheep has grossed just $1.57 million in two days. That isn't a good sign for the film heading into the weekend, even with its Wednesday release not being all that publicized in mind. Shaun the Sheep will hope to build up momentum over the weekend thanks in part to strong critical reviews. The film also received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore.

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PRESS RELEASE:

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CENTENNIAL, Colo. - August 6, 2015 - National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCMI) (the Company), the managing member and owner of 45.2% of National CineMedia, LLC (NCM LLC), the operator of the largest in-theatre digital media network in North America, today announced that it will implement its Chairman and CEO succession plan. Kurt C. Hall, who helped found the Company in 2005 with the three leading cinema operators AMC, Cinemark and Regal, will retire as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer upon the appointment of his CEO successor. The Board of Directors has retained executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to identify a new CEO to succeed Mr. Hall. Upon the appointment of a new CEO, Scott N. Schneider, currently Lead Director of the Company's Board of Directors, will succeed Mr. Hall as Chairman of the Board and Mr. Hall will continue in a 24-month consulting role as an advisor to the Board and CEO to facilitate a seamless transition and consult on other business matters.

"It has been an honor and a privilege to lead NCM's talented and dedicated team from start-up through an exciting period of growth," said Kurt Hall, NCM's Chairman, President and CEO. "Since our initial public offering in 2007, we have consistently returned value to our shareholders as we have expanded the Company into a leading video advertising network through the creation of the world's largest cinema digital distribution network and formation of an expanding theatre circuit and advertising client relationship base. Given NCM's recent strong financial performance and strengthening market position, now seemed like the right time to transition to the next generation of leadership. It is also important to me to reduce my day-to-day participation with our company so that I can spend more time with my family after recovery from some recent health issues. With a meaningful investment in the Company, I look forward to continuing to work with the Company's Board and leadership team to ensure a seamless transition and strong growth and shareholder value creation for many years to come."

"On behalf of the NCM board, I want to thank Kurt for his commitment and many years of contributions to our company," said Scott N. Schneider, Lead Director of the NCM board. "Under his leadership, NCM has driven continued geographic expansion through additional theatre circuit agreements, improved our advertising products and significantly increased advertising revenue for our theatre circuit partners and dividends for our shareholders. Kurt has set the tone for our company for over 10 years, founding a structure that has provided enormous value to our shareholders, employees and affiliated theatres, and leading the Company to compete aggressively in the challenging video advertising marketplace. I am confident that the Company has a strong foundation in place and will continue to strengthen our offerings to drive growth and shareholder value under new leadership."

About Kurt C. Hall
 
While Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of Regal Entertainment Group in 2002, Mr. Hall founded and was the CEO of one of NCM's predecessor companies, Regal CineMedia Corporation. Mr. Hall was appointed President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of NCM, LLC when it was formed in March 2005 as a partnership between AMC's media subsidiary National Cinema Network, Cinemark and Regal's media subsidiary Regal CineMedia, and has held those same positions with the Company since it went public in February 2007. Mr. Hall served as Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Regal Entertainment Group and President and Chief Executive Officer of Regal CineMedia from May 2002 to May 2005. From 1988 to 2002, Mr. Hall held various executive positions with United Artists Theatre Company, and its predecessor companies, including CFO and then CEO, prior to it becoming part of Regal Entertainment Group.

About Scott N. Schneider
 
Scott N. Schneider, currently Lead Director at the Company, has been on the Company's Board of Directors since February 2007. Mr. Schneider has provided financial consulting and advisory services to the communications industry since 2009. He also has over 35 years of experience in the media, telecom and technology industries, serving in various senior executive capacities with Century Communications Corp. (cable television); Centennial Communications Corp. (cellular / wireless); Frontier Communications Corp. (wireline telephone); and Electric Lightwave (digital bypass). In addition to having been a member of the Board of each, Mr. Schneider also served on the Boards of NuSkies, LLC and Bonten Media Group. Mr. Schneider also served as Chairman of the Media Group at Diamond Castle Holdings, a private equity firm.
 
About National CineMedia, Inc.
 
National CineMedia (NCM) is America's Movie Network. As the #1 weekend network in the U.S., NCM helps brands get in front of the movies that shape the national conversation. More than 700 million moviegoers annually attend theatres that are currently under contract to present NCM's FirstLook pre-show in over 40 leading national and regional theater circuits including AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE:AMC), Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNK) and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC). NCM's cinema advertising network offers broad reach and unparalleled audience engagement with approximately 20,150 screens in approximately 1,600 theaters in 187 Designated Market Areas® (49 of the top 50). NCM Digital goes beyond the big screen, extending in-theater campaigns into online and mobile marketing programs to reach entertainment audiences. National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ:NCMI) owns a 45.2% interest in, and is the managing member of, National CineMedia, LLC. For more information, visit www.ncm.com. 
 
Forward-Looking Statements
 
This press release contains various forward-looking statements that reflect management's current expectations or beliefs regarding, among other things, the timing of selection of Mr. Hall's successor as CEO and succession to the position of Chairman of the Board, as well as the Company's expected continued performance under new leadership.  Investors are cautioned that reliance on these forward-looking statements involves risks and uncertainties.
 
National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCMI) (the Company) is the managing member and owner of 45.2% of National CineMedia, LLC (NCM LLC), the operator of the largest in-theatre digital media network in North America, and the #1 weekend network in America. 

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PRESS RELEASE:

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New Exhibitor & Distributor Customer Growth Comes as DCDC's Next-Generation Technology Transforms Theatres into a Network

Los Angeles, CA, Aug. 6, 2015 - Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition ("DCDC"), the transformative North American theatrical content distribution organization founded by Warner Bros. Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Regal Entertainment Group, Cinemark Theatres and AMC Theatres, today announced it is accelerating the rollout of its network and will surpass 32,000 screens in more than 3000 theatre locations in 2018.

Rapid exhibitor and distributor customer growth since DCDC's October 2013 launch comes as the specially created North American network, comprised of next-generation satellite and terrestrial distribution technologies, succeeds in transforming theatres into nodes on a network that can be programmed for various audiences.

"The DCDC Network has effectively converted traditional movie theatres into true community entertainment centers that have successfully expanded the shared content experience for consumers to all forms of content, including movies, operas, ballets, eSports, live-store and live- live events, from anywhere in the world," said DCDC CEO Randy Blotky.

Just since May, fifteen additional exhibitors with approximately 200 locations and more than 1,800 screens have signed up, bringing the total number of theatre circuits under contract with DCDC to 73 across 2,300 theatre locations and 28,000 screens. As of August, more than 1,700 of those theatre locations already have DCDC's proprietary equipment installed, successfully delivering digital content to nearly 22,000 screens. To date, DCDC has made more than 360,000 successful deliveries over its network for its content provider customers.

The number of content providers that have joined DCDC has also continued to grow and now stands at 24. Since the spring, several additional distributors have become DCDC customers, including The Weinstein Company, STX Entertainment, Arts Alliance Distribution, BY Experience, Gathr Films, Group 1200 Media, Magnolia Pictures, Pure Flix, SpectiCast and Shorts International. They have taken their place alongside all of the major studios, the leading independents and other content providers as customers of DCDC.

Contributing to the influx of new distributors has been DCDC's focus on offering a new high- quality, live-streaming technology solution that it unveiled at CinemaCon in April. Working in conjunction with its primary service provider, Deluxe-EchoStar, the new system is designed to allow the DCDC KenCast catch server to stream live content into an unlimited number of auditoriums from two simultaneous real-time 1080p-HD event feeds, as well as two additional pre-recorded events (encores). This allows exhibitors the flexibility to book up to four events simultaneously to an unlimited number of auditoriums.


"The rapid growth we are experiencing can be directly attributed to the unprecedented and close collaboration among the five owners of DCDC in creating a highly unique mechanism for the use and benefit of the entire industry," Mr. Blotky commented. "They have engaged in the incredibly complex work of designing an electronic content delivery network that has accommodated both technological and business considerations; allowed for the creation of an economic operating model that has accrued significant cost savings to content provider and exhibitor customers of DCDC; and enhanced the flow of creative properties to theatres across the U.S. while benefiting content creators and content consumers alike."

About the Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition

DCDC was formed by AMC Theatres, Regal Entertainment Group, Cinemark Theatres, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Entertainment to provide the industry with theatrical digital delivery services across North America through a specially created network comprised of next- generation satellite and terrestrial distribution technologies. It is capable of supporting feature, promotional, pre-show and live content distribution into theatres.

The Network is designed to ensure audiences have the highest-quality entertainment experience, while exhibitors and content providers achieve a strategic, secure and cost-effective new distribution model. As digital distribution replaces the use of traditional physical media for content distribution, users of the Network have access to a host of delivery options and resources.

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jul31.pngParamount reports that Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation added $5.2 million on Wednesday, giving the well-reviewed franchise sequel a six-day domestic tally of $74.74 million. That puts the film 2 percent ahead of the pace of 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes and 30.5 percent ahead of 2006's Mission: Impossible III.

Minions held steady in second place yesterday with $1.75 million, down 38 percent from the same day last week. The animated prequel's domestic tally now stands at $293.7 million through 27 days of release as it approaches the $300 million threshold (which it will hit this coming weekend).

Vacation claimed third place yesterday with $1.66 million, off nearly 57 percent from its opening day last Wednesday. That gives the franchise revival an eight-day domestic sum of $26.69 million, putting it 45 percent behind the pace of 2013's We're the Millers.

In fourth place, Ant-Man was off 45 percent from last Wednesday to $1.65 million yesterday. The latest Marvel flick's domestic total stands at a healthy $138.1 million through 20 days of play.

In an impressive limited release debut, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' eased 19 percent from an already strong opening Tuesday to an estimated $1.6 million on Wednesday. With $3.57 million earned in two days from the pic's special engagement run, the anime release is performing well ahead of expectations.

In sixth, Pixels added $1.46 million for a 39 percent Wednesday-to-Wednesday drop. The Adam Sandler video game pic has tallied an underwhelming $50.9 million through 13 days of release.

Meanwhile, Shaun the Sheep debuted with $852K million in 2,202 locations yesterday. Given the film's last minute release date change from Friday, it remains to be seen whether or not it can draw out a stronger family audience this weekend.

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ff.pngThe official press release:

LOS ANGELES - August 6, 2015 - According to Fandango, the nation's leading digital destination for moviegoers and fans with more than 36 million unique visitors per month*, "Fantastic Four" leads new releases at the top of Fandango's weekend ticket sales and the company's Fanticipation movie buzz indicator, scoring 84 out of 100 points. "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" follows close behind in its second week, with a score of 81, and "The Gift," "Ricki and the Flash," and "Shaun the Sheep Movie," scored 69, 66 and 63 points out of 100, respectively.

"It's a busy week at the box office with new releases from Meryl Streep ("Ricki and the Flash"), Jason Bateman ("The Gift"), and Aardman Animations ("Shaun the Sheep Movie")," says Fandango Chief Correspondent Dave Karger. "But with its built-in Marvel fan base and exciting new cast, ‘Fantastic Four' should have no problem leading the crowded field."

About Fandango's Fanticipation
Known for having its finger on the pulse of moviegoers, Fandango's movie buzz indicator, Fanticipation, provides statistical insight into the movies fans are planning to see in a given weekend. Fanticipation scores (based on a 1 to 100-point scale) are calculated via an algorithm of Fandango's advance ticket sales, website and mobile traffic, and social media engagement. Fanticipation is not intended as a forecast of the weekend box office; it is a snapshot of movie fan sentiment.

*According to comScore.

 

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