mj1.pngThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 is off to a fast start ahead of the weekend. The film opened in nine markets on Wednesday, including Brazil and France, before expanding to 59 more markets on Thursday. The UK, Germany, Australia, Italy, and South Korea formed the core of key markets from Thursday's overseas expansion. The latest installment in The Hunger Games saga opens in 17 more markets on Friday to reach a day-and-date presence across a total of 85 markets and making it the widest release in Lionsgate history.

Current overseas estimates put the film at $33 million with #1 premieres across virtually every market. UK came in with $3.6 million including previews, up 12% from the previous installment in the franchise. UK was the previous film's biggest overseas territory and is expected to perform well in the coming weeks.

Mockingjay posted the biggest opening day of 2014 in Germany with $2.9 million, 11% ahead of Catching Fire. France has a two-day cume of $3 million while russia posted a 2D opening record among 2014 releases with $2.7 million. Australia recorded a single-day gross of $2.4 million to also become the biggest premiere of the year to date. I

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nato.pngCommitments To Voluntary Actions To Improve Access Also Outlined

(Washington, D.C. - 21 November 2014) The Alexander Graham Bell Association (AG Bell), the Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA), the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) today announced an agreement to file joint recommendations with the Department of Justice regarding its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on captioning equipment in U.S. movie theaters.

After several weeks of discussions, the five organizations agreed on a set of recommendations (attached) to the DOJ to improve access to movies for deaf and hard of hearing patrons.

Closed captioning (CC) and audio description (AD) technologies are to be installed in all digital movie theater auditoriums nationwide.

The joint plan establishes certain minimum closed captioning device requirements with a monitoring requirement. This flexible, market-responsive device scoping method will ensure access for all deaf and hard of hearing patrons and respond to actual consumer demand.

The compliance period has been restructured to reflect reasonable timelines in delivery and installation of CC and AD systems.

In addition to these and other requirements regarding marketing, staff training, and equipment maintenance, the movie theater industry and the advocacy groups have committed to voluntary actions (attached) to expand access to the movies. These include:

Encouraging movie distributors to provide CC and AD data files on all movies and trailers.

Encouraging movie distributors to provide theaters with information on the availability of CC and AD technologies in advance of the film's release so this information can be included in show time listings.

Sharing information on areas with large deaf and hard of hearing populations, including schools, and conducting specific outreach to community groups.

"A.G. Bell and other deaf advocates have been fighting for captioning access in movie theaters ever since 1927 when the first "talkie" movies were released," said John F. Stanton, chair, Public Affairs Council of A.G. Bell. "These joint comments are the result of decades of efforts from A.G. Bell's members and other deaf advocates to attain captioning access in movie theaters. Today is truly a landmark day in captioning access history. As soon as these joint comments are effectuated, the days for deaf or hard of hearing consumers having to wait for a movie to come out on television, video, or DVD for the captions will be over."

"This is the end of a long road, and like a lot of long roads, there have been a few bumps along the way," said John Waldo, ALDA member and attorney. "Most ALDA members lost some or all of their hearing later in life, and movies were one of those things we could and did enjoy at one time but can no longer do so. We are very grateful to the theater owners for helping us get to this destination, and we look forward to a continuing and productive partnership."

"Hearing Loss Association of America welcomes this historic agreement with NATO," said Anna Gilmore Hall, executive director of HLAA. "With this agreement comes the potential for anyone with hearing loss to see and understand any movie any time using captioning devices. For us, that is a "Welcome Back" banner for people who had given up going to the movies simply because they could no longer hear."

"These Joint Recommendations from a breakthrough coalition of movie theater owners and deaf and hard of hearing advocacy groups are a tremendous step forward in ensuring equal access for everyone," said Howard A. Rosenblum, Esq., CEO of the NAD. "Since 1880, the NAD has advocated for equal access to all aspects of life and is thrilled to be involved in this collaborative effort to break down barriers on an ongoing basis."

John Fithian, NATO president and CEO, said "This partnership between deaf and hard of hearing advocates and the movie theater industry has been remarkably productive and promises to yield results that will benefit our patrons and expand access to movie theaters in a real, practical and measurable way."

"Encouraged by the DOJ and particularly Deputy Assistant Attorney General Eve Hill, NATO and the advocacy groups have worked diligently to develop a Joint Position that will be flexible, encourage new technology, and enable movie goers across the nation to benefit from closed captioning in all digital theatres. We will be submitting our recommendations to the DOJ for consideration as part of the rule," said Randy Smith, chief administrative officer for Regal Entertainment Group.

About

The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) is a non-profit organization that represents a community of 13,0000 nationwide. Through advocacy, education, research and financial aid, AG Bell helps to ensure that every child and adult with hearing loss has the opportunity to listen, talk and thrive in mainstream society.

The Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA) is an international organization with members throughout the United States from various economic, racial, religious, age, and occupational groups. The organization strives to provide education, role models and support for late-deafened adults. It also advocates on behalf of late-deafened adults in promoting public and private programs that support their needs, and encourages research into the various aspects of late-deafness. In furtherance of its advocacy mission, ALDA has actively worked on movie captioning.

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is the nation's leading consumer organization representing some 48 million Americans with hearing loss. HLAA provides assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families.

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is a non-profit organization dedicated to a mission of preserving, protecting and promoting the civil, human, and linguistic rights of 48 million deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States. Established in 1880, NAD advocates in all areas including but not limited to early intervention, education, employment, technology, healthcare, telecommunications and more.

The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) is a non-profit organization whose members own and operate more than 32,000 of the 40,000 movie screens in the U.S. NATO members operate theaters in all 50 states.

Contacts


Susan Boswell
Director of Communications and Marketing
AG Bell
202-204-4687
sboswell@agbell.org

John Waldo
Advocacy Director and Counsel
Washington State Communication Access Project - Wash-CAP
Counsel
Oregon Communication Access Project - OR-CAP
ALDA
206-849-5009
johnfwaldo@hotmail.com

Lise Hamlin
Director of Public Policy
HLAA
301-657-2248
LHamlin@hearingloss.org
Andrew Phillips
Policy Counsel
NAD
301-587-1788
andrew.phillips@nad.org

John Fithian
President & CEO
NATO
202.962.0054

Patrick Corcoran
Vice President & Chief Communications Officer
NATO
818-506-1778
pfc@natoca.com

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aimc_australianinternationalmovieconvention.pngThe Australian International Movie Convention (AIMC) 2015 will take place from October 11-15, with a supplementary symposium program on October 16.

2015 marks the 70th movie industry convention to be held in Queensland, with the event's early roots back in the old Chevron Hotel on the Gold Coast.

Fittingly, the 70th birthday celebrations will take place on the Gold Coast, with AIMC 2015 to be held at the transformed, new-look Jupiters Hotel & Casino.

Jupiters is currently undertaking a $345 million transformation which, when complete, will deliver a new six-star hotel tower, a range of contemporary restaurants and bars and a transformation of all existing facilities, including a new poolside experience.

The AIMC is hosted annually by NACO (National Association of Cinema Operators-Australasia) and has become a valuable annual industry event for the Australian, NZ and Pacific region, as it offers those in production, distribution, cinema exhibition and allied trades an unparalleled opportunity to come together once a year.

NACO Executive Director, Michael Hawkins says: "We were delighted to welcome a record 985 delegates to AIMC 2014, 10% of whom were from overseas. I would hope to equal or better that when we celebrate the 70th convention in 2015, for which planning is already underway."

Michael Hawkins added that any organisation or individual interested in loaning or donating AIMC memorabilia from the past 69 years should contact Freya Tienan - freya@movieconvention.com.au


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

About the Australian International Movie Convention (AIMC)
Continually attracting record numbers of delegates from Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the US and Europe, the Australian International Movie Convention (AIMC) remains the premier event to showcase the Australian film industry and provide opportunities for industry stakeholders to reflect upon and shape the issues that affect the business of motion pictures, and to network with local and international colleagues. The Australian International Movie Convention is held annually on the Gold Coast, Queensland and hosted by NACO, the National Association of Cinema Operators - Australasia.


Media Enquiries: Di Campisi - di@dicampisipublicity.com.au or 0425 269 129

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midnovember.jpgParamount reports that Interstellar retained the top spot on Wednesday with a gross of $2.02 million. That represents a healthy 41 percent drop from the same day last week, while giving the Christopher Nolan space epic a domestic total of $103.8 million thus far.

Universal's Dumb and Dumber To added $1.64 million yesterday, giving it $42.2 million through 6 days of release. That puts the Jim Carrey-Jeff Daniels comedy sequel 6 percent ahead of the pace of last year's Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa.

Disney's Big Hero 6 was off 38 percent from last Wednesday to $1.16 million yesterday. The animated hit's total now stands at a strong $114.5 million.

Gone Girl eased 27 percent from last Wednesday to $0.34 million yesterday. The dramatic thriller has earned an excellent $153.7 million domestically up to this point.

Fury rounded out the top five with $0.34 million, down 30 percent from the same day last week. The war drama's total now stands at $77 million.

Meanwhile, Beyond the Lights posted $0.28 million in its sixth day of release as it slipped down to seventh place. That gives the music drama a total of $7.2 million so far, 20 percent off the pace of Addicted.

 

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malcotheatres.png(MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE) November 19, 2014 - After 15 years of transforming film into collectible movie bows for the popular Wrapped with Love program Malco Theatres is debuting a new keepsake just in time for the holidays!

The limited edition Malco Memories Photo Magnets will offer a unique opportunity to see oneself at the movies this holiday season - the ultimate "selfie" souvenir! Available for $1.00 each from Thanksgiving Day (November 27) through Christmas Day (December 25) at all Malco Theatres locations in Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi, 100% of the monies raised will be donated to Memphis' own St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for the continued research of childhood diseases.

This new drive coincides with Malco's Century of Cinema celebration, highlighting the company's 100th anniversary. Started in 1915 by M.A. Lightman, Sr., what began as one theatre in a rented storefront in Sheffield, Alabama, has become one of the most popular movie theatre chains in the Southern United States. Since then, Malco has continued to serve the community and give back, raising millions of dollars various charities and organizations, including the ongoing partnership with ALSAC/St Jude that has netted over $865,000 for the veritable Memphis institution.

Photo is attached. Media requests for item samples should be emailed to Karen@malco.com.

About Malco Theatres:

Memphis, TN-based Malco Theatres is a fourth-generation family owned and operated business celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2015. Malco Theatres operates over 345 screens at 33 locations across the Mid-South, as well as bowling and family entertainment centers in Louisiana. Malco recently opened the Gonzales Cinema in Gonzales, LA and completed renovations of the Ridgeway Cinema Grill (formerly the Ridgeway Four Cinema) in Memphis, the Forest Hill Cinema in Germantown, Tennessee and the newly acquired Winchester Cinema in Winchester, KY. Upcoming projects include Lakeland, TN; Millington, TN; Sikeston, MO; and Jackson, TN, along with several unannounced locations.

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