Washington, DC - A growing coalition of entertainment industry workers, creators, independent producers and distributors, business organizations and theater owners today announced opposition to two proposals to establish online wagering services based on speculation over box office receipts for motion pictures.

In a letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA), the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and its member companies, and the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) also jointly asked the Commission to postpone action now scheduled for April 2 on an application by Media Derivatives, Inc. (MDEX) to create a designated contract market for film futures.

The groups said that the proposal by MDEX and a separate plan by Cantor Futures Exchange, L.P. "are based on faulty understanding of the film industry and create a risk of rampant speculation and financial irresponsibility at a time when the nation is still seeking to recover from an economic meltdown of the financial markets."

"With Congress and the President working on reforming the financial markets to help curb the abusive practices that triggered our nation's economic crisis, now is not the time to open up new and highly speculative marketplaces that could end up costing jobs and harming legitimate businesses," the groups said.

In the letter to the CFTC, the groups said: "We respectfully ask that the deadline be extended to April 16, 2010 in order to allow the DGA, IFTA, IATSE and MPAA time to submit a written comment addressing the merits of this application. Several of these parties had no notice or knowledge of the applications until late last week. This will allow the time needed to gather factual information and provide detailed and focused arguments that we believe will be helpful to the Commission's consideration of the application.

"Among other things, we will address whether any exchange infrastructure is capable of surveying the box office marketplace to detect and address potential market manipulation. We have just received today the MDEX's current proposed rulebook that supports its application. This version of its proposed rulebook has not previously been available to the public. We also note that it was only yesterday afternoon that we received the MDEX's March 26, 2010 response to the MPAA's March 23, 2010 letter to the Commission. It includes facts that we previously have not been aware of including, among others, that MDEX's rules will require ‘the studio/distributor to provide evidence to support its public box office number when it falls outside the standard deviation level.' We were unaware of any proposed requirement that studios disclose information to MDEX, and, accordingly, our comment also will address whether any authority exists to require disclosure of any information from studios."

The letter to the CFTC notes that an extension of the deadline will not prejudice MDEX because the deadline for the contract it seeks approval to trade is not until April 23.

Cantor Futures Exchange, L.P.'s request for approval to register as a designated contract market is scheduled for April 20 and its request for approval to contract film futures and options is pending in May. The groups signing the letter today intend to file written comments about concerns about this proposal as well.

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Morristown, NJ and Los Angeles, CA - On March 9, 2010, Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. (NASDAQ: CIDM), the world leader in digital cinema and distributor of 3D events, announced in partnership with CBS Sports, the NCAA and LG Electronics USA, that the 2010 NCAA Men's Final Four and Championship games on Saturday, April 3rd and Monday, April 5th would be distributed in Live 3D to Cinedigm CineLive equipped theatres around the country. The first Semifinal game between Butler and Michigan State starts at 6 pm eastern time, and the 2nd Semi-Final game between Duke and West Virginia starts at 8:45 pm eastern time. The Final game on Monday starts at 9 pm eastern time. The final list of theatres follows:

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Source: THR

The 1980s continue to be a source for new Hollywood films.

The latest remake to get the greenlight is a new version of Private Benjamin that will star Anna Faris. The project is being housed at Warner Bros. and New Line.

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Goldie Hawn received an Oscar nomination for her lead performance in the original. The film grossed an impressive $70 million domestically, which translates to around $195 million when adjusting for inflation.

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Total tweets for April 2nd Openers

The Last Song kicked off with 2,221 tweets on Monday. Huge yes but the film is playing directly to the Twitter sweet-spot of young girls. Add in Miley Cyrus and its a buzz-magnet. Comparisons will be difficult here because this is a Wednesday opener. This will draw its ratio down from where it would have been for a Friday opener since there are two less days of tweets. Looking at past Wednesday openers they came it at a ratio of about ~60% of where I would have expected them to be at for a full week opener. So let's figure out that full week ratio potential and take 60% of it.

Its pretty certain that it will be a ways higher than Dear John's 884 ratio. Remember Me springs to mind, and that saw a ratio of just over 3,000, however, the Twilight nation's fanbase is quite a bit more rampant, and Miley Cyrus' core draw of tweens are a bit on the young end of the Twitter spectrum. Whip It also played to a very similar demographic and came in with a 2,955 ratio which is also telling, though its very low theatre count (1,720) was a factor with that too. I'd say let's go with a ratio estimate of 1,350 for Wednesday (based on a ~2,250 ratio prediction had it been a Friday opener), Given its ~2,200 tweets on Monday it should be able to score 5,500 tweets by end of day today for the week and take in $4 million on Wednesday at the Box Office, and mid-teens by the end of the weekend.

Clash of the Titans was hugely impressive on Monday as it secured 2,632 tweets. By comparison 2012 had 2,290 its Monday before release, and Avatar had 4,440. With such a healthy Monday and a holiday on Friday and 8PM showings it is going to skyrocket later in the week, which should allow it to hit ~19,000 tweets for the week. The Easter holiday will be interesting to gauge, but perhaps even moreso will be the 8PM shows on Thursday which will make Twitter heat up that much earlier. Avatar's buzz and ratio was indeed higher but that had much more story around it and questions about flopping and Cameron which this film doesn't have. I would expect to see it come in at around the ~650 ratio mark which would allow it to hit $30 million for Friday and ~$70 million for the weekend.

Lastly, Why Did I Get Married Too also had a very respectable outing with 1,059 tweets on Monday. I had compared it to Our Family Wedding on Sunday and while valid, I didn't discount the fact that it is in much more theatres than Wedding which will help to normalize the effect of Tyler Perry's buzz, and secondly, its title is brilliant and unique which is a great thing for Twitter searches. At present it is looking like a 6,000 tweet week and given a ratio of 750 it should be able to secure $8 million on Friday and $20 million for the weekend. This will prove to be a great yardstick for future Tyler Perry films also.

Check back tomorrow to see the Tuesday numbers and more comparisons. Follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

alltweets032610.jpgThe ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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