PRESS RELEASE:

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NEW YORK, NY, May 27, 2015 -Spotlight Cinema Networks, the industry leader in reaching affluent movie-going audiences, began running two advertising campaigns from the FIAT brand earlier this month. The two spots feature the Fiat 500 and the all-new 2016 Fiat 500 X Crossover.

The 30-second spot "The FIAT 500X Blue Pill," playfully and cheekily introduces the FIAT brand's all-new cross-over 2016 FIAT 500X. Filmed in the cities of Pitigliano, Italy, and Sorano, Italy, the spot follows the epic journey of a blue pill as it slips through the fingers of an amorous gentleman, skipping across rooftops, down a drain pipe, bouncing off villa walls, pinging across café tables and eventually dropping into the open fuel tank of a Fiat 500. Almost instantly, the vehicle becomes a "bigger, more powerful and ready for action" cross-over 2016 Fiat 500X.

"The FIAT 500X Blue Pill" spot runs across all screens in Spotlight's coveted Trailer Pod, just prior to the upcoming movie trailers when the house lights are dimmed. It will be the last content in the Trailer Pod where viewer recall is at its highest.

The FIAT brand's 60-second spot, dubbed "Big Italian Family," shows a stylish red Fiat 500 running through streets and warehouses with an ominous-looking black SUV in hot pursuit. The chase culminates with the smaller Fiat 500 backed up on the edge of a dock almost headlights-to-headlights with the SUV. Suddenly, five other Fiat 500s in various colors, including the Fiat 500X, the Fiat Abarth and the Fiat 500L, come screeching out of nowhere to line up with the red Fiat 500 as the off-screen announcer intones, "The Fiat 500 isn't alone anymore - it's part of a big Italian family."

The "Big Italian Family" spot runs in Spotlight's compelling preshow. Twenty percent of Spotlight screens, in the top 10 DMAs, include a digital preshow that is content rich and engaging. The Fiat brand has partnered with Spotlight Cinema Networks on content starting in 2011.

Both spots, which can also be viewed at FIATUSA.com and the brand's official YouTube Channel, were created by The Richards Group. The campaign began May 22 and runs through July 2, 2015.

"Once again the Fiat brand has delivered highly entertaining and visually sophisticated spots that convey the appeal of its cars," said Michael Sakin, President, Spotlight Cinema Networks. "These spots will delight and amuse the contemporary and influential audiences who visit the luxury exhibitors and iconic independent film theatres in our network across the country. Our exclusive Trailer Pod and engaging pre-show in top DMAs is the ideal setting to showcase these deeply engaging spots."

"FIAT's urban-minded, culture-driven consumer thrives on immersion; at the heart of our consumer is a desire for experiences that make life richer," said Casey Hurbis, Head of Communications, FIAT Brand North America. "The brand sought out media spaces that allowed us to introduce the all-new 2016 FIAT 500X cross-over in a meaningful way and Spotlight Cinema Networks introduces the right audience with the right environment. Specifically those seeking out local experiences that bring culture and refinement close to home."

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By Daniel Garris

Disney's Tomorrowland was able to hold off Universal's Pitch Perfect 2 in a close race for first place over the holiday weekend with a four-day debut of $42.68 million. The Brad Bird directed sci-fi family film starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson opened on the low end of pre-release expectations. Despite opening on the low end of expectations, the film's debut was an underwhelming one, especially given the film's large price tag and Memorial Day weekend release date. The four-day start of Tomorrowland was 6 percent ahead of the $40.42 million four-day take of 2011's Super 8. Tomorrowland took in $33.03 million over the three-day frame, which gave the film a four-day to three-day ratio of 1.29 to 1. The film received a modest B rating on CinemaScore, which isn't the greatest early sign going forward; especially given the film's mixed critical reviews.

On the heels of last weekend's break-out start, Pitch Perfect 2 experienced a respectable second weekend hold this weekend with a second place four-day take of $38.25 million. The successful musical comedy sequel starring Anna Kendrick was down 45 percent from last weekend's three-day debut. Pitch Perfect 2 zoomed past the $100 million domestic mark this weekend and has grossed a stronger than expected $125.74 million in eleven days. That places the film an impressive 35 percent ahead of the $93.16 million eleven-day gross of last year's Neighbors. Pitch Perfect 2 grossed $30.81 million over the three-day frame.

Warner's Mad Max: Fury Road placed in third with a four-day take of $31.29 million. The critically acclaimed action film starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron was down 31 percent from last weekend's three-day start. Mad Max: Fury Road held up nicely for a high-profile action film in its second weekend of release. The film has grossed $94.72 million in eleven days. That is on the high end of expectations and places the film 3 percent ahead of the $91.92 million eleven-day take of 2012's Prometheus. The three-day take for Mad Max: Fury Road was $24.64 million.

Avengers: Age of Ultron claimed fourth place with a four-day take of $28.20 million. In the process, the blockbuster superhero sequel from Disney and Marvel surpassed the $400 million domestic mark this weekend. Avengers: Age of Ultron was down 27 percent from last weekend and has grossed $411.37 million in 25 days. The film is currently running 21.5 percent behind the $523.91 million 25-day take of 2012's Marvel's The Avengers and 10 percent ahead of the $372.78 million 25-day gross of 2013's Iron Man 3. Avengers: Age of Ultron grossed $21.69 million over the three-day weekend.

Poltergeist rounded out the weekend's top five with a four-day start of $26.34 million. The PG-13 rated horror remake from Fox and MGM debuted in line with expectations and was off to a solid start with its modest price tag in mind. The four-day take for Poltergeist was 4 percent behind the $27.48 million four-day start of 2013's Evil Dead. Poltergeist took in $22.62 million over the three-day frame. That placed the film's four-day to three-day ratio at a very front-loaded 1.16 to 1. Poltergeist was soft on CinemaScore with a C+ rating, which is a very common occurrence for a horror film.

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By Phil Contrino, Jonathan Papish and EntGroup Consulting

Ten new films enter the fray this week in China including four animated films as studios try to capitalize on the surge of young filmgoers on June 1st celebrating International Children's Day. Of the newcomers, Stand By Me Doraemon (哆啦A梦:伴我同行), a 3D animated film based on the popular Japanese manga series, looks poised to take the top spot at the Chinese box office. Doraemon originated as a comic in the late 60s, and then became well-known across Asia from a popular television series in the 80s which means Stand By Me Doraemon has the potential to reach many different age groups. According to EntGroup's EFMT Marketing Index, Doraemon boasts the highest awareness and intent to purchase levels out of all of this week's new releases. The animated flick earned more than $70 million in Japan to become the fifth highest grossing Japanese film of 2014 and $46 million in Hong Kong to become its highest grossing Japanese film ever. Three other homegrown animated films-Happy Little Submarine Magic Box of Time (潜艇总动员:时光宝盒)The Grow 2 (金箍棒传奇2), and Super Rabbit (超能兔战队)-will open as well, but expectations are low because of Doraemon's strength.

Disney will send Tomorrowland to China this week following an underwhelming debut in North America. The sci-fi flick ranks second to Doraemon when it comes to awareness and intent to purchase levels on the EFMT Marketing Index. Hollywood's science fiction titles have been mostly successful in China lately: Interstellar earned $122 million and Gravity tallied $72 million. One big recent miss is Transcendance: the Johnny Depp title flopped with only $20.4 million. The poor reviews that Tomorrowland has received from critics and the paying public alike concern us. We are anticipating modest theatrical returns in the Middle Kingdom. Early estimates for Tomorrowland's Tuesday opening show only $2.6 million.

Another Hollywood title also opens this week: Lionsgate's I, Frankenstein. Expectations for the thriller are very low considering that it was released in North America back in January 2014 and it amassed a very weak global cume of $71.5 million. Early estimates for the film's Tuesday opening show $1.25 million.

With Doraemon, Frankenstein, and Tomorrowland all eating into Ultron's market dominance this weekend, we anticipate a relatively quick slowdown for the Disney/Marvel blockbuster, and it will end its Middle Kingdom run with a respectable $225-230 million, good for #3 on the all-time list.

Also opening: The Horizon of the Child (天边的孩子), Dawn Break Up (天亮·分手), Wonder Mama (妈咪侠) and Unmissable (不能错过).

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By Alex Edghill

Monday Morning Update: Maze Runner: Scorch Trials led all upcoming films in Facebook like increases over the past week as it rose by 260,488. Hardly a surprise since it also ruled Twitter over the last week plus thanks to its first trailer. Its total like number has now increased to almost 2.5 million. Its a far cry behind its oft-compared competitor The Hunger Games (Its second installment Catching Fire had just over 9 million likes on Facebook the same time before its release) and even Insurgent (which had 3.7 million likes the same distance before release) but you can't deny that its momentum is building since the first film overall and has a lot of room for growth. The first film had a modest $30 million start, with its bullish start it might have a shot at $40 million+ on opening weekend. 

The other big news was the first social media sighting of the new Zac Efron film We Are Your Friends which made a promising first trailer splash, rising 90k likes or 245%. Its debuting at the end of August which has never been a hotbed of box office activity but with a decent marketing spend and Efron who is really coming into his own as a box office star it has a strong shot of winning its August 28th weekend slate and racking up $30-$40 million in total box office which would be a big win for WB.

Facebook Top 5 Movies by Like Increase for the last week Ending Sunday May 24th

Rank Release Movie Likes Previous Change % Change
1 09/18/15 Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials 2,492,099 2,231,611 260,488 11.67%
2 07/10/15 Minions 29,305,293 29,104,430 200,863 0.69%
3 07/01/15 Terminator Genisys 1,058,373 959,578 98,795 10.30%
4 06/12/15 Jurassic World 6,176,177 6,078,221 97,956 1.61%
5 08/28/15 We Are Your Friends 127,804 37,070 90,734 244.76%

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Please check the methodology page for information about our Twitter project or here for historic data.

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Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice

UPDATED - 5.26.15

Avengers: Age of Ultron once again takes the crown as the #1 film worldwide this weekend, stomping its way to $45.8 million from 91 territories in its fifth weekend of release. Globally, Ultron has grossed $1.26 billion and is now the 7th highest-grossing film of all-time.

With an estimated $28.3 million this weekend bringing the China total to $210.3 million after 13 days of release, Ultron becomes the 4th highest grossing film ever in the Middle Kingdom behind Avatar ($216 million) Transformers: Age of Extinction ($319 million) and Furious 7 ($390.5 million). However, this weekend's haul fell a steep 70% from Ultron's first weekend indicating weak staying power, and with next week's crop of imported films in Tomorrowland and Doraemon, the Marvel/Disney blockbuster is set to fade quickly.

Other top territories for Ultron include South Korea ($80.8 million), UK/Ireland ($68.4 million), Mexico ($48.3 million), Brazil ($44.5 million), Russia ($33.2 million), France ($32.1 million), Germany ($30.2 million), and Australia ($30.2 million). Ultron premieres in Japan on July 4.

Mad Max: Fury Road rolled to a weekend gross of $39 million on 14,625 screen from 69 markets. Overseas, George Miller's long awaited fourth installment has taken in $133 million after 12 days and $212 million globally. International IMAX screens accounted for $1.8 million this weekend from 137 locations. Max retained its top spot in South Korea, beating out Spy and a local drama, and dropped only 7% for $6.1 million and a $17.2 million cume. The film took second behind PP2 in the UK/Ireland with $4.1 million, bring its 12-day total to $16.3 million. Other strong holds in the second frame include Australia ($3.3 million/$10 million cume), France ($3.5 million, $11.6 million cume), Russia ($2.8 million, $10.5 million cume), Brazil ($2.4 million/$7.3 million cume), Germany ($1.7 million/$5.3 million cume), and Mexico ($1.5 million/$6.0 million cume). Max will open in Japan on June 20th.

Tomorrowland blasted into theaters worldwide this weekend, taking in a $58.859 million global day-and-debut with North America. Brad Bird's sci-fi adventure flick from Disney grossed an estimated $26.7 million from 65 territories this weekend, representing about 56% of its international footprint, including $1.7 million from IMAX theaters. Top grossing territories were Russia ($3.6 million), Mexico ($2.8 million), UK/Ireland ($2.1 million), France ($1.9 million), Italy ($1.5 million), Thailand ($1.4 million), Taiwan ($1.2 million), and Germany ($1.1 million). Tomorrowland opens in China on Tuesday, and in Spain, Australia, and South Korea next weekend.

Pitch Perfect 2 keyed up an additional $15.5 million this weekend from 37 territories, and has grossed $64.58 million overseas through Monday which already surpasses the lifetime gross of the original film ($50.3 million). Combined with NA's estimated $125.4 million, the Barden Bellas have sung to the tune of $187.1 million worldwide. Pitch Perfect 2 opened in the top spot in Spain ($960k at 301 dates), Norway ($269k at 83 dates), Hungary, Portugal, and Trinidad. It also held onto the top spot in the UK ($4.1 million/$16.2 million cume), Germany ($1.8 million/$6.6 million), Austria, and South Africa. In Australia, the film held onto third place this weekend with $2.5 million for an 19-day total of $18 million. The Barden Bellas will expand into an additional 22 territories before they hit their final note. Next up is Bulgaria, Estonia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania next weekend.

Spy netted $12.73 million from 9 Asia/Pacific territories ahead of its NA release on June 5th. The Melissa McCarthy vehicle opened in second place in South Korea with $4.83 million from 664 screens, tracking 16% ahead of Knight & Day. Australia took in $2.94 million from 259 screens, on par with Bridesmaids, while Taiwan took the top spot with $1.35 million, nearly 5.5 times more than The Hangover's opening and more than double Neighbor's opening.

Poltergeist scared up $31.3 million in a global day-and-debut with North America this weekend. Overseas, it grabbed $8.34 million from 3,750 screens in 25 markets. Top performers were the UK/Ireland ($2.24 million on 778 screens) where it opened at #3 and beat Tomorrowland, Brazil ($2.03 million on 630 screens), Argentina ($725K on 227 screens), and Spain ($656K on 533 screens). Poltergeist opens in 7 new territories next weekend including Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

PK, India's highest grossing film of all-time, had an incredible opening in China this weekend, pulling in an estimated $5.3 million from just 12% of China's screens and beating Ultron on a per theater attendance average. PK is already the highest-grossing Indian movie of all-time there.

Home cozied up to $4.82 million thanks to a strong second weekend hold in Venezuela ($1.39 million/$3.56 million cume) and a top 6 opening in South Korea ($986K on 500 screens). Home is now up to $193.03 million overseas and $360.9 million globally.

Furious 7 is in its final lap on the international racetrack this weekend, but still managed to eke out $3 million from 60 territories for a staggering $1.154 billion overseas total. Combined with the NA total of $347.7 million, Furious has just crossed $1.5 billion at the global box office. And with Ultron slowing down this weekend in China, Furious 7 can stop anxiously checking the rearview mirror knowing that its record $390.5 million haul from the Middle Kingdom won't be challenged anytime soon.

Films with less than $2 million overseas this weekend (Weekend Total/Overseas Total/Global Total)

Cinderella - $1.8 million/$328.3 million/$526.26 million
The Maze Runner - $1.59 million/$241.14 million/$343.57 million
The Longest Ride - $1.05 million/$19.82 million/$56.59 million
Far From the Madding Crowd - $518K/$9.54 million/$12.70 million
Unfriended - $301K/$11.29 million/$43.69 million
Ex Machina - $213K/$10.42 million/$30.0 million

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