Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice

In order to maintain a healthy balance between domestic product and Hollywood fare, SARFT (The State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television) imposes an annual blackout "month" on most imported films. This weekend begins the month or more-long protection period and sees 14 new films enter cinemas.

Of the eight new domestic films, three co-productions, and three imports, Hollywood Adventures (横冲直撞好莱坞) has all the makings of a summer blockbuster. Produced by Justin Lin (Furious 3-6, Better Luck Tomorrow) and starring superstar and newly minted billionaire Vicky Zhao (赵薇), current it boys Huang Xiaoming (黄晓明) and babyfaced Tong Dawei (佟大为), this Hollywood-China coproduction has been aggressively marketed for months through publicity tours, music videos, and cast appearances. According to EntGroup's EFMT Index, Hollywood Adventures has the highest level of awareness and intent to purchase of any release this weekend. We think it could be a massive hit on the Mainland grossing upwards of $100 million a la The Breakup Guru which opened in the same frame last summer on its way to $107.83 million.

Another film getting buzz this weekend is Hear Me (听说), a lighthearted teen romance film from Taiwan starring popular performers Eddy Peng, Ivy Chen, and Michelle Chen. However, the film was released in Taiwan all the way back in 2009 which might hurt box office potential.

Begin Again starring Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley seems to have skirted the blackout, but its limited appeal to Chinese moviegoers is probably the reason for this unattractive release date.

Finally, Jurassic World will be losing most of its screens this weekend due to the protection period, but we still see the hot ticket in China placing in the top 3 and ending its run over $200 million. 

Other films opening: The Temptation in Lincang 临沧的诱惑 (China), Come Back, Love 约定到时候 (China), My Geeky Nerdy Buddies 大宅男 (China/Taiwan), Bloody Destiny 拳霸风云 (China), Can't Prove 无法证明 (China), I Love You, Too 恋爱排班表 (China), Where The Wind Settles 对风说爱你 (China/Taiwan), Twilight Online 午夜43路 (China/Hong Kong), The Three Pigs and the Lamp 三只小猪与神灯 (China), and The Adventures of Little Piglet Banna 小猪班纳之梦想大冒险 (China).

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Cinemaximum Marmara Forum in Istanbul to be First Turkish Location

BARCELONA - June 23, 2015 - CJ 4DPLEX and Mars Cinema Group are partnering to bring 4DX to Turkey for the first time. Developed by CJ 4DPLEX, 4DX is the world's first 4D-technology based cinema for feature films, using motion, vibration, water, wind, lighting, scents and more to provide moviegoers with a truly immersive experience. The first Turkish location for 4DX will be at Cinemaximum Marmara Forum in Istanbul, which boasts the greatest number of screens and seats of any cinema in the country. It is expected to open in mid September this year.

"4DX has proven itself as a breakthrough film exhibition technology has had strong performances across Europe - from England to Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic," said Byung Hwan Choi, CEO of CJ 4DPLEX. "We are confident that by appealing to the audience's five senses, 4DX will be similarly successful in Turkey, and we are proud to be working with Mars Cinema Group to continue our international expansion."

Since its inception in 2001, Mars Cinema Group has been a pioneer in the exhibition business in Turkey with its world class, innovative and modern multiplex cinemas. As an early adopter of technological innovation, Mars aims to uplift the filmgoing experience to the highest possible level. This ambition led Mars to become the first cinema chain in Turkey to complete the transformation to digital projection and audio.

"We are delighted to be launching Turkey's first 4DX cinema at Marmara Forum in Istanbul," said Mars Cinema Group CEO Kurt Rieder. "As leader in the motion-activated cinema experience space, 4DX has the support of all major film studios which will ensure the best mix of content for our customers. Marmara Forum is Mars' largest cinema complex in one of the best shopping malls in Turkey - 4DX could not be debuting in a better venue."

The Cinemaximum cinema complex is located in Marmara Forum Shopping Mall, drawing customers from a dense catchment area with a varied and prestigious tenant mix, well-designed infrastructure, easy access and young customer profile. As market leader, Mars also operates 74 cinemas and 658 screens in 28 cities in Turkey.

As of June 2015, 4DX reaches 182 auditoriums in 34 countries, with a goal to reach 300 auditoriums by the first half of 2016. To that end, the company is scheduled to meet additional potential European exhibitors at CineEurope 2015 in Barcelona from June 22 to 25, and to also be presenting ‘4DX & ScreenX, path to the future of cinema' at the ICTA seminar, also in Barcelona, on June 21-22, prior to the trade show. This is the first time that the company introduces 4DX and ScreenX together at CineEurope.

4DX and ScreenX will operate a booth to have business meetings with their existing and potential partners. Those who are interested in these innovative movie formats can find the sales representatives at Booth #127, CCIB.

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Former Research Scientist and Senior Manager at New Zealand's Tech Innovation Agency Joins Pre-Eminent Cinema Data Analytics Company To Help Exhibitors and Studios Maximize Moviegoer Connection

Los Angeles, CA and Auckland, NZ; June 23, 2015 - Movio, the global leader in marketing data, analysis, insights, and campaign creation and management for theatrical exhibitors, studios and film distributors, has appointed Dr. Bryan Smith as the company's Chief Data Scientist. A computational scientist with research and management experience, Dr. Smith most recently was Research Group Manager, Information & Communications Technologies at Callaghan Innovation, the New Zealand government agency, which commercializes technical innovation of New Zealand companies. The announcement was made today by Will Palmer, Movio's Chief Executive and Co-founder.

Callaghan Innovation gives businesses a single front door to the innovation system in New Zealand, working in partnership with government agency New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, economic development agencies, business incubators, universities, polytechnics, Crown Research Institutes, the venture capital community and industry associations.

Dr. Smith, who worked with Movio during his tenure at Callaghan, has a B.S.E. degree in Biomedical Engineering and Mathematics from Tulane University and Masters' and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Mathematics from Northwestern University in Chicago. He will head all research in statistics, science, and analytics at Movio, concentrating on the development of new products that utilize Movio's global moviegoer database to generate analytical insights. He will report directly to Peter Beguely, Chief Product Officer and co-founder of Movio.

"Dr. Smith is a world-class data scientist and mathematician as well as a superlative manager," said Palmer. "His expertise is a game changer for Movio and will help lead our growth as film exhibitors and studios gradually realize that big data on their customers' choices are invaluable, revenue-deriving assets."

"Movio is an ideal fit for me," added Dr. Smith. "It has interesting, established and innovative products with obvious potential for improvement utilizing ever more sophisticated analytics, but is still of the size that I feel that one person can make a real difference."

As moviegoers are faced with a growing number of choices for how, where and when they watch films, Movio's mission is to help the film industry better understand consumer behavior and deliver practical, personalized offers to moviegoers through their preferred communication channels. Movio's data analysis-driven software solutions make it faster and less expensive to analyze and use that data to increase customer satisfaction and enhance the digital cinema experience.

Most recently, Movio signed a multiyear partnership with AMC Theatres, the second-largest theater chain in the U.S., aimed at promoting movies, particularly smaller-budget, indie and foreign titles. AMC will combine data from its social media following and its loyalty program, AMC Stubs, with Movio Cinema, Movio's analytics and targeted marketing software-as-a-service solution. With this arrangement, personalized content such as movie trailers, movie news, special promotions, opening-date information and showtimes can be delivered across the guests' emails, mobile devices and social media.

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Barcelona, Spain - Philips continues to expand its portfolio of Digital Cinema Xenon lamps and is pleased to launch two new lamp models at CineEurope. The new high performance 2 kW Digital Cinema Xenon lamp XDC 2001C comes with the longest 100% warranty in the industry (1100 hours) and is specifically designed for the Christie CP2210, CP 2215 and CP2000-M digital cinema projectors.

The new XDC 2000N lamp is a 2 kW high performance Digital Cinema Xenon lamp and provides a full warranty of 2400 hours. This lamp is specifically designed for the NEC NC1200C, NC1600C and NC2000C digital cinema projectors. Both lamps feature exceptional arc stability and robust construction for high reliability.

Philips Digital Cinema Xenon lamps are especially designed for the demanding requirements of today's digital cinema projectors. Their high light output ensures optimum on-screen brightness, while a proprietary electrode design ensures high arc stability with sharp digital pictures. Long lifetimes and a highly robust design ensure lowest Total Cost of Ownership for digital cinema. Each lamp is customized per projector model to ensure the best performance.
Philips will be exhibiting at CineEurope in Barcelona, Spain, June 23-25, booth number 523.


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By Alex Edghill

Monday Evening Update: Minions can do no wrong and continued its serial-winning ways on Facebook this past week as it led for the 4th time in as many weeks. Rapidly approaching 30 million likes its success on social media and Facebook in particular has been nothing short of incredible. With Inside Out just opening to over $90 million I see no reason why this won't be following suit and with considerable upside as well.

Hotel Transylvania 2 rode the excitement over its recently released trailer to 150k+ new likes over the past week and second spot on the list. The first film managed to rake in $350 million+ worldwide with strong reviews and this no doubt is looking to expand on that. The film will once again have little competition in its September slot and at least on paper it appears to be destined for a $50 million+ opening. Long ways to go yet of course but so far the marketing team is going just about all you could ask for raising awareness.

Paper Towns has started to noticeably lag behind The Fault In Our Stars, and is now at less than half the likes of the latter film at the same distance from release. Not to say that if it made half the box office it wouldn't be a success but as a sophomore film adaptation from author John Green the comparison is inevitable. There is definitely a strong appeal for the film as 900,000+ likes is still a hefty figure. Other young-adult adaptations such as The Mortal Instruments (565k likes), The Host (305k likes), The DUFF (95k likes) and even Divergent (735k likes) were way behind it at the same distance before release so perhaps discussing far how into Fault's shadows it is doesn't do it justice. This appears to be another hit for Green and Co. and no doubt a potential springboard to greater stardom for its two young leads.

Facebook Top 5 Movies by Like Increase for the last week Ending Sunday June 21st

Rank Release Movie Likes Previous Change % Change
1 07/10/15 Minions 29,909,533 29,697,375 212,158 0.71%
2 09/25/15 Hotel Transylvania 2 8,982,461 8,829,201 153,260 1.74%
3 06/26/15 Ted 2 21,773,796 21,702,652 71,144 0.33%
4 07/01/15 Magic Mike XXL 1,852,444 1,811,752 40,692 2.25%
5 07/01/15 Terminator Genisys 1,168,592 1,129,940 38,652 3.42%

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