By Daniel Garris

It was a fairly close race for first place at the box office this weekend, with Sony's Goosebumps outpacing the third weekend performance of Fox's The Martian. Goosebumps led the way with a $23.62 million debut. The 3D horror comedy starring Jack Black opened towards the lower end of expectations and was off to a solid start with its reported $58 million production budget in mind. Goosebumps was no doubt helped out by the pre-existing fanbase for the R.L. Stine written book series and by the decision to release the film shortly before the Halloween holiday. The film opened 19 percent ahead of the $19.88 million debut of last year's Ouija and 7 percent behind the recent $25.43 million start of The Visit. Given its family audience and the approaching Halloween holiday, Goosebumps is highly likely to hold up better going forward than both of those films did.

Goosebumps opened with $7.35 million on Friday (which included an estimated $600,000 from Thursday evening shows), increased 33 percent on Saturday to take in $9.77 million and is declined 33 percent on Sunday to gross $6.51 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.22 to 1, which does indicate that the film experienced some relative front-loading for a family film this weekend. Goosebumps received an excellent A rating on CinemaScore, which is a positive sign for the film going forward. The audience breakdown for Goosebumps was evenly split between male and female moviegoers and skewed towards moviegoers under the age of 25 (59 percent).

After comfortably leading the box office for the previous two weeks, The Martian fell to second place this weekend with $21.30 million. The critically acclaimed Ridley Scott directed 3D sci-fi film starring Matt Damon was down 42 percent from last weekend. While The Martian lost a bit of steam this weekend, the film is still performing very well in the bigger picture with a 17-day gross of $143.60 million. That places The Martian 19 percent ahead of the $120.93 million last year's Interstellar had grossed after 17 days of wide release and 15 percent behind the $169.56 million 17-day take of 2013's Gravity. Both comparisons suggest that The Martian is still in good shape to surpass the $200 million domestic mark before the end of its run.

Disney and DreamWorks' Bridge of Spies debuted in third place this weekend with $15.37 million. The critically acclaimed Steven Spielberg directed thriller starring Tom Hanks debuted on the low end of its relatively modest expectations, which had been held in check by the film's Cold War setting and by the current high level of overall competition for adult audiences. Bridge of Spies opened 19 percent below the $19.05 million start of 2004's The Terminal, which represented the last theatrical collaboration between Spielberg and Hanks. Given its strong critical reviews and that Spielberg's films usually display strong holding power; it is likely that Bridge of Spies will be in store for a lengthy box office run.

Bridge of Spies started out with $5.37 million on Friday (which included an estimated Thursday night take of just $500,000), increased 15 percent on Saturday to gross $6.19 million and decreased 38 percent on Sunday to gross $3.82 million. That gave Bridge of Spies an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.86 to 1. Like Goosebumps, Bridge of Spies also received a strong A rating on CinemaScore. The audience breakdown for Bridge of Spies skewed slightly towards male moviegoers (53 percent) and extremely heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (89 percent).

Universal's Crimson Peak followed in fourth place with a lackluster $13.14 million start. The Guillermo del Toro directed gothic horror romance starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston debuted a bit below expectations. While Crimson Peak opened within shouting distance of Bridge of Spies this weekend, Crimson Peak is expected to be more front-loaded in comparison to Bridge of Spies and also carried a higher price tag. Potential for Crimson Peak to appeal towards horror fans and del Toro's fanbase appears to have ultimately been limited by the film's gothic nature. Crimson Peak opened 23 percent below the $17.01 million debut of last year's The Book of Life (which was produced by del Toro).

Crimson Peak opened with $5.25 million on Friday (which included a significant $855,000 from Thursday evening shows), declined 6 percent on Saturday to gross $4.92 million and fell 40 percent on Sunday to take in $2.97 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at a front-loaded 2.50 to 1. Crimson Peak received a modest B- rating on CinemaScore. That doesn't suggest that Crimson Peak will hold up especially well going forward, though the film could still experience some relative back-loading given its pre-Halloween release and the lack of an opening weekend rush out. The audience breakdown for Crimson Peak skewed towards female moviegoers (60 percent) and towards moviegoers 25 years and older (55 percent). IMAX grosses were responsible for an estimated $2.3 million of the film's overall gross this weekend.

Sony's Hotel Transylvania 2 rounded out the weekend's top five with $12.65 million. Sony's Adam Sandler led 3D computer animated film was down 38 percent from last weekend. That represented a very solid weekend hold, especially given the new direct competition for family audiences the film faced from fellow Sony release Goosebumps. Hotel Transylvania 2 continues to impress with $136.81 million through 24 days of release. That places the film a healthy 15 percent ahead of the $118.52 million 24-day gross of 2012's Hotel Transylvania.

Meanwhile, Woodlawn debuted in ninth place with $4.00 million. The faith-based sports drama from Pure Flix opened on the high end of its modest expectations. Woodlawn opened 11 percent ahead of the $3.59 million start of Do You Believe? earlier this year. While it was off to a solid start, Woodlawn was also relatively front-loaded this weekend. The film opened with $1.49 million on Friday, declined 9 percent on Saturday to gross $1.35 million and fell 14 percent on Sunday to gross $1.16 million; which gave Woodlawn an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.69 to 1. Despite the initial front-loading, Woodlawn will still have a very good chance of holding up well going forward, especially after receiving an A+ rating on CinemaScore.

Universal's Steve Jobs continued its strong platform performance with $1.51 million from 60 locations. That gave the Danny Boyle directed drama starring Michael Fassbender a per-location average of $25,212 for the frame. Steve Jobs has grossed a very encouraging $2.22 million through ten days of platform release. The film will expand into wide release this coming Friday when it will be playing in an estimated 2,400 locations.

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By Alex Edghill

Monday Morning Update: Star Wars: The Force Awakens returned to the top spot on Facebook over the past week in terms of new likes as it rose 72,149 tweets. Teasers have been all over the web and on network TV for its full trailer which debuts tonight during Monday Night Football. I have never seen a film so closely followed and talked about on Facebook and Twitter in my 6 years of tracking films. I am excited to see just how many tweets its going to be able to rake in in the week or two leading up to its release. It is all but assured to break the Twitter trailer debut record tonight, and I believe that its a shoe-in to lead Facebook again next week in new likes despite its already hefty 14.4 million total likes.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension was second over the last week with 59,866 new likes. This is about two thirds of the new like expansion that Crimson Peak managed last week which is a bit of a red flag in my mind. Now it is true that the franchise has over 19 million likes so its target audience is quite saturated with its fans (its the most liked horror franchise on Facebook), but on the eve of release I would still expect a larger increase. It would seem as though the glory days of the franchise are behind it and its going to have a hard time even matching the opening of Crimson Peak. We are currently predicting a $11 million opening and $22 million total.

Facebook Top 5 Movies by Like Increase for the last week Ending Sunday October 18th

Rank Release Movie Likes Previous Change % Change
1 12/18/15 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 14,423,167 14,351,018 72,149 0.50%
2 10/23/15 Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension 19,475,621 19,415,755 59,866 0.31%
3 11/20/15 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 22,120,935 22,063,204 57,731 0.26%
4 02/12/16 Deadpool 1,441,581 1,395,561 46,020 3.30%
5 10/23/15 The Last Witch Hunter 250,208 207,772 42,436 20.42%

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From Honduras to Miami and encompassing three generations in the exhibition business, the Younger family looks forward to a bright future for Cinema Equipment & Supplies.


By Daniel Loria

Guillermo Younger Sr. greets me with a warm laugh when I call him at his office. It's well after 6:00 p.m. on a Monday and, despite a long day at work, he seems cheerful --like he's actually looking forward to speaking to a reporter for a half hour in between a full day at the office and the Miami rush-hour traffic. The interview begins with the regular pleasantries: How are things? How's the weather? And so on. But before we can dive in to the questions, he catches me off guard: he doesn't seem to be in any kind of rush. "How did you get involved in this business, Daniel?" Before I know it, I'm five minutes into telling him my life story.

I should've seen it coming. When Kelly Samardak, marketing manager at Cinema Equipment & Supplies (CE+S), the company Guillermo Younger Sr. founded in 1982, got in touch with me to schedule the interview, she suggested a time block of 45 minutes for what I estimated would be a 15-minute call. As anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting him can attest, a business conversation with Guillermo Younger Sr. more closely resembles catching up with an old friend. The talk often digresses to anecdotes; Senior, as he's affectionately called, often refers to people in the exhibition industry by their first names, abruptly pausing mid-sentence to mention their last names and adding, "You know him, right? Of course you do! Everyone knows him!" before continuing the story.

"He's like the godfather of the business; everyone seems to know him wherever we go," confesses his son, Guillermo Younger Jr., or Junior, as he's known around the office. Fifteen minutes into our conversation, I come around to delivering my first question --asking Senior to take me back to the beginning of the family business, when the Younger name first became associated with exhibition. "Oh my God." He exhales. "This goes way back ..."

Senior's father, Geza Younger (or Papa Younger), was a Hungarian immigrant with a small dentistry practice in Honduras. Geza ran a side business as a gold merchant, periodically traveling up to the United States. In one of his trips, as the story goes, Geza met another Hungarian fellow who manufactured Holmes projectors in Chicago. The meeting ended with Geza returning to Honduras with a couple of vintage projectors, setting up a bedsheet in a big yard, and screening whatever films he could get his hands on. Shortly thereafter, Geza abandoned his career in dentistry and became a full-fledged exhibitor; a couple of locations in smaller towns eventually led to bigger theaters in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, including the country's first tri-screen cinema.

Geza moved to Miami with his wife and six children while still managing his exhibition circuit in Honduras. "I was small at that time, and my dad's vision was always to have us educated in the U.S," recalls Senior. "He started selling parts and equipment back then while operating these theaters in Honduras." By the time Senior was starting high school, however, his father realized he needed help running the family business. "I was the oldest in the family, so he said he didn't want me to lose my Spanish and had me go down to Honduras for high school, and he put me to work at the theaters. It was no free ride. I did it all, from selling tickets to running the projector, you name it. Sooner or later I became the general manager and ran the theaters in Tegucigalpa."

The toppling of Nicaraguan president Anastasio Somoza brought a period of instability to Central America, and by 1982 Senior had moved back to Miami with his own wife and children. For a brief moment, it looked like the Youngers' days in the exhibition business had come to an end. "I graduated from the University of Miami as an electrical engineer, and my first instinct was to go to Florida Power and Light and ask them for a job," says Senior. "To this day I'm very thankful they didn't hire me." Instead, he continued the family tradition in Miami, repairing projectors from his garage on weekdays and working as a projectionist on nights and weekends.
"Someone asked me the other day what my first childhood memory was, one that I could pinpoint an actual date to," recounts Guillermo Younger Jr. "It struck me because I remember explicitly watching Return of the Jedi at the movies, and that was 1983 --I was only three years old. That's one of my first vivid memories, being scared seeing the Death Star up on the big screen. My father couldn't afford a babysitter and was taking me and my brother to the cinemas where the owners were cool with us running from auditorium to auditorium watching movies."

Business soon picked up for the Youngers as Guillermo's wife, Carolina, took charge of the company's finances and kept the business afloat. "It was real hard at the beginning, but it paid off in the end," says Senior. "I did a lot of work for Wometco, which used to be a big chain down here in Miami. I managed to do repair work for them and sell them some equipment. I started befriending all the vendors in the industry, all the manufacturers, and I started to travel throughout Latin America." It became the foundation for a strong used-equipment business, which Senior highlights as the first great period for his company, Cinema Equipment & Supplies. "Regal used to sell me a lot of used equipment, I mean a lot of used equipment; we're talking trailer loads of used equipment. I had some good engineers and we'd fix everything up. I got a lot of Latin American exhibitors started with our used equipment."

As the business grew, so did the newest generation of Younger children. Carolina would often bring the kids, Alex and Guillermo Younger Jr., into the office, and the two of them spent summers doing basic maintenance at the company. "I remember being put to work cleaning lenses; it was a task my father would always put me in charge of. It gave me a real roll-up-the-sleeves attitude to working," says Junior. The two brothers have played a major role in helping Cinema Equipment & Supplies become the company it is today. The digital cinema boom represented an opportunity for many equipment dealers like CE+S, but the Younger brothers had the foresight to recognize a bigger opportunity within their grasp. In 2009, Alex Younger led the company in creating Cinevise, a remote monitoring solution that was the first of its kind in Latin America. A short time later, Guillermo Younger Jr. left a job at Unilever in New York City to devote himself to the family company full time. "I remember sitting at the dinner table with the family, talking about the new opportunities digital cinema would bring and all of the growth markets," says Junior. "I came back into the business thinking, how can I help take what we've done into the next level? How can we achieve the full value of digitalization?"

Guillermo Younger Jr. had always planned on returning to the family business. His application essays for the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business detailed his plans to apply the skills of the MBA program to the exhibition business. Junior's return to Cinema Equipment & Supplies heralded the development and deployment of Cielo, a cloud-based proactive monitoring and support solution for exhibitors. Cielo has quickly gained traction in the market and is poised to become the next big phase in the Youngers' involvement in the exhibition business. Guillermo Younger Senior's long ties to Latin American exhibitors have opened the door to expanding the business; CE+S has a satellite office in Brazil and maintains close ties with many of the region's top exhibitors. "A lot of it comes from my father making those personal connections throughout the years. It's a relationship business everywhere, but those nuances are magnified when dealing with Latin America. You need to be very personable," explains Junior. "Fortunately, with Cielo we've been able to use a lot of those relationships to build out the product." Cine Colombia was recently announced as the latest circuit to sign on to the Cielo platform and will be deploying the technology across the 280 screens in its 42 locations. Meanwhile, Cielo has also found great scale in North America through numerous partnerships with U.S. exhibitors. Earlier this summer, Marcus Theatres began a rollout of Cielo across 681 of its screens, and in early September they signed a deal with Goodrich Quality Theaters' entire circuit.

CE+S has grown from its roots as a family business. The company has expanded to include a leadership team that drives the company forward and manages and staffs an additional office in Brazil to better serve their Latin American clients.

"It's very satisfying for any parent to have their kids continue what you have sweated for. I'm very proud to say that my sons can continue this business for the next 40 years," says Senior. "I'm not saying it would be impossible for me to come up with the innovations they've contributed, but it would definitely be a lot harder!


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Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice


Ant-Man is the highest-grossing film at the international box office this weekend thanks to China where Marvel’s diminutive superhero finally suited up to the tune of $42.7 million according to Chinese estimates — Disney is reporting $43.2M for the weekend. In any case, Ant-Man’s 3-day opening is second only to Avengers: Age of Ultron ($68M) for Marvel releases in the Middle Kingdom and bests last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy by 41% in terms of local currency. China also helped secure the highest-opening for an IMAX film in October with $5.1 million from 236 screens. The film has earned $275.9 million overseas and $454.8 million globally after 3.5 months of release. 


The Martian grossed $37.0 million from 74 overseas markets, lifting the international cume to $175.4 million and the global haul to $255.7 million. The only new market was Spain where the film opens in first with $3.2 million from 673 screens. The Martian’s top five markets are UK/Ireland ($3.7M/$27M cume), South Korea ($6.7M/$21.6M cume), Russia ($3.2M/$12.8M cume), Australia ($2.2M/$12.7M cume), Italy ($0.83M/$6.5M cume). The film lands in France next weekend.


Guillermo Del Toro’s Crimson Peak opened day-and-date with North America in 55 territories this weekend, earning $13.4 million from the overseas box office. Combined with NA’s opening, the gothic thriller took in $26.25 million worldwide. Top openings include Russia ($2.5M), UK/Ireland ($1.5M), Spain ($1.1M), Germany ($864K), France ($813K), Australia ($608K), Brazil ($450K), Taiwan ($398K), and Argentina ($384K). The film earned $1 million from 175 overseas IMAX screens. Crimson Peak opens in Belgium, Greece, Israel, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Trinidad next weekend.


Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials earned $8.7 million this weekend from 47 overseas territories. Italy opened at #3 in the market with $1.6 million from 390 screens. The film’s top markets are South Korea ($19.0M), UK/Ireland ($13.4M), France ($13.3M), Venezuela ($9.9M), Brazil ($7.3M), and Spain ($6.0M). Scorch Trials has $180.3 million from the international box office and $255.7 million worldwide. Japan opens next week and China bows on November 4.


Inside Out posted $6.3 million from 22 territories this weekend for an overseas cume of $476.7 million and $831.7 million worldwide. The animated hit continues to play well in Germany and Austria where it maintained the #1 spot over school holidays despite newcomer Hotel Transylvania 2. Inside Out also became the highest grossing film of 2015 in Italy with $27.3 million. China continues to underperform, having earned just $14.7 million after 13-days of release. 


Everest added $3.9 million from 65 overseas territories this weekend. Universal’s thriller has now climbed to $126.6 million overseas and $167.35 worldwide. Everest has two more releases: China on November 3 and Japan on November 6.


Films that earned less than $2 million overseas this weekend + local language films (Weekend Total/Overseas Total/Global Total)

Suffragette (UK) - $4.5M/$4.5M/$4.5M

The Visit - $1.5M/$24.2M/$87.27M

Regression (Spain) - $0.935M/$8.3M/$8.3M

Minions - $0.88M/$818.4M/$1.153B

Straight Outta Compton - $0.32M/$38.1M/$199.1M

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by Daniel Loria

Plans for a merger between National CineMedia and Screenvision were scrapped earlier this year, leaving many to wonder what the future would hold for cinema advertising. Any lingering pessimism over the immediate future of the business, however, was quickly assuaged in April, when the Cinema Advertising Council revealed the latest revenue figures from its members.

Since its founding in 2003, the CAC has tracked annual spending from advertisers on the silver screen. The first set of published data, covering 2002, showed CAC members receiving a combined $185.8 million in revenue. That figure rose by 47 percent the following year, to $273 million, and continued its ascent until crossing the $600 million mark in 2010. Today, the CAC reports that cinema advertising has brought in over $600 million annually for five consecutive years.

Critics would suggest the performance signals a leveling off in interest from advertisers, a conclusion that frankly doesn't hold, considering the massive shifts currently evidenced in the video advertising market. Competition among cinema advertising companies remains strong as fragmentation and viewer erosion continues to affect the bottom line for television. Five years of consistent earnings suggests cinema advertising has the required foundation to innovate and grow as advertisers look for new platforms and destinations for their commercials.

"The macroeconomic climate is very favorable for us on two fronts," explains NCM chairman and CEO Kurt Hall. "First of all, I think the ad market overall is pretty healthy right now and secondly, there are things going on in the TV marketplace that are very favorable for us. If you look at what's happening with DVR and the change in viewing habits by consumers and all the over-the-top ways of getting programming and its related fragmentation, which has led to the decline in ratings for TV, all of that is very good for us. Advertisers are going to be looking for new platforms for video advertising where they'll know their ads are going to be seen. That's one of the real strengths of cinema."

A record year at the box office doesn't hurt either. This year's string of movies has helped advertisers realize cinema's potential to bring captive audiences together with a minimum risk of distractions, according to John McCauley, chief marketing officer and executive vice president of strategic alliances for Screenvision. "TV continues to underdeliver vis-a-vis the live ratings," he explains. "The box office and attendance continue to be very stable over the last 10 to 15 years, and in particular this year it really has been a star performer, exceeding our expectations at the beginning of the year. When you have these moments with box office records, it really starts to get into the public consciousness and [convince] our agency partners that cinema is a hot business."

Brands are starting to take note. In 2014, a total of 121 new national or regional brands began to advertise cinemas-up from 93 additions in 2013-despite a downturn at the box office. The 2014 CAC Revenue Report lists the leading cinema sales categories in alphabetical order as apparel, auto, broadcast TV, business and consumer services, cable TV, cell phones/devices, digital media, entertainment and amusements, insurance (auto/home), and travel/tourism. The same report cites new activity coming mostly from a range of sectors, including personal care, business services, digital media, energy, Internet, retail, toys and games, transportation, and utilities categories.

Some brands, however, tend to target more specific demographics and are better served by niche providers. That's precisely the specialty of Spotlight Cinema Networks, according to company president Michael Sakin. "Our whole concept is to be a niche vertical player in cinema," says Sakin. "We already had a vibrant art-house world and we started seeing a new crop of very upscale theaters opening across the country, selling food and alcoholic beverages, and there's a different demographic that goes to them. We're talking about 25- to 49-year-olds that are college educated, and there are advertisers that want to have their commercials in front of those eyeballs-and that might not necessarily be part of NCM and Screenvision's audience. We started Spotlight looking to appeal to that niche, upscale moviegoer." Brands have responded to Spotlight's calling. The company currently maintains a variety of high-end clients, such as Porsche in the automotive category, the Italian beer Peroni, and newer tech players like Airbnb.

The distinction has helped launched Spotlight into the national conversation in cinema advertising. While NCM (20,097 screens) and Screenvision (14,094 screens) continue to command the national market, Spotlight appears as a growing alternative for specialty venues, with its 181 theaters and 702 screens, according to the CAC's 2015 Q2 Market Representation Report.

Business was down nationally in 2014, however, with national accounts falling 6.8 percent year over year in 2014, down to $631.9 million from 2013's $677.9 million. CAC president and chairman Katy Loria is quick to highlight the specific market factors that might have caused the decline, noting that "the cinema advertising industry was on pace for a record year, but uncertainty around the merger plans disrupted the market and in particular impacted national sales revenues in subsequent months. Local sales, however, were not impacted by this uncertainty and were up in 2014." In fact, local sales saw a 5.6 percent bump year over year, up to $155.6 million from 2013's $147.3 million.

Local players have benefitted from the onset of digital cinema to provide a more streamlined service to their customers. On the Wall! was founded in 2001 and specializes in small- to mid-sized markets in the western states. "In the smaller markets, the marketing opportunities don't exist like they do in major markets. Usually there is one weekly newspaper; radio and TV have too large of a broadcast footprint to target locally," says Rik Zelman, senior vice president and director of sales. "The local movie theater is the center of entertainment and social activities in these towns. Everyone goes to the movies, as other social activities are limited."

The growth of local players like On the Wall! can be tied to a simultaneous acceptance of the format by audiences and advertisers alike. Before the Movie has enjoyed rapid growth since its founding in 2008, being named as one of Inc. magazine's fastest-growing companies for the last two consecutive years. "We really aren't seeing any obstacles in our business since cinema ads are more accepted by the public," says Before the Movie founder and CEO Corey Tocchini. "Much of Before the Movie's growth has come from local advertisers, who are finding cinema advertising to be very affordable and desirable for reaching their customers." Before the Movie is now the third largest local/regional cinema advertiser, representing 417 screens across 46 theaters and trailing NCM (1,592 theaters / 19,914 screens) and Screenvision (1,141 theaters / 10,733 screens), according to the CAC.

Opportunities abound for cinema advertising in both the short and long term. "From a pure evolution of technology and the speed of innovation, peppering in the box office and fragmentation, it's a super exciting time," says Screenvision's John McCauley. "We're at the cusp of some real change in the business and we're excited to be here and bring advertisers on screen to get a tremendous impact with their audience. We're also trying to innovate and be current and bring some solutions that add to the impact of on-screen."

Big data promises to be the next big evolution in the business, as leading companies ramp up their efforts to track consumers beyond the four walls of the cinema. The true impact of those initiatives will be interesting to watch in the years ahead, as will the overall effect they have in bringing additional advertising revenue into the sector. The big merger announced last year might not have gone through, but if business is any indication, it looks like the competition among cinema advertisers hasn't missed a beat.


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