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Saturday Update: Making a strong debut in first place yesterday was Sony's faith-based film War Room with a healthy $3.875 million opening day from just 1,135 theaters. That easily bests Do You Believe's $1.2 million opening day earlier this year and marks the best debut for a faith-based film so far this year. War Room's first day also bested the $3.1 million opening of 2011's Courageous as well as the $2.3 million first day of 2008's Fireproof, both pics from War Room filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick. The strong grassroots marketing campaign -- focused largely on churches throughout the U.S. -- has certainly paid off for Sony and the modestly $3.5 million budgeted film. Early word of mouth among the target audience is very positive with an 88 percent Flixster score and an "A+" CinemaScore. BoxOffice projects an opening weekend around $10.5 million, which would give the Kendricks their best debut yet.

Universal reports that Straight Outta Compton slipped to second place after a 14-day reign in first with another $3.83 million on Friday -- down 54 percent from the same day last week. The biopic has now tallied an impressive $124.7 million domestically as strong word of mouth continues to propel it here at the end of summer. BoxOffice is projecting a $12.3 million third weekend atop the market.

No Escape claimed third place yesterday with $2.44 million. That gives the Weinstein release a three-day tally of $4.5 million, putting it 15 percent ahead of the pace of last year's The November Man. For the weekend, BoxOffice is projecting a $7.2 million frame, which would give it an overall five-day opening of $9.26 million.

In fourth place, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation added another $2.18 million on Friday, down just 35 percent from the same day last week. The fifth installment in the venerable Tom Cruise action series has amassed $164.3 million domestically through 29 days of release as it continues to exceed the pace of 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes. BoxOffice projects a $7.5 million weekend.

Sinister 2 filled out the top five on Friday, falling 70 percent from its opening day last week to $1.39 million yesterday. That gives the supernatural horror sequel an eight-day domestic sum of $15.25 million as it continues to sharply trail the pace of its predecessor. BoxOffice is projecting a $4.3 million sophomore frame.

Meanwhile, Jurassic World added $787,000 yesterday as part of its re-expansion back into 1,239 theaters (including IMAX and other premium formats). That brings the mega-blockbuster's domestic take up to $640.75 million through Friday. Look for a weekend figure around $2.8 million.

Lastly, We Are Your Friends posted a weak $725,000 opening day. Unfortunately, that's a whopping 82 percent lower than the first day take of fellow Zac Efron pic That Awkward Moment in January 2014. Warner Bros. reports the movie landed a concerning "C+" CinemaScore, while online word of mouth (50 percent on Flixster) and critics (42 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) are likewise heading south. BoxOffice is projecting a $1.9 million opening weekend.

Check BoxOffice on Sunday for updated weekend estimates from the studios.

Friday Update #2: According to sources, this is how the weekend is likely to play out:

Straight Outta Compton: $13.5 million
War Room: $10.5 million
No Escape: $7.5 million
We Are Your Friends: $3 million

Check back tomorrow for updated projections and official studio figures.  

Friday Update #1: Warner Bros. reports that We Are Your Friends got started with an underwhelming $175,000 in Thursday night pre-shows. Unfortunately, that falls short of fellow Zac Efron-led That Awkward Moment, which pulled $250,000 in early shows back in January 2014. The latter flick went on to tally $8.7 million for the weekend, a figure which looks unattainable at this rate given WAYF should have still been able to benefit from not all schools being off summer vacation just yet.

Meanwhile, War Room took in a solid $600,000 from early shows last night. The faith-based film is hoping to ride a strong grassroots marketing campaign in the vein of the filmmakers' past successes Fireproof and Courageous.

No Escape also continues its debut frame after opening Wednesday, while Straight Outta Compton is expected to easily win its third straight weekend.

More as it comes.

 

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By Daniel Garris

Universal's Straight Outta Compton took in $1.94 million on Thursday to lead the daily box office for a 14th straight day. The successful F. Gary Gray directed N.W.A biopic fell 8 percent from Wednesday and 57 percent from last Thursday. Straight Outta Compton was the week's top film with a weekly take of $36.16 million. The film was down 57 percent from its opening week performance and has grossed a very impressive $120.89 million in two weeks. That places Straight Outta Compton 50 percent ahead of the $80.66 million two-week take of last year's Ride Along.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation was up one spot from Wednesday to take second on Thursday with $1.02 million. The fifth installment of the Tom Cruise led blockbuster franchise from Paramount was down a very slim 1 percent from Wednesday and down a solid 40 percent from last Thursday. Rogue Nation placed in second for the week with $16.02 million. The film was down 36 percent from the previous week and has grossed a healthy $162.09 million in four weeks.

The Weinstein Company's No Escape was down one spot to land in third with $0.882 million. The action thriller starring Owen Wilson, Pierce Brosnan and Lake Bell fell 25 percent from its opening day take on Wednesday. No Escape has grossed $2.06 million during its first two days of release. That places the film 22 percent ahead of the $1.69 million two-day midweek start of last year's The November Man (which fell just 4 percent on its first Thursday to gross $0.830 million).

Warner's The Man from U.N.C.L.E. held steady in fourth place with $0.683 million. The Guy Ritchie directed spy comedy declined just 2 percent from Wednesday and a respectable 42 percent from last Thursday. The film took fifth place for the week with $10.49 million. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was down 45 percent from its opening week performance and has grossed a soft $29.71 million in two weeks.

Focus' Sinister 2 grossed $0.658 million to remain in fifth. The low-budget horror sequel from Gramercy and Blumhouse Productions was down 4 percent from Wednesday. Sinister 2 was off to a softer than expected seven-day start of $13.20 million this week. That placed the film in third for the frame and was a lackluster 42 percent softer than the $22.92 million one-week take of 2012's Sinister.

Hitman: Agent 47 followed in sixth place with $0.614 million. The video game based action film from Fox also declined 4 percent from Wednesday. Hitman: Agent 47 took fourth place for the week with a seven-day start of $11.42 million. That was on the very low end of the film's modest expectations and places the film a disappointing 50 percent behind the $22.96 million seven-day take of 2007's Hitman.

Lionsgate's American Ultra landed in seventh with $0.452 million. The action comedy starring Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg fell 3 percent from the previous day. American Ultra finished in sixth place for the week with a seven-day start of just $7.69 million. That was below the film's already modest expectations and was 4 percent below the $8.02 million first week take of 2009's Adventureland.

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Illumination Entertainment's Minions crossed the $1 billion mark worldwide following last night's grosses, with $321.9 million of that figure coming from North America and $682 million pouring in from overseas. The milestone makes Minions the third-highest-grossing animated film of all time and is the third Universal release to hit $1 billion in 2015, joining Jurassic World ($1.628B) and Furious 7 ($1.512B).

Minions ranks 23rd on the all-time list for all films and is the highest-grossing animated film of all time in 11 territories: Hungary, Indonesia, Latvia, Lithuania, Philippines, Russia, Slovakia, Thailand, Ukraine, U.A.E. and Vietnam. It is also Universal's highest-grossing film of all time in seven territories: France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Slovakia. Minions is the highest-grossing animated film of all time in Latin America with more than $200 million from the region. 

Minions opens in Italy today and will expand to its final three markets throughout September: Turkey (Sept. 4), China (Sept. 13), and (Greece Sept. 24).

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PRESS RELEASE:

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Global Leader in Cinema Software Partners with One of Japan's Largest IT Companies to Herald New Age of Innovation and Best Practices for Japan's Cinema Exhibition Sector. Japan Is Fifth Largest Global Market by Total Screens (Large Cinema Circuit Market)


[Auckland, New Zealand and Osaka, Japan; August 26, 2015] -- Vista Entertainment Solutions (VES), a company of Vista Group International (NZX: VGL; ASX: VGI) and the leading cinema management software supplier with 40% global share, has signed a distribution agreement with VINX Corporation (VINX3784), a leading software services provider in Japan to enable the sale and distribution of VES software to the Japanese cinema marketplace for the first time. The announcement was made jointly today by VES Chief Executive Mr. Kimbal Riley and Mr. Minoru Yoshida, President and CEO of VINX.

Based in Osaka, Japan, VINX is an integrated information technology company well-versed in solution businesses that provides retail and service companies such as major supermarkets, convenience stores and other retail operations with POS, Merchandise and CRM systems as well as one-stop IT support. VINX has substantial operations throughout the Pacific region and counts cinema exhibition companies among its customer roster.

VES is the core business of Vista Group and the leading global supplier of software to the cinema industry's Large Circuit Market (cinema exhibitors operating more than 20 screens) with software installed at more than 4,000 sites in over 60 countries, and selling an estimated 1billion tickets every year. VES is the global leader in its field: it has 37% market share in North America; 8% in China (a territory entered relatively recently); 95% in Mexico and 53% in the United Kingdom. Following these four countries, Japan has the fifth largest screen count in the world with 2356. Effective immediately, VINX will introduce VES to cinema exhibitors with the first VES customers in Japan anticipated in 2016.

The parties were introduced through the auspices of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), a government-funded global organization, which helps to grow the New Zealand export economy.

"It is an honor to align our company with the leader in the global cinema software market," said Mr. Yoshida. "Japan's cinema exhibition sector is positioned for potential growth and with VES products and expertise, we can inject state-of-the-art systems and best practices to bring that growth to reality. The global influence of VES and its parent company Vista Group is exploding. VINX will benefit from that strength and together we can move the Japanese cinema exhibition industry forward."

"This relationship with VINX reflects our global aspirations," said Mr. Riley. "We are very excited about the possibilities flowing from the combination of our global experience and software expertise married with the capabilities of VINX, which in addition to its technical prowess is an organization focused on exemplary customer response and support. That's just one of several core beliefs our organizations share and it will form a strong foundation for our two companies as we move forward in this exciting venture."

"This partnership would not have come to fruition as quickly and smoothly as it did without the tremendous support and guidance of New Zealand Trade & Enterprise," said Mr. Bruce Wighton, VES Regional Manager, Japan and one of the founders of Vista Group. "We're looking forward to today's official ceremony that will confirm the partnership at the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo. That event marks the culmination of the efforts of many committed professionals on both sides as well as an auspicious beginning of a truly important business alliance for Vista. We couldn't be more pleased."

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PRESS RELEASE:

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Robust, User-Friendly 2K Design Intended to Fill 10.6 Meter (35 Foot) Screens With Bright 3D and Alternative Content Movies

CYPRESS, CA and BIRTV 2015/ BEIJING - (August 26, 2015) - Christie® today launched a high-value digital cinema offering, the Christie CP2208, aimed at theatres whose screen sizes are less than 10.6 meters (35 feet) wide and that require an affordable solution in a compact footprint. The latest in a long line of award-winning Xenon-lamp based Christie Solaria projector solutions, the CP2208 was unveiled today at the Beijing International Radio, TV & Film Exhibition (BIRTV) at the China International Exhibition Center in Beijing. Shipments of the units, to be available worldwide, are scheduled to begin in October.

"Xenon illumination provides superior color reproduction, brightness that is double that of similarly-sized, mercury-lamp based projectors and overall better performance," said Allan Fernandes, product manager, Christie Cinema Products. "The CP2208 can be ordered with a variety of lamp sizes and lenses, and gives customers the choice of adding an integrated media block - either the Christie IMB-S2 with its tightly-integrated Screen Management System (SMS) and high-performance storage - or other, popular Series-2 IMB system.

While able to support various alternative content sources through dual HDMI ports via DVI connectors, the solution is DCI-compliant, based on Texas Instruments' (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN) 3-chip, 0.69" S2K DLP Cinema® chipset. The CP2208 will deliver fully DCI-compliant images at 9,000 lumens within the DCI color space and up to 10,000 lumens when presenting alternative content.

"Faced with ‘going dark,' as second-run film prints become increasingly difficult to obtain, the CP2208 will be a welcomed, bundled solution to exhibitors who need to provide digital content to satisfy a price-sensitive customer base, without incurring a large capital investment," added Fernandes.

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