On Wednesday, Boxoffice joined a small group of international press at Pixar's San Francisco campus for a preview of Cars 2 as well as the Toy Story short, "Hawaiian Vacation," which will precede the film when it reaches theaters. During a reception honoring the studio's 25 year anniversary, we spoke with Dan Scanlon, the director of the upcoming Monsters, Inc. sequel, Monsters University. Scanlon previously wrote the Cars short "Mater and the Ghostlight," and contributed screenplay material to the first Cars feature. Additionally, we met Kori Rae, who is producing the film, and previously worked on Up, The Incredibles, and the original Monsters, Inc.

The duo was tight-lipped about the film, but they confirmed the basic plot details revealed at Cinemacon earlier this week: Monsters University is a prequel to Monsters, Inc. which will focus on Mike and Sully during their college years, when the two of them met and forged an initially uneasy friendship. Meanwhile, Disney confirmed that both Billy Crystal and John Goodman were definitely returning to their respective roles as Mike and Sully, but didn't indicate which other cast members from the first film would appear in University. (Pixar, meanwhile, did not confirm that John Ratzenberger would be returning, but because he played the Abominable Snowman in the original film, who was not a character within Mike and Sully's regular world, it may make sense that he take on a different as-yet-unspecified role.)

Look for additional reports from our visit to the Pixar campus in the days to come. Cars 2 is scheduled for release on June 24, 2011.

 

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Centennial, CO and Westfield, NJ -- National CineMedia (NCM), a leading integrated media company reaching U.S. consumers in movie theaters, online and through mobile technology, has entered into a network affiliate agreement with Digiplex Destinations theaters, a New Jersey-based company dedicated to transforming movie theaters into interactive entertainment centers, for the presentation of cinema advertising and events.

In addition to exclusively presenting NCM's FirstLook pre-feature program, all Digiplex Destinations theaters will also present NCM Fathom Entertainment and Business Events.

Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, the three existing Digiplex Destinations theaters and nine theaters that are part of a future acquisition plan throughout the Northeast will join the NCM Cinema Network beginning now through September of 2011 - a total of 100 screens. As additional new theaters are acquired by Digiplex, they will also become a part of NCM's national network.

"We're delighted to be partnering with NCM and Fathom to bring our patrons the best available pre-show and world class alternative content," said A. Dale "Bud" Mayo, chairman and CEO of Digital Cinema Destinations Corporation, owner of Digiplex Destinations theaters.

"Bud Mayo has a great history of creating businesses that leverage new digital technologies in the cinema space, and I am excited to have Digiplex join our network," said Kurt Hall, NCM's president and chief executive officer. "The addition of Digiplex Destinations theaters - both existing and new - will give NCM additional presence in the all-important Northeast corridor."

The new affiliate agreement with Digiplex Destinations is the most recent expansion of the NCM Cinema Network - the largest digital in-theater video and satellite distribution network in North America. NCM currently has exclusive, long-term cinema advertising agreements in place with founding member exhibitors AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark Holdings Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group, totaling approximately 1,175 theaters and 15,400 screens, as well as network affiliate relationships with 20 top regional theater circuits representing approximately 300 theaters and 3,100 screens.

 

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New York, NY -- Screenvision, a leading innovator in cinema advertising, announced today a new long-term agreement with Allen Theatres, the largest theatre operator in the State of New Mexico. As a result of the deal, Screenvision broadens its presence throughout New Mexico and continues to have exclusive selling and exhibition rights in the Late Preshow.

Headquartered in Las Cruces, NM, Allen Theatres operates 14 theatres and 95 screens across 3 DMAs, with most of its locations (10 theatres and 62 screens) falling under the Albuquerque-Santa Fe market (DMA #46). Additional cities include Roswell, Cortez and Carlsbad.

"The extended partnership between Screenvision and Allen Theatres further illustrates that exhibitors continue to see the value that comes with partnering with Screenvision," said Darryl Schaffer, Executive Vice President, Operations and Exhibitor Relations, Screenvision. "We are delighted to continue bringing unique entertainment to Allen Theatre's with this extended agreement."

 

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CINEMACON, Las Vegas -- GDC Technology ("GDC"), a world leading digital cinema solution provider, is pleased to announce today the signing of a new digital cinema server deployment contract with Barco, a digital cinema pioneer. A total of 400 GDC SX-2000A servers with Integrated Media Block (IMB) will be deployed into the cinemas of China Film Group Corporation (CFGC) under this contract, and full deployment is expected to be completed by the end of 2011.

GDC will work in partnership with Barco in this latest round of digital cinema system deployment for CFGC. GDC will supply, install and maintain all the GDC SX-2000A servers, while Barco will provide similar services in connection with its Series 2 DLP Cinema® projectors. GDC's SX-2000A with IMB offers a future-proof 4K upgradable solution and the finest quality 3D playback with 12-bit 4:4:4 output images (left and right) that features a much fuller color spectrum 500 times richer than that of legacy servers. In addition, GDC's IMB is now the only IMB in the industry that has acheived FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certification, one of the highest level security thresholds specified by Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI).

To date, GDC and Barco have in joint cooperation installed well over 2300 digital cinema systems in China alone. With the launch of GDC's new SX-2000A server with IMB in May 2010, customers worldwide have begun to adopt GDC state-of-the-art digital cinema technology which in combination with Barco's Series 2 DLP Cinema® projector provides a one-stop integrated solution.

 

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