NATO has released a statement on the heels of today's official announcement that Digital Cinema Implementation Partners has reached a deal with Fox, Disney, Paramount, Universal and Lionsgate that will lead to the rollout of at least 14,000 digital systems in the U.S. and Canada over the next three years:

Los Angeles, Calif. — We congratulate the major studios and exhibitors on concluding this milestone agreement in the rollout of digital cinema. Digital cinema is the future of theatrical exhibition and vital for the success of exciting new theatrical experiences like digital 3D.

With a deal in place for the largest U.S. theater chains, it is time to conclude a similar digital cinema agreement for the hundreds of independent cinemas and thousands of screens not covered by this agreement. It is imperative for the health of the industry and for the millions of moviegoers in small towns and cities that the benefits of digital cinema be spread as widely as possible.

NATO, through the Cinema Buying Group (CBG) and its selected digital cinema integrator Access Integrated Technologies, Inc. (AIX), continues to work with the studios to ensure that CBG members, who are smaller and independent exhibitors, often in small towns, are not left behind.

Any questions about the specifics of the agreement between DCIP and the studios should be addressed to DCIP or the individual exhibitors.

Read more

COLUMBUS, Ga.-- Carmike Cinemas, Inc. today announced it has made a voluntary $10 million pre-payment to reduce its bank debt. During the trailing twelve months, the Company has made approximately $33 million of payments against its outstanding debt. The Company continues to focus on operating performance improvements and selling surplus property in order to deleverage its balance sheet.

In light of the continuing challenging conditions in the credit markets and the wider economy, the Company’s Board of Directors has suspended Carmike’s quarterly dividend. Over the past four quarters Carmike’s dividend payments amounted to approximately $9 million. Going forward the Company plans to allocate its capital primarily to reducing its overall leverage.

Reflecting the $10 million payment, Carmike’s bank debt at September 30, 2008 declined to approximately $285 million compared to $295 million and $302 million at June 30, 2008 and December 31, 2007, respectively. Reflecting the anticipated 2008 third quarter operating results and recent debt reduction payments, the Company remains in compliance with all credit facility covenants at September 30, 2008.

Michael W. Patrick, Chief Executive Officer of Carmike, commented, “Given current economic and capital market uncertainties, our Board has determined that the most prudent use of our free cash flow at this time is in deleveraging our balance sheet. Debt reduction will further reduce interest expense and support our goal of creating long-term shareholder value.

“In addition to our focus on debt reduction as an avenue to enhance shareholder value, as the industry’s leader in digital cinema and 3-D, we are well positioned to benefit from the growing slate of upcoming 3-D film releases. 3-D has already demonstrated its ability to stimulate higher attendance, per patron revenue and margins. Importantly, we believe the films being produced in 3-D, which are predominantly in the family, action or animated genres, are ideally suited for our markets. While our digital and 3-D readiness has delivered initial financial benefits in 2008, we look forward to an increasingly active 3-D release schedule, with a growing slate of titles and the release schedule accelerating in the second half of 2009 and beyond. With an industry-leading base of 428 3-D screens, Carmike is uniquely positioned to benefit from the 3-D trend.”

Read more

Paris, France - Palme D’Or winner Entre les murs (The Class), a Laurent Cantet film released in France on September 24th, is the first film in Europe to be exclusively delivered to digital cinemas via an electronic network, thanks to SmartJog, the global leader in managed file delivery, and cinego.net, a digital film release management tool.

In order to efficiently manage the digital release, Haut et Court, the French distributor of the film, selected the tool, cinego.net, which was developed by CN films as part of a pilot project. As an online platform, cinego.net enabled Haut et Court to start and manage deliveries of the film to cinemas, but also to supervise the creation and delivery of the digital cinema packages (DCPs)’ key delivery messages (KDMs).

In the past, delivering films to digitally-equipped cinemas was done by duplicating and sending hard disks. For the first time in Europe, Haut et Court decided to digitally deliver the film exclusively via a network. The SmartJog service, directly integrated with cinego.net has thus allowed the electronic delivery to more than 30 screens, including the theater chains: CGR, Kinepolis, Gaumont/Pathé, and independent theaters. SmartJog operates a fully managed distribution and file transfer platform which includes the ability to send digital cinema packages (DCPs) and associated contents (keys and trailers) to digital cinemas, eliminating the time-consuming logistics typical of a release. Currently over 90% of French digital screens are connected to the SmartJog network.

This digital release is made possible by the D-Platform pilot project supported by the European Union MEDIA program. The European Union seeks to expand the digital availability and circulation of European films.

Haut et Court is distributing the film in France, while Sony Pictures Classics is handling the film distribution in the United States under the title The Class. The North American premiere of the movie is in New York City at the New York Film Festival on September 26.

Read more

LOS ANGELES — MovieTickets.com, the world’s most powerful Internet movie ticketing service, announces that it has signed an agreement with Connection III Entertainment Corp., to sponsor its weekly TV entertainment news magazine series, “Made in Hollywood.” The deal will integrate MovieTickets.com branded segments into each “Made in Hollywood” episode, while cross-promoting “Made In Hollywood” branded content with MovieTickets.com.

Currently in its fourth hit season in national syndication, “Made in Hollywood” features exclusive celebrity interviews and star profiles, on-set coverage with directors, writers and producers and previews of upcoming motion picture and DVD releases, focusing on “how” movies are “Made In Hollywood.” MovieTickets.com will center its branded segments around new theatrical releases. In addition, both brands will cross-promote each other on their respective Web sites at www.movietickets.com and www.madeinhollywood.tv.

“MovieTickets.com seeks to align ourselves with properties that are relevant and appropriate to our audience, and we’ve found that with ‘Made in Hollywood,’ said Walt Borchers, senior vice president, sales and marketing, for MovieTickets.com. “We look forward to the added exposure and cache that ‘Made in Hollywood’ will bring to our brand.”

“Made in Hollywood’ reaches 78.9 million homes with a Gross Average Audience of 4.4 million viewers. Connection III has sold its weekend series in over 75% of US television households, including 55 of the top 60 markets with stations in the CBS, ABC, Hearst-Argyle, Belo, McGraw Hill, Gannett, and Sinclair broadcast groups.

“We’re excited about ‘Made In Hollywood’s’ upcoming new season and the launch of our broadcast & online partnership with MovieTickets.com,” says Cleveland O’Neal, Founder, President & C.E.O. of Connection III Entertainment Corp. “Our brands complement each other perfectly, offering unlimited cross promotion, brand integration and strategic marketing potential."

Read more

Hollywood, CA - Terry Curtin, a marketing executive whose contributions have been an integral part of some of the motion picture industry’s most successful marketing campaigns, is joining the Cimarron Group as its new President of Theatrical Marketing, the company announced yesterday.

“Terry is an incredible talent, whose knowledge, imagination, and creativity are much admired across the industry,” says Robert Farina, founder of Cimarron Group. “Her record speaks for itself, with dozens of successful campaigns for major studios under her belt. Her world-class understanding of integrated marketing solutions for motion pictures makes her a perfect fit here at Cimarron and our clients will reap the benefits. We are incredibly excited to bring her aboard.”

With over 25 years in the movie business, Curtin has accrued a diverse portfolio, particularly in the area of entertainment marketing on the agency and studio side, including roles in the successful marketing departments for Universal, Disney, and 20th Century Fox. In 2002, she was named President of Marketing and Distribution for Revolution Studios, overseeing marketing campaigns for such critical and box office successes as Punch-Drunk Love, Maid in Manhattan and Anger Management. During her time at Revolution, she was named #36 on Hollywood Reporter’s Power 100 List of most powerful female executives. In 2004, she moved to Intralink Film Graphic Design where, as CEO/Creative Director, she contributed to such well respected creative campaigns as American Gangster, The DaVinci Code and Iron man, as well as campaigns for such critical acclaimed films as The Namesake, Young at Heart and The Kite Runner.

“I was initially attracted to The Cimarron Group because it well respected among its peers and has broad global capabilities across every conceivable marketing avenue, “ says Curtin, who will be working closely with Farina in planning the company’s future expansion and growth, “but what really sold me was meeting the talented group of people here and seeing their love for what they do. Their energy is infectious and shows in the high quality of work that comes out of Cimarron.”

The move coincides with a number of other promotions within the company, reflecting Cimarron’s continuing growth throughout the global marketplace. In February, Cimarron founded The Traffic Agency, an independent ad agency led by industry veteran John Powers, and the new firm has quickly won major accounts with Mitsubishi and Toyota Financial Services. Cimarron has also made major strides in international clients, acquiring clients most recently in Las Vegas and Singapore.

Among recent promotions, George Anderson has been named President of Home Entertainment. Now in his 10th year with the company, Anderson oversees over fifty employees in diversifying the home entertainment division. His work, including all aspects of the Star Wars worldwide marketing campaign, has earned him numerous Key Art Award nominations in the past, including a win for Best Packaging in 2004. In addition, four year Cimarron veteran Geoff Calnan has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Domestic Theatrical AV. Calnan is a well respected veteran of both film and television advertising and will work closely with Terry Curtin to expand the theatrical AV department while also working directly with Cimarron CEO Bob Farina to establish a foothold for the company in Singapore, Dubai, and emerging international markets. And Onna Frye, after 13 years with the company, has been named the Senior Vice President of Production Finance. She will oversee the billing department, which handles finances for the entire company.

Read more

Subscribe to Articles Feed