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By Daniel Garris

Universal's Furious 7 grossed $2.02 million on Monday to lead the daily box office for an 18th consecutive day. The seventh installment of the blockbuster franchise featuring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and the late Paul Walker was down 74 percent from Sunday and down 44.5 percent from last Monday. Furious 7 has grossed a massive $296.53 million in 18 days and is on course to surpass the $300 million domestic milestone on Wednesday. The film is running a very impressive 45 percent ahead of the $204.96 million 18-day take of 2013's Fast & Furious 6.

Sony's Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 placed in second with $1.26 million. The modestly budgeted Kevin James led comedy sequel fell 80 percent from Sunday's performance. That represented the day's sharpest daily percentage decline among wide releases. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 has grossed $25.02 million in four days. The film is performing in line with expectations and is off to a very solid start with its price tag in mind. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is running 11 percent ahead of the $22.52 million four-day start of 2011's Zookeeper.

Unfriended took in $0.823 million to claim third place. The ultra low-budget horror film from Universal and Blumhouse Productions fell 73 percent from Sunday. Unfriended has grossed $16.67 million in four days. While the film has been unable to break out to the degree its pre-release online buzz suggested, it is still performing well given its low cost. Unfriended is running 20 percent behind the $20.92 million four-day take of last year's Ouija.

Home claimed fourth place with $0.686 million. The successful 3D computer animated film from Fox and DreamWorks Animation was down 79 percent from Sunday and down a slim 7 percent from last Monday. Home continues to exceed expectations in a big way with a 25-day take of $143.60 million. The film is running just ahead of the $143.16 million 25-day take of 2013's The Croods.

Fellow Fox release The Longest Ride rounded out Monday's top five with $0.532 million. The Nicholas Sparks adaptation starring Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood declined 68 percent from Sunday and 34 percent from last Monday. The Longest Ride has grossed $24.21 million in eleven days. That places the film 35 percent ahead of the $17.89 million eleven-day take of last year's The Best of Me.

Meanwhile, Monkey Kingdom landed in eighth place for the day with $0.403 million. The latest nature documentary from Disney's Disneynature label fell 70 percent from Sunday. Monkey Kingdom has grossed $4.98 million in four days. That is on the low end of the film's modest expectations and is 8 percent softer than the $5.43 million four-day start of last year's Bears. With Earth Day falling on Wednesday, Monkey Kingdom is likely to hold up very well today and tomorrow.

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21 April 2015

Philips announces collaboration with Universal Music Group to bring fully immersive music concerts into theaters

  • New Philips LightVibes® technology transforms theater experience by adding immersive lighting effects synced with content on screen
  • Technology can extend the excitement of a concert to the theater, making music fans feel like they are attending a live event
  • New collaboration reinforces Philips leadership in connected lighting, extending it from homes and cities to the silver screen.

Eindhoven, The Netherlands Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), the global leader in lighting, is collaborating with Universal Music Enterprises, a division of UMG, the world’s leading music company, to make iconic concert films available in the immersive LightVibes format. LightVibes, developed by Philips, adds LED lighting throughout the movie theater which is synced with media content to create a fully-engaging experience. Concert films become life-like, movies become more absorbing and pre-show programming becomes more engaging.

The collaboration is set to be officially launched at CinemaCon 2015 in Las Vegas (20-23 April). Philips, together with Universal Music Group (UMG), will demonstrate LightVibes during the tradeshow starting from Tuesday April 21st.

The multi-screen technology delivers compelling, subtle ambient lighting to every viewer’s peripheral field of vision, enhancing musical performances and events as well as feature films, pre-show programming and advertising. LightVibes delivers true immersive theater that increases the impact of on-screen content, while bringing new capabilities to cinematographers and others in the creative community.

As part of the collaboration, theaters that install LightVibes can receive access to an ongoing slate of superstar concert titles from UMG. Titles initially featured include historic concerts from Alice Cooper, The Doors, Dream Theatre, Morrissey, Paul McCartney and Wings, Peter Gabriel, Queen and The Rolling Stones. Both companies will explore promotional activity such as local market events to support key releases.

Bruce Resnikoff, President/CEO, Universal Music Enterprises said, “We are very excited to work with Philips on LightVibes to help unlock the potential of their technology. We believe this will enhance the theater experience for both audiences and theater owners alike and add realism to the movie concert experience. We look forward to bringing our iconic music catalog to the big screen in HD picture quality and high-quality sound fully enhanced with the life-like imagery and sound provided by LightVibes.”

Niels Van Duinen, General Manager of Philips LightVibes said, “With this collaboration, cinema operators get the best of both worlds: Access to UMG’s high-profile concerts, drawn from the broadest catalog of music in the industry, combined with an immersive LightVibes experience that will keep audiences coming back for more.”

We’re setting the pace in connected lighting for entertainment, whether it’s syncing home lighting with music, movies and TV series or syncing the lighting of an iconic building to music,” added Van Duinen. “Now we’re bringing our technology to the silver screen.”

Initial titles:

1. Alice Cooper - Super Dooper Alice Cooper

2. The Doors - Live at the Bowl '68

3. Dream Theater - Live at Luna Park

4. Morrissey - 25: Live

5. Paul McCartney and Wings - Rockshow: Wings Over America 1982

6. Peter Gabriel - New Blood Live

7. Peter Gabriel - Back to Front: So Live

8. Queen - Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest

9. Queen - Rock Montreal

10. Rolling Stones - Sweet Summer Sun Hyde Park 2013

11. Rolling Stones - Ladies and Gentlemen

12. Rolling Stones - Some Girls: Live in Texas

Notes to editors:

LightVibes has been tested extensively and 90% of demo visitors report that LightVibes improves the event cinema experience.
Cinema owners will be able to receive a bundle deal when installing LightVibes in their theaters with access to concert titles for two years.

Experience LightVibes at CinemaCon 2015

Philips will demonstrate the power and potential of immersive cinema at the motion picture theatre industry’s largest event. Demonstration details are as follows:

 

CinemaCon 2015

Caesars Palace. Augustus Ballroom Booth 2317A Tuesday April 21, 11 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday, April 22, 9 AM to 5 PM
Thursday, April 23, 9 AM to 12:30 PM

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2014 sales of EUR 21.4 billion and employs approximately 105,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter

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21 April 2015

Philips and ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group announce first commercial trial of LED LightVibes® immersive cinema technology from Philips

  • Philips LightVibes® breakthrough technology for true immersive cinema transforms the theater experience by syncing subtle lighting effects with wide-ranging on-screen content
  • ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group operates the largest cinema chain in Europe
  • Trial taking place at UCI KINOWELT Ruhr Park in Bochum, Germany
  • Testing will gauge popularity among general audiences, building on widespread positive feedback from the cinema industry
  • Eindhoven, The Netherlands Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), the global leader in lighting, has announced that ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group, the largest cinema operator in Europe, has installed a commercial trial of Philips LightVibes at its UCI KINOWELT Ruhr Park cinema in Bochum, Germany.

    LightVibes creates true immersive cinema by delivering compelling, subtle ambient LED lighting to every viewer’s peripheral field of vision, enhancing musical performances and events as well as feature films, pre-show programming and advertising. With LightVibes, theater owners can expand their offerings to include event cinema content and attract new audiences. LightVibes also brings intriguing new capabilities to cinematographers and others in the creative community.

    “We are very excited to bring the LightVibes trial to our cinema in Bochum,” said Jens Heinze, UCI ́s Managing Director Germany & Austria. “The technology has the potential to radically enhance the cinema experience for both audiences and operators alike. We look forward to listening to what our customers think.”

    ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group is the first cinema chain in the world to test Philips LightVibes with live audiences. It’s one of the world’s leading cinema operators and largest in Europe with 2,227 screens in 244 cinemas across seven markets including UK, Spain and Italy in addition to Germany.

    Philips launched LightVibes in 2014 to widespread acclaim from the entertainment industry. Exit polls from demos at CineEurope in 2014 proved that LightVibes enhances the cinema experience:

  • 90% of demo visitors said that LightVibes improves the cinema experience
  • 83% agreed that LightVibes improves the pre-show experience
  • Of particular importance to marketers, 72% said that LightVibes improves the advertising experience

“The trial with ODEON & UCI marks an important milestone for LightVibes,” said Niels Van Duinen, Philips LightVibes General Manager. “We look forward to a long working relationship.”

Philips is also announcing an important collaboration with Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company, to make unique concert films available to cinemas that install LightVibes. “These two exciting announcements show major progress in two critical areas connecting with the largest chain of theaters and collaborating with a major content provider,” said Van Duinen.

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2014 sales of EUR 21.4 billion and employs approximately 105,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter

About ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group

With over 75 years of cinema experience, ODEON & UCI Cinemas is the largest cinema chain in Europe and the biggest exhibitor in Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Ireland. The company has also strong market positions in Germany, Austria and Portugal. Under the ODEON brand, it operates 950 screens at 124 sites across the UK & Ireland and operating also as UCI and Cinesa Cinemas, the group operates 2,227 screens at 244 sites across Europe as a whole. 

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"Bill Campbell personifies the best aspects of volunteerism. A busy and committed family man and small-business operator, Bill nonetheless finds time to lead independent exhibitors through his management of NATO's Cinema Buying Group. Bill helped hundreds of theater owners survive the digital transition and, by extension, preserve moviegoing in small towns all across America. He is now leading independent exhibitors through new programs at the CBG. His positive impact on this industry will be felt for decades to come." -John Fithian, President and CEO of NATO

by Daniel Loria

Making popcorn in a basement might not sound like a glamorous job, but for an eight-year-old, few other tasks are as fun as watching the kernels pop. That was precisely Bill Campbell's first job in the exhibition business, as he helped his father, Ross, cover the essential concession-stand operation at the WYO Theatre in Sheridan, Wyoming. Bill would return to his hometown after graduating from Montana State University and a stint working as a manager for Theatre Operations, Inc. He is now a second-generation exhibitor in Sheridan, operating seven screens across two locations.

Bill has also served as managing director of NATO's Cinema Buying Group since 2009, working tirelessly to protect the interests of independent exhibitors across the nation and assisting them with the transition to digital cinema. To date, 221 companies comprising 457 theaters and 2,998 screens have benefitted from CBG's efforts.

With Bill Campbell's 2015 NATO Marquee Award, Ross and Bill Campbell become the first father-son honorees of the exhibition industry's top award.

Congratulations on the award. In our last interview [September 2014] we talked about the Cinema Buying Group. What are the latest developments there?

The biggest thing is that earlier this year we hired a purchasing director, Brad Wardlow, to help us implement programs to get the buying group up and running the way we want it to. He's been working on some programs and hopefully, by the time CinemaCon rolls around, we'll have a couple of programs we can announce to our members; we're trying to get rebooted.

Was there anything in particular that informed your decision to go back into the family business as an exhibitor?

I started working in Sheridan, Wyoming, at a very young age. My brothers and sisters decided to take over the family business when I went to college. I was working at Theater Operators Inc. up in Bozeman, Montana, when Tim Warner was general manager or CEO of the company, and we had discussions about the future of movie businesses in small towns. He convinced me I'd make a good living out of it in Sheridan, so that's when I made the commitment to come back to exhibition and take over the family business.

What is the current state of independent exhibition in small towns here in the U.S.?

It's always been challenging. The digital conversion was a big, big part, but we've always had concerns with print availability from distributors. We watch our percentages at the box office, our margins slip as studios ask for more every time-it's a tough challenge. I think any exhibitor is fighting the percentages at the box office. I think there's been a lot more government intervention in the last few years; it's always hard. Minimum wages are always a concern in small towns, and labor costs can get really high pretty quickly because you don't have the grosses that a lot of the big chains have. ADA has been a big issue in the last 30 years for us as well.

Cinema Buying Group helps independent exhibitors like yourself maintain a competitive advantage. Why is an event like CinemaCon a good opportunity for smaller theaters to attend?

For one, they can see what's going on with new trends in exhibition. It's always important to try to give the best quality product to your small towns. It's hard to do; there's a balancing act of course. You can't just go and buy every new piece of equipment that the manufacturers come out with. You always try to go there and find something new, something that you can update with and improve your moviegoing experience with. As a trade show, CinemaCon has always been huge. It's just a great way to get knowledge of what's going on.

 

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PVR Ltd., Logix City Centre, Noida, India, and Two Japanese Multiplexes Introducing the 4DX Cinema Experience to Moviegoers

Los Angeles and Las Vegas (April 21, 2015) - CJ 4DPLEX (BOOTH #2003), the world's first 4D cinema company for full feature films, announced today at CinemaCon in Las Vegas that it has signed deals with the Indian exhibitor, PVR Ltd., and two Japanese exhibitors to bring 4DX technology to their movie theatres.

PVR Ltd., the largest multiplex chain in India, will launch the 4DX technology at PVR Cinemas this year at its first Superplex, a 15-screen multiplex at Logix City Centre in Noida, India. This will make the Superplex India's most advanced cinematic viewing experience, strategically located in the heart of the city, bringing the audience world class formats including IMAX, ECX, PVR Premier, PVR Gold Class, PVR 4DX and PVR Playhouse.

While addressing the media at a signing ceremony at CinemaCon, Mr. Gautam Dutta, CEO PVR Ltd. said, "We are excited about our association with CJ 4DPLEX. India is a land of cinema lovers. The country has an immense potential to both produce and consume movies in various formats. Introducing 4DX at PVR Cinemas will be another step to offer finest movie experience to our patrons here. PVR has always aimed to give the best to its audiences and we see a promising future for this technology in our country."

Mr. Byung Hwan Choi, CEO of CJ 4DPLEX said, "Our partnership with PVR is a great opportunity for 4DX to accelerate expansion in the world's largest film-producing country. Being loved by the Indian moviegoers is a worthwhile challenge for us, and we are eager to achieve it. We look forward to a successful partnership with PVR."

CJ 4DPLEX is also expanding its reach in Japan. It has announced today that, as of March 31, it signed with Harima Enterprise to bring a 96-seat 4DX auditorium to a newly built multiplex in Himeji city, Japan. Located in the center of Hiroshima, Kobe, and Osaka, the Himeji 4DX site is anticipated to play a key position providing a totally new entertainment platform in this area. Additionally, another top-tier Japanese exhibitor is scheduled to sign in the last week of this month, becoming 4DX's sixth partner exhibitor in Japan - the second largest number of partners in a single country thus far, behind only China.

Since its first 4D screening of Avatar in 2010, CJ 4DPLEX has brought more than 23,000 4DX seats to 170 theatres in 33 countries - opening on approximately one new screen every week as theatres recognize the power of being able to offer a wider range of formats and differentiated movie-going experiences to its patrons. In 2014 alone, 4DX launched 53 new screens compared with 47 in the previous year. Globally, 4DX has attracted more than 20 million attendees as of January 2014, and it is expected to pass 30 million by the end of 2015.

CinemaCon attendees and press can visit 4DX in booth #2003.

About 4DX by CJ 4DPLEX
CJ 4DPLEX is operating 4DX, the world's first 4D-technology based cinema for feature films. Headquartered in Seoul and with international offices in Los Angeles and Beijing, the company provides immersive cinematic experience through 4DX auditoriums for exhibition partners along with 4DX codes of major Hollywood blockbusters and local titles. Each auditorium incorporates motion-based seating synchronized with over 20 different effects and optimized by a team of skilled editors, maximizing the feeling of immersion within the movie. A visit to the 4DX brings a virtual journey through an all-encompassing experience not limited to just audio and video. 4DX presents an all-five-senses immersive cinematic experience allowing everyone to connect with the movie and experience special effects through motion, vibration, water, wind, lighting, scents and more that enhance the visuals on-screen. Since 2010, more than 200 Hollywood titles were screened in 4DX. As of April 2015, there are more than 23,000 4DX seats across 170 sites in 33 countries. For more information, please visit: Homepage: www.CJ4DX.com / Facebook: www.facebook.com/4dxusa (USA) & www.facebook.com/4dplex (International)

About PVR
PVR Ltd. is the largest and the most premium film and retail entertainment company in India. Since its inception in 1997, the brand has redefined the way people watch movies in India. PVR currently operates a cinema circuit comprising of 471 screens at 106 properties in 44 cities pan India. The company acquired the Cinemax properties in 2012 and currently serves 60 million patrons at PAN India level. Currently amongst the top 10 cinema companies in the world with respect to admissions per screen, PVR has entered the World Economic Forum's List of Fastest-Growing 'Global Growth Companies'.

About Harima Enterprise
With the head office located in Hyogo prefecture in Japan, Harima Enterprise Co., Ltd. was established by Sanyo Enterprise Co., Ltd. (Current EMIS Enterprise Co., Ltd.) in 1984 to operate movie theaters. It is currently operating "Cine Palace Sanyo-Za" in Himeji city. It will open a 12-screen cinema complex "Earth Cinemas Himeji" equipped with modern facilities in a commercial facility named "TERRASO Himeji", which is scheduled to open by EMIS Enterprise Co., Ltd. in a redeveloped area 2 minutes by walk from Himeji station of Japan Railways in the summer of 2015.

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