feb15.pngBy Shawn Robbins

February's domestic box office closed out over $763.5 million, marking a 9 percent improvement over the same month last year. It also represents the third best February on record behind 2012 ($818.3 million) and 2009 ($770.2 million).

To no surprise, Fifty Shades of Grey was the month's top grossing flick as it rang up $145 million in its first 16 days of release. The first adaptation of the popular book series claimed the biggest February opening weekend in history with an $85.2 million 3-day bow, as well as the President's Day weekend record with just over $93 million in that extended 4-day frame.

In addition, Grey posted the fourth highest debut ever for an R-rated pic (trailing only The Matrix Reloaded, American Sniper, and The Hangover Part II). For distributor Universal, it was their largest opening weekend in history outside of the Fast & Furious franchise.

Arguably almost as impressive, though, were two other February releases. Paramount's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water blew away expectations with its $55.4 million opening weekend earlier in the month -- 73 percent higher than its 2004 predecessor. That well-received sequel has gone on to prove leggy as it accounted for $136.6 million through the end of the month.

The other standout performer has proven to be Fox's Kingsman: The Secret Service. Its early international release and positive reviews complemented a solid marketing campaign in North America, leading to perfect counter-programming over the Valentine's/President's Day weekend and very healthy word of mouth ever since. The graphic novel adaptation continues director Matthew Vaughn's winning streak in the genre following X-Men: First Class and the original Kick-Ass. The stylized tribute, and often send-up, to spy movies bowed to $36.2 million and totaled a strong $82.6 million through February 28.

Kingsman has an excellent shot at topping the $102.5 million final domestic haul of 2003's Daredevil, with an outside chance at approaching Ghost Rider's $115.8 million back in 2007 (both of those comic book properties similarly opened over President's Day weekend).

Meanwhile, blockbuster holdover American Sniper added $85.4 million to its massive run. That film's total domestic gross stood at $328.9 million through the final day of the month, and will overtake both The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 ($336.7 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy ($333.2 million) as 2014's top earner before this coming weekend is up.

Other notable performers in February included Paddington's continued legs, positive word of mouth for modest opener McFarland, USA, The Imitation Game's strong awards season run, and The DUFF's sleeper-like success. Below you'll find February's top ten calendar grosses, including new releases and holdovers.

Year-to-date, 2015 remains 11 percent ahead of last year's $1.77 billion total box office earned through the first two months. As with January's and February's monthly grosses, that makes 2015's YTD haul the third highest ever behind 2010 ($1.81 billion) and 2009 ($1.79 billion).

Looking ahead, March promises to continue the year-over-year improvement with a new high profile film set for release every weekend this month. Neill Blomkamp's Chappie is tracking to open well (around the $20 million mark) over the March 6 frame thanks to strong interest from young males and fans of the filmmaker's District 9 and Elysium. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is also poised to benefit from its predecessor's goodwill over the coming weekend, while Unfinished Business is expected to debut modestly.

The weekend of March 13 brings Disney's latest potential hit in Cinderella, which should build on the studio's incredible success in revitalizing various fairy tale stories (Into the Woods, Maleficent, Frozen, Oz the Great and PowerfulAlice in Wonderland) in recent years, as well as the Liam Neeson-Ed Harris thriller, Run All Night.

Later in the month, March 20 brings the sequel to Divergent, dubbed The Divergent Series: Insurgent, as well as the Christian-themed Do You Believe? and The Gunman. The final weekend of the month will see comedy superstars Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart team up for Get Hard. DreamWorks' Home opens over that same frame.

The average March over the past five years has yielded $817 million in ticket sales. We think that figure's attainable given the variety of appealing options moviegoers will have on top of February's holdovers.

February 2015's Top 10 Box Office Performers

1. Fifty Shades of Grey ($145 million, 16 days)
2. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water ($136.6 million, 23 days)
3. American Sniper ($85.4 million, 28 days)
4. Kingsman: The Secret Service ($82.6 million, 16 days)
5. Jupiter Ascending ($42.5 million, 23 days)
6. Paddington ($21.1 million, 28 days)
7. McFarland, USA ($19.8 million, 9 days)
8. The Imitation Game ($19.3 million, 28 days)
9. The DUFF ($18.3 million, 9 days)
10. Seventh Son ($16.6 million, 23 days)

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feb27.png

By Daniel Garris

Warner's Focus took in $1.52 million on Monday to lead the daily box office for a fourth consecutive day. In the process the romantic heist film starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie surpassed the $20 million mark on Monday. Focus was down 67 percent from Sunday and has grossed $20.20 million in four days. That is slightly below pre-release expectations and places the film a lackluster 32 percent behind the $29.58 million four-day take of 2013's After Earth.

Fox's Kingsman: The Secret Service claimed second place with $0.939 million. The Matthew Vaughn directed graphic novel adaptation starring Colin Firth held up nicely on Monday as it was down 71 percent from Sunday and down 35 percent from last Monday. Kingsman has grossed a stronger than expected $86.77 million in 18 days and is currently on pace to surpass the $90 million mark on Friday.

Fifty Shades of Grey placed in third with $0.864 million. Universal's successful erotic romantic drama was down just 63 percent from Sunday, but was also down a sizable 53 percent from last Monday. While it's proving to be very front-loaded, Fifty Shades of Grey has grossed a very strong $148.26 million in 18 days. That leaves the film just $1.74 million away from reaching the $150 million mark.

It was a tight race for spots four through seven on Monday, as fourth place and seventh place were separated by just $65,789.

The Lazarus Effect finished in fourth with $0.568 million. The low-budget PG-13 rated horror film from Relativity was down 72 percent from Sunday. The Lazarus Effect has grossed $10.77 million in four days. While the film is performing slightly below expectations it is also off to a solid start with its low production budget in mind. The Lazarus Effect is running 17 percent behind the $12.95 million four-day take of last year's Oculus.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water rounded out Monday's top five with $0.514 million. Paramount's successful 3D animated film was down 85 percent from Sunday and down a healthy 28 percent from last Monday. The SpongeBob Movie continues to exceed expectations with $140.46 million through 25 days of release.

McFarland, USA followed very closely behind in sixth place with $0.509 million. The well received sports drama starring Kevin Costner fell 77 percent from Sunday and a slim 29 percent from last Monday. McFarland, USA is displaying very solid holding power thus far and continues to perform on the very high end of expectations with $22.53 million in eleven days.

Warner's American Sniper took seventh with $0.502 million. The blockbuster Clint Eastwood directed film decreased 73 percent from Sunday and 40 percent from last Monday. American Sniper has grossed a massive $331.30 million to date and is now on the verge of surpassing the $336.74 million current total gross of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 to become the highest grossing release of 2014 domestically.

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volfoni.pngParis, France, February 27th, 2015

Volfoni raises production capacity ahead of massive 3D rental contracts ending

After just 15 months since its launch at CineAsia 2013, the SmartCrystalTM Diamond has been the number one selling Hi-Lef 3D system. With over 300 units shipped, this represents one installation every 36 hours somewhere on the planet. Backed by this success, Volfoni proudly announces today that it has opened a second factory for the production of the SmartCrystalTM Diamond in China. Volfoni repeats it successful roll out of production processes that have been developed by its R&D and Production team in Nice, France.

"The unique compact Triple Beam Technology from Volfoni is extremely well adapted for mass production without any compromise on quality", says Jérôme Hamacher, Chief Operating Officer of Volfoni.

The new Volfoni-Factory will be located in Qingdao, the upcoming Hollywood of China. Together with its existing production facility in France and the integrated production partnership in Spain, the Volfoni production sites amount to 1 500 m2 of work floor and 40 specialized workers. The facilities are state of the art with clean rooms (dust free assembly zones). In peak-time, they allow for an output of 500 3D systems per month. Volfoni further sees the advantage of its global production network in the ability to balance the work-load between sites, and to achieve economies of scale that can ultimately be shared with the customers. On all aspects, Volfoni is definitively ready for the opportunity of the massive 3D rental contracts ending.

Graphic assets available for publication
Download link: http://bit.ly/1ATVw1l

About Volfoni
Volfoni is the global 3D technology solutions leader and creator of the award winning 3D cinema system, SmartCrystalTM Diamond. It is the inventor of the Surface Switching Technology and the compact Triple Beam Technology for Hi-LEF 3D Systems.
Volfoni has offices in Los Angeles, Paris, Valencia, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and representations in Brazil and India.
www.volfoni.com

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movieticketscom.pngThe official press release:

MovieTickets.com, a leading global provider of remote movie ticketing, announced today that the number of tickets sold by the company in January 2015 and February 2015 combined were up 47% over the same time period in 2014. This growth was led by advance ticket sales on American Sniper and Fifty Shades of Grey followed by brisk sales for The Divergent Series: Insurgent which comes to theaters on March 20, 2015.

For the most current data, be sure to check the company website's "Trending Now" feature found at www.movietickets.com. You can also follow the company on Twitter for updates as well: @MovieTickets.

MovieTickets.com has 250 theater chains in its group and provides ticketing services in 22 countries including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Argentina, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean. In the US, MovieTickets.com provides advance tickets to theater circuits and independent operators in all top 50 markets across 48 states.

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ncm.pngVideo-Neutral Strategy Puts Cinema in Premium Video Tier

Omnicom Deal Closes NCM's 2015 Upfront Season with a nearly 100 Percent Increase Over Last Year

New York, NY - March 3, 2015 - Omnicom Media Group , the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC), has entered into an upfront agreement with National CineMedia (NCM) , America's #1 weekend network, to bring Omnicom client brands to movie patrons across NCM's network in 2015.

The deal, which will cover approximately $50 million in advertising over the next year, is the latest example of Omnicom Media Group's s video-neutral approach to media buying, placing cinema in its premium video tier. This landmark upfront buy is fully integrated to reach moviegoers on-screen, on-site, online and on mobile devices, and includes NCM's FirstLook pre-show, Shazam cinema interactivity, movie theater lobby activations, and online and mobile video campaigns specifically targeting NCM movie audiences.

"This represents the continued evolution of our premium video strategy, and is another step toward ensuring that our clients have preferred access to a wide range of advertising alternatives," said John Swift, CEO, North America Investment of Omnicom Media Group. "Our clients expect us to identify the best video marketing options, and cinema fits perfectly into that category. This deal allowed us to secure some of the best NCM inventory, competitive pricing and the ability to integrate the big screen into our clients' long term marketing plans."

This 2015 upfront deal is an expansion of Omnicom Media Group's successful use of cinema over the years for a wide variety of clients.

"This expanded relationship with Omnicom Media Group is a sign of a pivotal shift in the marketplace as we head into our fourth upfront season," said Cliff Marks, president of sales and marketing with NCM. "Cinema is now being recognized as premium video with high quality content, increasing reach, strong market coverage and great consumer engagement. "

NCM's first-ever agency upfront deal with Omnicom Media Group is the cap to a very successful 2014-15 upfront season, which saw upfront commitments increase of nearly 100 percent over the prior year. NCM's 2015-16 upfront luncheon event will be held on Wednesday, May 13 at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square movie theater in New York City.

About Omnicom Media Group

Omnicom Media Group is the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), the leading global advertising, marketing and corporate communications company, providing services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries. Omnicom Media Group includes the full service media networks OMD Worldwide and PHD Network , leading global data and analytics company, Annalect ; the Accuen programmatic media platform: global search and social agency Resolution Media ; print and digital media agency Novus ; the Optimum Sports and Fuse sports media and marketing agencies; Outdoor Media Group; The Content Collective; and direct response agency Pathway .

About National CineMedia (NCM)

National CineMedia (NCM) is the #1 weekend network in America and the largest cinema advertising network reaching moviegoers on-screen, on-site, online and on mobile devices. NCM offers captivating entertainment content, national reach and unparalleled audience engagement across its digital in-theater network of over 20,100 screens in approximately 1,600 theaters in 183 Designated Market Areas® (49 of the top 50). During 2014, over 700 million moviegoers attended theaters that exclusively present NCM's FirstLook pre-show program, including AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE:AMC), Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNK), Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), and over 40 other leading regional theater circuit affiliates. National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ:NCMI) owns a 45.8% interest in, and is the managing member of, National CineMedia, LLC. For more information, visit www.ncm.com . (NCMI-A)

 

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