Los Angeles - The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) today released its annual Theatrical Market Statistics Report for 2009. The report shows that global box office receipts reached an all time high of $29.9 billion, an increase of 7.6% over 2008 and almost 30% from 2005. The U.S./Canada market reached $10.6 billion, an increase of more than 10%, and International receipts increased 6.3% to $19.3 billion in 2009. The 3D market gave the U.S./Canada box office a boost accounting for 11% of the total compared to just 2% in 2008. With 20 films released in 3D compared to just eight in 2008, higher value entertainment contributed significantly to box office revenues.

"While the motion picture industry continues to face tremendous challenges elsewhere in our business, we're reminded again this year that the cinema is the heart and soul of our industry and it is thriving," said Bob Pisano, President and Interim CEO of the MPAA.

Ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada rose more than 5.5% from 2008, the first admissions increase in two years. Per capita ticket purchases in the U.S. and Canada also increased 4.6% to 4.3 tickets per person, the first significant increase since 2002. Sales were fueled by repeated visits to the cinema by frequent moviegoers - those who go to the movies once a month or more and who make up only 10% of the population - who bought half of all tickets sold in 2009.

"Four straight years of box office growth- the last three each setting a new record - show the enormous appetite audiences continue to have for great and entertaining movies in the best way to enjoy them - on a big screen with a big crowd," said John Fithian, President and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners.

At the end of 2009 there were more than 16,000 digital cinema screens worldwide, up 86% from the end of 2008, a net gain of more than 7,000 screens. The fastest growing sector of digital screens is 3D. The number of digital 3D screens worldwide more than tripled in 2009, reaching 8,989, or about 6% of screens in the world.

"Digital technology is the foundation on which 3D has been built. Together, digital presentation and 3D hold the promise of a dramatic game change in moviemaking and movie-going. The global film audience is voting with its feet, and those feet are planted firmly in the direction of local cinemas that have the latest technology," said Pisano.

While box office revenues and admissions surged, films produced by U.S. production companies declined over the past three years. In 2009, the number of U.S. produced films released in domestic theaters decreased 12%, the first decline since 2003. The decline is attributable in significant part to labor issues affecting the industry in 2007-08, the recession and the challenges to investment recovery due to rampant content theft, and the decline in DVD sales.

 

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Source: LA Times

While in the process of editing Inception, his new thriller that is set to open in July, Christopher Nolan certainly has superheros on his brain. The acclaimed director dropped a few hints about the third installment in his Batman series as well as what inspired him to help develop a Superman project.

"Without getting into specifics, the key thing that makes the third film an great possibility for us is that we want to finish our story," Nolan tells the LA Times. "And in viewing it as the finishing of a story rather than infinitely blowing up the balloon and expanding the story."

As for Superman: "[David Goyer, screenwriter on Batman Begins] basically told me, ‘I have this thought about how you would approach Superman,'" says Nolan. "I immediately got it, loved it and thought: That is a way of approaching the story I've never seen before that makes it incredibly exciting. I wanted to get Emma and I involved in shepherding the project right away and getting it to the studio and getting it going in an exciting way."

 

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Source: AP

Corey Haim died of an apparent drug overdose on Wednesday at 2:15 a.m. PT. Haim will always be known for his work in such '80s hits as Lost Boys, License to Drive and Dream a Little Dream.

2009's Crank: High Voltage turned out to be a dud at the box office, but it gave Haim some solid mainstream exposure again.

 

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CBS Sports teams up with the NCAA, LG Electronics USA and Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. to present for the first-time ever the 2010 NCAA Men's Final Four semifinal and national championship games in 3-D. The broadcasts will be available live in up to 100 Cinedigm Certified Digital Cinemas nationwide. Fans attending the festivities in Indianapolis also can view the games in 3-D on LG's award-winning LCD HDTV's at locations throughout Lucas Oil Stadium and at the NCAA's interactive fan event, Bracket Town refreshed by Coca-Cola Zero.

The games in 3-D on Saturday, April 3 (6:00-11:00 PM, ET) and Monday, April 5 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET) will be a fully-produced CBS Sports event with CBS COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK announcers Dave Ryan and Steve Lappas calling the action. Together with LG Electronics USA, which is the Official 3-D Sponsor for CBS Sports' NCAA Tournament broadcasts and Official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, Cinedigm is bringing the excitement of the NCAA Men's Final Four in stunning three-dimensional realism to tens of thousands of NCAA basketball fans in theaters across the land.

"CBS Sports has always been on the forefront of new technology to enhance the viewing experience," said Ken Aagaard, executive vice president operations and engineering, CBS Sports. "Through our partnership with the NCAA and LG, and the technological innovations of Cinedigm, we are excited to be able to present Men's Final Four weekend in 3-D offering fans an exciting and different way to view a major sporting event."

"Bringing the Men's Final Four to consumers in 3-D is a prime example of how LG strives to deliver something better - superior technology combined with an unparalleled viewing experience - for consumers," said Peter Reiner, senior vice president, marketing, LG Electronics North America. "As the Official 3-D Sponsor, we are excited to partner with CBS Sports to bring consumers this immersive 3-D viewing experience and tap into the passion of college sports fans throughout the country."

This unique sponsorship builds upon LG's leadership in this emerging technology. LG Electronics, which introduced the first 3-D LCD sets in Korea last year, will be introducing this new feature in an extensive line of 3-D-enabled LED HDTVs and Blu-ray Disc players in the United Sates beginning this May.

"The theater experience is changing dramatically," said Bud Mayo, chairman and CEO of Cinedigm. "The Men's Final Four is a signature event, with millions of fans clamoring to be among the few who get to see it in person. Cinedigm's experience, having brought the 2009 BCS Championship and the 2009 NBA All-Star Saturday Night events to theatres in live 3-D, has shown us that fans who attend will feel as though they have courtside seats. We're proud to work with our technology partner SENSIO and with our growing national network of top-quality theater to help bring fans one step closer to courtside."

Cinedigm's robust digital cinema network has unparalleled experience in bringing the best in LIVE 3D entertainment to the widest number of 3-D cinema screens. Audiences at the first-ever live 3-D sports broadcasts last year hailed the revolutionary impact of seeing sports in 3-D, especially when seen in a movie t theater No other cinema network has the technological infrastructure and distribution know-how to enable this kind of large-scale, nationwide, 3-D event in U.S. theatres.

CBS Sports and LG Electronics also are working with NEP and 3-D expertise will be provided by world renowned 3-D innovator, Vince Pace, to deliver the broadcast in 3-D. Pace, has worked on the blockbuster movies Avatar and Titanic.

 

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Berkeley, CA -- American Zoetrope, the film studio created and used by filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola since 1970, recently completed the mix of Sofia Coppola's upcoming film "Somewhere" using their new Meyer Sound Cinema Experience monitoring system. This same system was used to mix Mr. Coppola's 2009 release of "Tetro".

"I'm very impressed with the effortless power and clarity of sound of the Meyer Sound cinema system," says Francis Ford Coppola. "If only every theatre had a system like this they would have the same remarkable experience I have on my stage."

The Meyer Sound Cinema Experience system, based on the Acheron screen channel loudspeakers, which has been installed in Zoetrope's mixing stage, is part of a complete, integrated cinema sound line that enables sound designers and mixers to achieve unprecedented range and clarity of sound - and for audiences to truly experience films as they were intended to be heard by the filmmaker.

 

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