Los Angeles -- One of the nation's most innovative theater circuits has cemented its bond with the nation's leading movie ticketing destination.

Cobb Theatres, a leader in unique moviegoer experiences including reserved seating, fine dining and cinema technology at 222 screens across the country, has renewed its agreement with Fandango, the largest online, mobile and phone  destination for moviegoers, till 2016. The Alabama-based exhibitor has been a leader in operating movie theaters since 1921.

Cobb's CineBistro brand, which combines fine-dining, wine bars and great movies in one location, has six different venues, comprising 34 screens across the country. According to a recent Fandango survey, 68% of moviegoers said that the dine-in moviegoing experience is a major plus for a night out.

"We enjoy working with Fandango due to its leading position as the nation's top ticketer and provider of movie information," says Jeremy Welman, Chief Operating Officer of Cobb Theatres. "Fandango is always on the forefront of new moviegoer services like mobile ticketing, reserved seating and print-at-home, and we look forward to continued mutual success."

"Cobb is a progressive company and a great partner for us," says Rick Butler, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Fandango. "They are constantly looking for new ways to enhance the moviegoer experience. With Fandango's consumer-friendly portfolio of products, we have helped Cobb triple its online ticket sales in the past three years."

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Hong Kong -- Dvidea today announced that GDC's SX-2000A Digital Cinema Server with Integrated Media Block and GDC's SX-2001A Digital Cinema Server can now successfully integrate with Dvidea CineasyTM Theater Management System (TMS) software. The new integration optimizes interoperability for all digital cinema deployments, making theater operations simple, robust, and fully flexible for the exhibitors as they make the transition to digital cinema.

Using Dvidea CineasyTM software solution, exhibitors are now able to seamlessly operate GDC's range of stunning D-Cinema servers, manage content and keys, schedule shows, control projection devices, report logs, automate processes, exchange media and data with interoperable D-Cinema servers of any other brand within the same facility.

Under this new partnership, GDC Digital Cinema servers not only expand in technical diversity but are also now fluent in several European languages as Dvidea CineasyTM TMS is already localized in Spanish, French, Dutch, English, Italian, Russian, and German (Swedish and Portuguese planned for Q1 2011).

GDC Digital Cinema servers and Dvidea CineasyTM TMS have been designed for circuits as well as for small independent theaters. This integration marks another step toward interoperability and expands the choices for all digital cinema exhibitors.

"Dvidea is honored to be working closely with GDC's quality products and dedicated expert team. GDC's company history and track record of success prove that, like Dvidea, their customers' needs and expectations are of utmost importance to the company and almost always met. We look forward to developing this exciting new relationship," said William Sully, co-founder and CEO of Dvidea.

By choosing best of breed hardware and software solutions from technology leaders such as GDC and DVIDEA, theater owners benefit from better interoperability, significantly improved performance, and a lower total cost of ownership. "We are delighted to work with Dvidea, a clear market leader for digital cinema TMS software in Europe," said Dr. Man-Nang Chong, founder and CEO of GDC Technology. "The partnership signifies the strategic alliance between two industry leaders whereby the complementary technical strengths of both companies can be leveraged to bring high performance solutions to our customers. Coinciding with GDC's current fast expansion in Europe, this alliance could not have come at a better time."

 

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Source: Variety

Meryl Streep is in final negotiations to reunite with her The Devil Wears Prada director David Frankel for the upcoming comedy Great Hope Springs. It was the hiring of Frankel that made Streep agree to take on the project, which chronicles a middle-aged couple's efforts to come to terms with their intimacy issues during an epic weekend therapy session. Vanessa Taylor, writer for the TV series Tell Me You Love Me, Everwood and Alias, wrote the script, and Todd Black and Guymon Casady are producing through the banners of their companies Escape Artists and Film 360.

Streep's current project is The Iron Lady, a drama about the events in Margaret Thatcher's life. (While we haven't heard much about that film, one can only assume that her complete transformation into Margaret Thatcher will summarily be reversed by the time Great Hope Springs starts shooting.) Meanwhile, Frankel recently completed shooting on The Big Year, a film for Fox 2000.

 

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Los Angeles - The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) on behalf of several of its member studios today filed a lawsuit against the operators of the download hub service Hotfile (www.hotfile.com) for copyright infringement. Hotfile facilitates the theft of copyrighted motion picture and television properties on a staggering scale and profits handsomely from encouraging and providing the means for massive copyright infringement.

"In less than two years Hotfile has become one of the 100 most trafficked sites in the world. That is a direct result of the massive digital theft that Hotfile promotes. Everyday Hotfile is responsible for the theft of thousands of MPAA member companies' movies and TV shows - including movies still playing in theaters - many of which are stolen repeatedly, thousands of times a day, every single day," said Daniel Mandil, General Counsel & Chief Content Protection Officer for the MPAA. "The theft taking place on Hotfile is unmistakable. Their files are indeed ‘hot,' as in ‘stolen.' It's wrong and it must stop."

Sometimes referred to as cyberlockers, download hubs like Hotfile bear no resemblance to legitimate online locker services. In fact, Hotfile openly discourages use of its system for personal storage. Hotfile's business model encourages and incentivizes users to upload files containing illegal copies of motion pictures and TV shows to its servers and to third-party sites, so unlimited users can download the stolen content - in many cases tens of thousands of times. Hotfile profits from this theft by charging a monthly fee to users who download content from its servers. Hotfile also operates an incentive scheme that rewards users for uploading the most popular files - which are almost exclusively copyrighted works. Hotfile profits richly while paying nothing to the studios for their stolen content.

Hotfile is operated by Anton Titov, a foreign national residing in Florida. The studios are suing Hotfile and Titov for direct infringement for unlawfully distributing copyrighted works, inducement of infringement, contributory infringement and vicarious infringement, for actively promoting, enabling and profiting from their users' copyright infringement. A civil lawsuit has been filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida for damages and injunctive relief for violations under the United States Copyright Act of 1976.

"Digital theft is not just a Hollywood problem. It's an American problem," Mandil said. "More than 2.4 million hardworking, middle-class Americans spanning all 50 states rely on the motion picture and television industry for their livelihoods. For all these workers and their families, digital theft means declining incomes, lost jobs and reduced health and retirement benefits."

 

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Source: Deadline.com

Julia Roberts is very close to signing a deal that will have her playing the Evil Queen in director Tarsem Singh's The Brothers Grimm: Snow White. The project is being housed at Relativity.

Universal has a rival Snow White project in the works with Viggo Mortensen and Kristen Stewart attached. It's all too common story in Hollywood for two studios to be rushing to profit off of a similar concept. See also Armageddon vs. Deep Impact and Antz vs. A Bug's Life.

Roberts will be seen later this year opposite Tom Hanks in Larry Crowne. Hanks also directed the film, which follows a middle-aged man as he goes back to college.

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