Hot on the heels of two recent server deployment deals from the US, GDC Technology ("GDC") scores a hat trick today closing a new server deal with Cinemas Guzzo, a leading cinema chain operator in Canada. A total of 42 GDC digital cinema servers (27 new deployments and 4 replacements of existing servers) for 3D releases will be deployed in this project and rollout will commence in March 2010.

Before the end of 2010 Cinemas Guzzo expects to replace its remaining 11 non-GDC servers. The project is of special significance to Cinemas Guzzo in that all its servers for 3D movies and digital presentations in the next few months will be screened entirely on the GDC servers deployed in this project.

With a history dated back some four decades ago, Cinemas Guzzo was founded in Quebec by Angelo Guzzo, one of the pioneers of independent multi-screen movies in Canada. Through three generations of Guzzo in the business, Cinemas Guzzo has today grown to become the leading independent cinema chain in Quebec, boasting over 148 screens in 11 theatre complexes. Incidentally, Cinemas Guzzo's Mega-Plex Taschereau 18 in Greenfield Park and Mega-Plex Marche Central 18 in Montreal are currently amongst Canada's largest theatre/recreational complex, each with 4500 seats and covering respectively areas of over 120,000 square feet and 107,000 square feet.

"We take pride in providing moviegoers the best possible cinema experience. We were the first to bring Digital 3D to Montreal (Quebec) and we expect to be the first to be 100% digital very shortly with GDC!" said Vincenzo Guzzo, Executive Vice-president and Chief Operating Officer of Cinemas Guzzo. "After having tested three different type of servers, we have determined GDC is our choice for our digital cinema servers, because it offers possibly the best performance in the market, the most expandability and versatility. And given GDC's vast experience in digital rollout, we know we can and will always get the support we need in making a successful transition to 3D and digital cinema."

"We are delighted to get our first and the most meaningful partnership with exhibitor in Canada after closing this deal," said Dr. Man-Nang CHONG, founder and CEO of GDC Technology. "Cinemas Guzzo's decision to switch 100% to GDC servers is a real flattering compliment to us and we are honoured to have obtained such recognition from a leading Canadian exhibitor. GDC's quality products and in-depth industry know-how have been instrumental in the successful digital conversions of many of its customers worldwide; we believe there is much that GDC can offer to exhibitors in this country and we welcome any opportunity to explore further on this."

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In a major introduction that extends the world's most advanced 3D technology to cinema environments of all sizes, XpanD is introducing the XpanD ONETM 3D solution at ShoWest 2010. Designed for theaters with a maximum capacity of 150 seats, the XpanD ONE system gives owners of intimate cinema exhibition spaces, and fully digitized multiplexes the opportunity to offer its customers the same groundbreaking 3D technology found in the world's largest and most popular multiplexes.

According to Maria Costeira, CEO of XpanD, the XpanD ONE system fulfills a specific need for smaller theaters. "We understand that more intimate cinema venues are investing in 3D," she says. "With an amazing lineup of 3D movies to be released in 2010, we also expect fully digitized multiplexes to increase their programming flexibility by adding a few small, 3D-ready theaters inside their multiplexes. The introduction of the XpanD ONE system now means that our revolutionary 3D technology is available to all exhibitors, regardless of theater size."

The XpanD ONE is a single cable, plug and play IR controller and 150 pairs.. The XpanD ONE can easily be moved from one theater to another in a fully digitized multiplex, turning all the secondary halls into 3D theaters as movie programming requires. Like standard XpanD systems, XpanD ONE does not require a silver screen, provides the brightest 3D images, works with all DLP Cinema projectors and is widely acknowledged as the best form of theatrical 3D presentation.

Since introducing the X101 active 3D glasses in early 2009, XpanD has sold more than 2 million pairs around the world to some of the world's most prestigious cinemas. The X101 Series glasses are based on XpanD's "pi-cell" technology, and feature , environmentally friendly repeat usage , a power-saving auto on/off mechanism sealed and solid construction for long-term, fully hygienic usage. With an extended product life of 5,000 shows per unit, XpanD provides exhibitors with the best return on investment with their 3D systems.

XpanD ONE is available for immediate sales.

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Las Vegas, NV - Dan Glickman delivered his final major U.S. address as Chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) today at the ShoWest convention in Las Vegas. Citing a record box office and his tenure in a period of profound transformation, Glickman said "I got my Hollywood ending," adding that "if I could leave this community with one piece of advice it is never forget our power to change people‘s lives and, in doing so, to change the world."

Glickman began by touting recent news that the 2009 box office saw a return to growth in U.S. admissions, reversing a two-year trend. "We have more people going to the movies and more folks going more often," Glickman said. "The quality and diversity of films is what keeps folks coming back. Add this powerful new 3D era, and I predict the best is yet to come at the box office."

Reflecting on his time at the MPAA, Glickman touched on four defining areas:

Globalization: He discussed the transformation of the MPAA into a truly global organization, fueled by both the growing importance of international markets and the rising challenge of protecting intellectual property rights around the world. Noting that the global box office has soared 30% since 2005, Glickman pointed out that movies are among the only American exports with a positive balance of trade around the world.

Technology: Glickman heralded the new era of 3-D and what it is doing to bring more people back to the theater. He also spoke openly of the challenge of racing to adapt to a fast-moving digital age and predicted that "technology will help resolve these issues in a balanced and fair way, while opening new opportunities for creators to share their works with the world."

Content Protection: Glickman spoke with pride about a unique creative community that supports more than 2.4 million American jobs. He noted that "‘Hollywood‘ can be found in every state in our union today," and pointed to the passage of the Pro-IP Act in Washington, camcording laws in more than 40 states and growing global consensus as laying a strong foundation for protecting intellectual property at the dawn of the digital age.

Ratings: He spoke passionately about the enduring value of the ratings system as a valued tool for parents. He also urged the industry to welcome the diverse voices joining online conversations on film content. "We‘ll never find a bright white line at the intersection of free speech, creative and political expression and how parents raise their kids," Glickman said. "We should continue to examine ways to keep the system relevant and contemporary."

In his speech, Glickman announced the relaunch of www.filmratings.com. "We‘re hoping this will provide some added transparency, shining a light on how the process works and promoting better understanding of the lesser-known, but equally important Advertising Administration, which strives to ensure every piece of movie advertising is appropriate for the audiences that see it."

Glickman was candid about the fact that some viewed him as an unusual choice for MPAA given his background as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. "Joe Hollywood, I‘m not," he said. "I‘m just a guy from Kansas who has loved movies since I was a kid, who has a genuine affection for this art form and a real appreciation for what movies do for this country and, I truly believe, for the world."

A vocal proponent of American movies and their "soft power" to promote freedom and democracy around the world, Glickman said, "I didn‘t come to this job from the industry. But I leave it believing quite strongly that this community is not something separate and apart from America, but something inextricably tied up in what America means to the world." He pointed to recent Oscar contenders and the creative community‘s real-world response to the crisis in Haiti to make his case.

Glickman came to the MPAA after a career that spanned Congress, the U.S. Cabinet and Harvard University. He said the common thread through it all has been "working to encourage our nation to engage the world." He begins his new job as president of Refugees International in April.

"Movies will always be my first love," he said. "But now I get to follow my heart back into public service." In a nod to his audience, Glickman, a lifelong fan of the communal experience of the movie theater, concluded by saying, "I won‘t say 'goodbye'-just 'see you at the movies.'"

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At ShoWest 2010, XpanD is exhibiting the world's first universally compatible active 3D glasses for 3D-ready televisions. The XpanD X103 glasses are compatible with virtually any monitor capable of playing 3D-ready content, making 3D an affordable social experience.

"While major television manufacturers are beginning to roll out their first 3D-ready television models, a key to widespread adoption lies in the ability for consumers to use their 3D glasses with any display that is capable of showing 3D content," says Maria Costeira, CEO of XpanD. "The XpanD X103 glasses deliver unparalleled freedom by offering the universal 3D viewing technology in any environment, on any device!"

As with all XpanD models, the X103 active 3D glasses utilize a fast-switching, liquid crystal cell, know as "pi-cell"--the fastest 3D glasses in the world. Moreover, with the understanding that the X103's universal compatibility will allow users to bring their glasses with them wherever they go, XpanD is developing the glasses in 12 different colors, providing freedom of expression on par with cell phones, portable media players and laptop computers.

"The main problem with display-linked active glasses lies within the incapability to use these glasses with a 3D TV that is manufactured by another brand. While we support TV manufacturers by manufacturing glasses for them, we are also requested by the same manufacturers to sell universal active glasses that will work with all the modern 3D TVs," adds Ami Dror, XpanD Chief Strategy Officer. "TV retailers cannot maintain 15 different models of glasses to support 15 different TV brands, rental AV companies cannot do it, and even 3D broadcasters ask for a universal pair of glasses that they can provide their 3D channel subscribers."

3DTV and XpanD universal 3D glasses are also revolutionizing the 3D cinema business model. Owners of XpanD universal glasses are coming to the cinema with their personalized glasses. As a result, the cinema owners and the studios do not need to pay for 3D glasses anymore, making 3D cinema distribution and exhibition less expensive. The cinemas are using their unique position and becoming a point of sale for universal 3D glasses, and can profit from these sales.

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Total tweets for March 19th Openers

Diary Of A Wimpy Kind started off with 293 tweets on Monday. As I said in my column yesterday this is going to have a pretty low ratio thanks to its primary appeal being to a younger non-Tweet friendly audience. In comparison, The Spy Next Door had 261 tweets its Monday before release, and The Tooth Fairy had 283. We should be looking at a ratio between 450 and 550 and 2,000 to 2,200 total tweets. This should allow it to reach ~$3.75 million by next Friday. Repo Men managed to secure the most buzz amongst the new openers on Monday with 526 tweets. By comparison, The Fourth Kind had 515 on its Monday before release, and Daybreakers had 830. I'm expecting this to come in at around a 1,000 - 1,200 ratio, and this Monday number points to 3,000 - 3,500 tweets for the full week, as such a ~$2.75 million Friday appears to be in order.

Lastly, The Bounty Hunter had 501 tweets reference it on Monday. That number might seem low but remember its 35+ core audience really puts it on the skirts of the Twitter sweet-spot and as such its going to have a very low ratio. The best comparison here will be Couples Retreat which managed to secure 533 tweets its first Monday on its way to 3,710 for the week and a 301 ratio. Expect this film to follow a similar path and end up with around 3,500 tweets for the full week and a ~350 ratio for around a $10 million Friday

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.)

alltweets031210.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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