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By Daniel Garris

Cinderella took in $4.47 million on Thursday to easily lead the daily box office for a seventh consecutive day. Disney's well-received fairy tale adaptation was down a slim 2 percent from Wednesday's performance. That represented a very solid daily hold, especially given that the film lost most of its IMAX screens to Lionsgate's Insurgent on Thursday night. Cinderella led the weekly box office with a strong seven-day start of $87.55 million. That was on the very high end of the film's lofty pre-release expectations, and was only 7 percent below the $93.85 million seven-day take of last year's Maleficent (which, unlike Cinderella, had the added advantage of higher priced 3D admissions).

Warner's Run All Night rounded out its first week of release with a second place take of $0.752 million. The Liam Neeson led action thriller was down 9 percent from Wednesday. In addition to the new competition from Insurgent, holdovers aimed at adult moviegoers in general also took a hit from the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Run All Night placed in a distant second for the week with a seven-day start of $14.61 million. That was below expectations and was 12 percent softer than the $16.64 million seven-day take of last year's A Walk Among the Tombstones.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was up one spot from Wednesday to move into third on Thursday with $0.644 million. The ensemble comedy sequel from Fox Searchlight was down just 1 percent from Wednesday and down a healthy 24 percent from last Thursday. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel finished in fourth for the week with $8.31 million. That represented a 33 percent decline from the film's opening week performance and brings the film's two-week total to $20.68 million.

Fox's Kingsman: The Secret Service was down one spot from Wednesday to land in fourth place with $0.606 million. The Matthew Vaughn directed graphic novel adaptation starring Colin Firth fell 7 percent from Wednesday and only 17 percent from last Thursday. Kingsman: The Secret Service placed in third this week with $8.79 million. The film was down 23 percent from the previous frame and has grossed a stronger than expected $109.97 million in five weeks.

Sony's CHAPPiE held steady in fifth place with $0.503 million. The Neill Blomkamp directed sci-fi film was down 12 percent from Wednesday and down 38 percent from last Thursday. CHAPPiE placed in fifth for the week with $8.04 million. That represented a sharp 54 percent decline from the film's opening week performance and brings the film's two-week total to a very underwhelming $25.65 million.

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stonetheatres.pngCharlotte, NC - Stone Theatres and MPV Properties are pleased to announce an agreement for Stone Theatres to build a 14-screen multiplex at RedStone, a 40 acre retail development located at Hwy 521 (Charlotte Hwy) and Hwy 160 in the Indian Land area of Lancaster County. The 53,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art cinema will be the largest in the Lancaster County/Indian Land communities and is expecting to start construction soon, with an anticipated opening in late fall 2016.

The RedStone development was unanimously approved by Lancaster County Planning Commission at its February 23rd meeting and site work is slated to start immediately. The retail development is a mix of retail/restaurant and entertainment and is expected to attract national brands as tenants. "Indian Land is experiencing tremendous residential and commercial growth, and RedStone is ideally located to serve the growing retail needs of this market", said Mike Bilodeau of MPV Properties. "We expect to attract a number of national, regional and local retailers to this project." This development will change the shopping patterns for Lancaster County, keeping residents at home and spending in the area as well as attracting residents from southern Mecklenburg and surrounding counties. It is great for Lancaster County tax base, jobs and schools.
The 14-Screen Multiplex will feature:

· Approximately 2,800+ Stadium Seats with comfortable high-back rocker seating and retractable, padded arm rests and cup holders.
· 14 fully expanded wall-to-wall screens
· PDX Premium Deluxe Auditorium (Premium Digital Experience)
o 2D and 3D Digital Projection
o DOLBY ATMOS Premium Sound
o Upgraded Rocker Seating
o Extra Large Wall-to-Wall Screen
· State-of-the-Art Digital sound systems
· Rear Window Captioning (RWC) for deaf and hearing impaired guests
· Descriptive Video Service (DVS) for blind and visually impaired guests
· MovieAwards customer loyalty program
· Superior concessions including pizza by Pizzeria Uno, gourmet pretzels, hot dogs, nachos, Coca-Cola product beverages and other quality items.

"Stone Theatres is extremely excited to bring this much needed state-of-the-art facility to Indian Land and the surrounding communities," says company President and CEO Herman Stone. "Additionally, we are extremely enthusiastic about this wonderful opportunity to be a part of the RedStone development. We expect to build a beautiful show palace for the community, a place where you will be proud to see a movie. The site will be convenient for this growing community and upon completion should employ as many as 50 employees."

About Stone Theatres, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, presently operates 4 locations with 56 screens located in North and South Carolina, including Sun Valley 14 located in Indian Trail, NC. Prior to forming Stone Theatres, Mr. Stone was President and CEO of Consolidated Theatres headquartered in Charlotte, NC. Consolidated Theatres consisted of 34 locations and over 400 screens operating along the Eastern seaboard, including Phillips Place, Park Terrace and Arboretum in Charlotte, Manchester Village in Rock Hill, SC and Union Square in Monroe NC. The company has plans for continued growth throughout the eastern United States. Stone Theatres is committed to continuing its reputation as the premier theater operating company in the United States.
Website: www.StoneTheatres.com

Property Management & Leasing: MPV Properties MPV Properties is one of the Charlotte area's leading office, industrial, retail and land brokerage, development and management firms. MPV Properties has developed a number of Indian Land projects including 521 Corporate Center, Bailes Ridge and the Six Mile Commons project which includes Wal-Mart. For more information, visit www.mpvre.com

 

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cinemacon.pngWASHINGTON D.C. (March 20, 2015) -Baltasar Kormákur will be honored with a special "International Filmmaker of the Year" Award, as part of CinemaCon's International Day, it was announced today by Mitch Neuhauser, Managing Director of CinemaCon. CinemaCon, the official convention of The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), will be held April 20 - 23, 2015, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Kormákur will receive his special honor during International Day festivities, to take place on Monday, April 20, 2015.

"Since making his directorial debut Baltasar Kormákur has entertained global audiences, with his thrillingly intense movie making abilities," noted Neuhauser. "His action-packed films keep moviegoers at the edge of their seat and ‘Everest' is sure to leave audiences riveted to the screen in anticipation of what will happen next. We couldn't be more excited to honor him as CinemaCon's 2015 International Filmmaker of the Year."

Kormákur is currently in post-production on "Everest," which he direct and produces, starring Josh Brolin, Jason Clarke, John Hawke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Robin Wright and Keira Knightly which will be released in U.S. theatres on September 18, 2015 by Universal Pictures. Inspired by the incredible events surrounding a treacherous attempt to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain, "Everest" documents the awe-inspiring journey of two different expeditions challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered by mankind. Their mettle tested by the harshest of elements found on the planet, the climbers face nearly impossible obstacles as a lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival.

In addition to ‘Everest' Kormákur is also currently in development of "Viking," a big budget action adventure inspired by Iceland's epic Sagas, "Cascade," an eco-disaster film, and an untitled production of a crime thriller based on the events that inspired the Filipino Film "On the Job." He is in post-production on an Icelandic serialized crime drama called "Trapped."

Born in Iceland, Kormákur graduated as an actor from Iceland's National Academy of Fine Arts in 1990. He was immediately signed on by the National Theatre of Iceland, where he worked as one of the leading young performing artists until 1997. During the last two years of his assignment he also directed several ambitious works, after having produced and directed highly popular, independent stage productions alongside his projects with the National Theatre. In 2000, he wrote, directed, acted in and produced the feature film "101 Reykjavik," which became an international hit and earned the Discovery Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. After the success of "101 Reykjavik," Kormákur formed Blueeyes Productions (now RVK Studios) and since then has maintained his focus on feature film writing, producing, and directing. Kormákur has directed several feature films in the US including "Contraband," and "2 Guns" which both opened in first place at U.S. Box Offices. His films "The Sea," "A Little Trip To Heaven," "Jar City," and "White Night Wedding" have all been very successful in Iceland, and won numerous international awards.

About CinemaCon

CinemaCon will attract upwards of 5,000 motion picture professionals from all facets of the industry -from exhibition and distribution, to the equipment and concession areas - all on hand to celebrate the movie-going experience and the cinema industry. From exclusive Hollywood product presentations highlighting a slate of upcoming films, to must-see premiere feature screenings, to the biggest stars, producers and directors, CinemaCon will help jumpstart the excitement and buzz that surrounds the summer season at the box office.

CinemaCon is delighted to have both the International Cinema Technology Association (ICTA) and National Association of Concessionaires (NAC) as its tradeshow partners. CinemaCon is also delighted to have as its official presenting sponsor The Coca-Cola Company, one of the industry's greatest, highly regarded and respected partners in the world of the movies.
About NATO

The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) is the largest exhibition trade organization in the world, representing more than 32,000 movie screens in all 50 states, and additional cinemas in 81 countries worldwide. NATO's membership includes the largest cinema chains in the world and hundreds of independent theatre owners, too.

Additional information on CinemaCon can be found at www.cinemacon.com.

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motiontechnology-25years.pngToday, Motion Technology, Inc., leader in high-performance ventless kitchen solutions, announced spring of 2015 marks the company's 25th year of meeting and exceeding customer requirements in an increasingly diverse and technologically challenging industry.

Twenty-five years ago, the AutoFry model FFG-10 was developed and sold as the first of its kind, fully enclosed, fully automated, ventless deep frying system. The initial AutoFry model was a single basket deep fryer that showed the industry costly kitchen renovations and hood installation were no longer necessary to produce high quality fried foods.

Over the last two decades, multiple upgrades to the AutoFry have resulted in the safest and most reliable piece of ventless fryer equipment available. In 2007 SimplifryTM logic was added to AutoFry, a time and temperature compensation technology, providing a more consistent product output to customers. Additional fryer sizes have also been added to the Motion Technology lineup, giving users frying options to meet any operation and kitchen size.

As further commitment to the ventless kitchen theme, Motion Technology introduced the AirMaster oven in 1998, a high-speed oven built to cut cook time without the use of microwaves. Since then, the oven has gone through a series of upgrades and resizing to become the MultiChef high-speed oven that customers know and love today.

"Motion Technology's 25th anniversary is a huge milestone for the company," said Bill McMahon, president of Motion Technology. "Over the past 25 years, we've introduced the food service world to remarkable innovation with the AutoFry ventless fryer and the MultiChef high-speed oven. We've always looked for better ways to manufacture our product and produce long lasting food service equipment and this has led to major improvements on our equipment along the way.

"I am immensely proud to be leading a team of people who strive for excellence every day and relentlessly work to build and sell the best equipment in the world and deliver incredible service to our customers. We are poised for a strong 2015 with new product innovation and look forward to what the next 25 years will bring to the company."

As part of the 25th anniversary celebration, Motion Technology is launching a 25 day anniversary sale. All filters and cleaners will be sold at 25% off through the AutoFry Webstore, using promo code 25ANV. This discount will provide customers the opportunity to stock up on maintenance items that will help to extend the life of their machines for the next 25 years.

About Motion Technology, Inc.
Motion Technology, Inc., a Northborough, MA based company, manufactures and sells ventless kitchen equipment solutions to the food service industry. Since 1990, Motion Technology has consistently provided the best equipment and dedicated technical service and support to customers from small mom and pop shops to large campuses and theaters alike. For more information on Motion Technology, Inc., please call 800-348-2976 or visit www.MTIproducts.com .

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by Patrick Corcoran

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
-Oscar Wilde

A disappointing summer movie season we thought was safely in the rearview mirror popped up again in January with the release of a Price Waterhouse Coopers report on moviegoers' attitudes toward the moviegoing experience. The 28-page report covered a lot of ground but, inevitably, the report focused on one thing: the cost of movie tickets.

One of the most interesting findings was that although moviegoing was off by roughly 15 percent last summer, the moviegoers surveyed perceived that they had gone to movies at the same rate as they had the previous year. Nearly half said they had gone the same number of times, while more than a quarter said they had attended more often. A quarter said they had gone fewer times. Further, 81 percent said they had seen at least one of the summer blockbusters in a movie theater, while 49 percent saw at least one at home. Unsurprisingly, moviegoing frequency is highest among young adults, with interest declining among older demographics.

While ticket prices got the lion's share of attention in the media, with Time gleefully announcing that "Fewer People Are Going to the Movies Because Ticket Prices Are Just Too High," the reality of what consumers were telling PwC was a bit more complex. Fifty-three percent of those responding selected "Ticket price is too high" when asked the question, "If less or about the same, which of the following best represents the reason for going to the movie theater less often?" Keep in mind that this is a group that overall estimated they went to the movies the same number of times as the previous year. These are not people who are avoiding the cinema because the price is too high.

The next most frequent response to the question was, "Movie genre/themes/titles not as interesting to me." These two reasons are, quite frankly, linked. Price is a raw number and does not really reflect what people are responding to when they answer these surveys. The real question at hand is value. Unlike almost any other consumer proposition, moviegoers recalibrate the value of going to the movie theater every time they think about going. The question in our guests' minds is not "Is going to the movie theater worth it?"-it clearly is, as the respondents in this survey go a bit more often than average. The question is, "Is going to see this movie worth it?"

This becomes a bit clearer when we look at a couple of other data points. The No. 1 response, at 75 percent, to the question "How influential to your decision process about whether or not to see a movie at the theater are the following factors?" was, "Depends on what's playing and if I'm interested in the genre/type." Second, and interestingly, only 23 percent said better movies would motivate them to go more often. Clearly, moviegoers base their moviegoing decisions on whether they are interested in the movies that are playing and are, broadly speaking, satisfied with what they are seeing.

This is not to say that price is not a factor. Respondents say that last-minute cheaper pricing on seats (53 percent) and $20 all-you-can-watch subscriptions (87 percent) would encourage them to see more movies. The most frequent moviegoers, unsurprisingly, are most interested in subscriptions. At that price, who wouldn't be?

Indeed, price comes quite strongly into view when respondents are asked to consider home options. Eighty-two percent are willing to pay a premium of between $10 and $20 to watch movies at home at the same time they are released in theaters. Interest falls off steeply at a higher premium. This is consistent with what theater owners have warned are the pricing traps of so-called "premium" home releases in a short window. Beside the enormous gap of potential profitability represented by that $10-$20 range, that number falls short of what distributors thought they could get at 60 days ($30) or at three weeks ($60). And that's the opening bid.

There is also a hint in this report of the effect that shrinking windows are having on the perception of price across the board. Just as moviegoers calibrate their sense of value based on their interest in the movies that are offered in theaters, so, too, do they adjust that sense on how long they think they'll have to wait to see the movie at home. Right behind price and interest in the movie as reasons why they might go to the movies less often is "Prefer to watch movies on my own schedule" at 30 percent and "Can see movies at home (on demand) shortly after they are released in the theater" at 24 percent.

Keep in mind that these perceptions of pricing come as, on average, ticket prices have increased a modest 3.5 percent since 2010 to $8.17 in 2014. That includes 3D, luxury cinemas, premium large-format screens and theaters offering seat-side food and beverage service. The average is up 8.9 percent since 2009, reflecting the large-scale introduction of 3D in 2010, and is still below the rate of inflation.

Although recent eye-popping attendance gains after reseating older theaters suggest otherwise, in-theater improvements like better seats, better presentation technologies, and the like stir only incremental interest in the respondents' minds as ways to increase their moviegoing. Better, of course, is a rather amorphous idea. How much better is the determining factor and a difficult one to imagine as a motivating factor unless one actually experiences it. It is also a truism that consumers rapidly accommodate improvements, and the improved experience becomes the new minimum expectation. The experience is good, is getting better, and has to keep getting better.

The summer that this report aims to explain is more easily explained by a simple lack of movies in the marketplace that would induce customers to part with their hard-earned dollars. In the record-breaking summer of 2013, there were 22 $100-million-plus budgeted releases. In the less-than-stellar summer of 2014, there were 12. With a 45 percent decrease in inventory, a 15 percent decrease in attendance isn't a disappointment; it's a miracle.

More movies mean more patrons, pure and simple. For movies that played on at least 1,000 screens in 2004, 24 movies (including those that continued in release in the subsequent year, grossed more than $100 million and accounted for 704 million admissions. In 2014, 33 movies grossed more than $100 million and accounted for 770 million admissions (that's down by two movies and 43 million admissions from 2013). The studios' tentpole strategy is working.

However, the movies that aren't in movie theaters tell the tale. In 2004, 41 movies grossed between $50 and $100 million and tallied 444 million admissions; in 2014, 33 movies in that grossing range accounted for 272 million admissions. For under-$50-million grossers in wide release, 15 fewer movies brought in 83 million fewer admissions in 2014 than a decade earlier.

The movies that are in the marketplace are attracting customers. We just don't have enough of them.

And the remarkable box office of the first five weeks of the year shows just how anomalous the past summer was. Without a marked change in pricing, without a fundamentally different movie theater experience from half a year ago, box office is booming. Through February 8, box office is up 6.5 percent over the same period last year-which was up 11 percent over the same period in 2013. In fact, box office is on pace with 2010 when Avatar was demolishing box office records.

What has changed? The movies. And the audience thinks they're worth the price.

 

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