With the press screenings winding to a close and the festival steeling itself for the last weekend storm of cineastes (and the weather reports threatening their own deluge), Tuesday in Park City was spent catching up on early buzz. Most films have screened at least once for fans or critics and while priorities were clearer, the new struggle was how to fit everything in.

Despite the heavy morning snow, the 9 a.m. of Four Lions was packed with people curious to see the controversial jihad comedy (it didn't disappoint.) and the Sundance powers that be announced an added screening for Blue Valentine. Opinions were jaded on The Imperialists Are Still Alive and much more enthusiastic for Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work as the nearly full house was won over by the comedienne's prickly attitude and need to succeed. And at 9:30, Cane Toads: The Conquest was an audience hit even before the first toad hopped off the screen. The crowd mugged for iPhone shots with iridescent Dolby 3D glasses on their heads which, in Park City's frosty context, looked like hip eye shades for the slopes. "Welcome to Avatoad," joked filmmaker Mark Lewis as he introduced the most hilarious documentary to ever star a squat, toxic reptile. A spoonful of humor made the Aussi eco-doc go down as the audience gobbled up Lewis' interviewees including a dog named Dobby who licks the toads to get high-yes, with 3D LSD dog POV.

 

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COLUMBUS, Ga.-- Carmike Cinemas, Inc. (NASDAQ: CKEC), a leading digital cinema and 3D motion picture exhibitor, today announced that it has entered into a new $265 million senior secured term loan facility and a $30 million senior secured revolving credit facility.

Carmike's existing senior secured term loan facility was set to mature in May 2012 and had a balance of $250.8 million outstanding at December 31, 2009. The new term loan facility will have an interest rate of LIBOR plus 350 basis points, with a LIBOR floor of 2.0% and fully matures in January 2016. The interest rate is 50 basis points lower than the prior expected rate of LIBOR plus 400 basis points, as disclosed in the Carmike news announcement issued January 7, 2010.

Carmike has also replaced its $50 million revolving credit facility previously set to mature in May 2010, which was undrawn as of December 31, 2009, with a $30 million revolving credit facility that matures in January 2013.

The refinancing was led by J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., and Citigroup Global Markets Inc., acting as joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners, with Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc. as documentation agent, Citibank, N.A., as syndication agent, and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., as administrative agent.

Carmike has filed a copy of the new credit agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Carmike Cinemas Chief Financial Officer, Richard B. Hare, stated, "The new term loan and revolving credit facility is a positive development for Carmike, which we believe will afford us the requisite flexibility to fund the Company's future growth and success."

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Total tweets for January 22nd Openers

upcoming012910.jpgEdge of Darkness had 545 tweets reference it yesterday on Twitter, a very solid start to the week. In terms of comparison, Law Abiding Citizen had 623 tweets on its Monday before release, Surrogates had 452, and Armored had 173. Overall this is a very solid opening day count, and given a standard week trajectory it could be looking at ~3,000 tweets for the week. Assuming a ratio in the region of ~450 it looks to be on course for a ~$7 million opening day. I'll insert my usual disclaimer of it being early days, but based on Monday it definitely looks good.

When In Rome started slowly on Monday as it managed an underwhelming 272 tweets. Like I said in my preview column yesterday I don't think there has been a good comparison for this film in the last few months since I've been following Tweets closely but for giggles lets look at some of the older skewing romantic comedies that have opened: Love Happens had 177 tweets on its Monday before release, Everybody's Fine had 93, and Did You Hear About the Morgans? had 159. I had thought that Rome would have appealed to a much younger audience in general than the above comparisons but perhaps its closer than I had realized. In addition, due to its generic(ish) name I had to use a search filter ("When in Rome" movie OR poster OR trailer OR screening OR josh OR kristin OR bell OR see
) which will no doubt exclude some relevant tweets. At any rate, we are looking at about ~2,000 tweets for the week at this pace which is very low all things considered. Check back tomorrow to see if it picks up and has a greater explosion during the week than average, but as of now a $3 million Friday and high single digit weekend seems to be on the cards at best.

Check back tomorrow to see the Tuesday numbers and more comparisons.

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

alltweets012210.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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San Francisco-Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:DLB) announced today that Dolby 3D Digital Cinema has been selected to screen the World Premiere of Mark Lewis' documentary Cane Toads: The Conquest in 3D at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The documentary from Australian writer/producer/director Lewis will also be presented in Dolby Digital Surround Sound to deliver audiences an immersing entertainment experience as the director intended. The film, a Participant Media, Discovery Studios, Screen Australia, and Radio Pictures presentation, is the first specialty documentary produced in 3D. The documentary will be presented at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 26th and again at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, January 27th at Park City's Eccles Auditorium.

"The Sundance Film Festival was very pleased with the entertainment experience Dolby 3D and Dolby Surround Sound brought to the success of the U2 3D premiere in 2008," said Sarah Pearce, Director of Operations, Sundance Film Festival. "The audience actually felt like they were at a U2 concert. In addition, Dolby's eco-conscious solution appeals to Sundance as the high-quality, reusable Dolby 3D glasses deliver both an enhanced and environmentally friendly 3D viewing experience."

Dolby 3D uses a unique color filtering technology that provides realistic color reproduction and extremely sharp images without the use of a silver screen; delivering a fantastic 3D experience. The Dolby 3D filter wheel is inserted into the light path before the image is formed, providing a stable and sharp picture. Furthermore, the Dolby 3D filter wheel inside the projector easily moves out of the light path allowing the Sundance Film Festival the flexibility to show both 2D and 3D movies in the same auditorium.

"Dolby 3D continues to be the solution of choice for prestigious events like the Sundance Film Festival that value a quality 3D presentation for its patrons," said Page Haun, Senior Director of Marketing, Cinema Segment, Dolby Laboratories. "Be it Avatar's global premiere, U2 3D at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or the latest 3D content at Comic-Con 2009, Dolby delivers premium quality 3D and immersing surround sound to audiences who love entertainment."

To ensure everyone in Park City's Eccles 1200-seat auditorium enjoys the full Dolby 3D experience, Dolby Production Services teamed up with Barco to provide two DP-3000 digital cinema projectors, dual stacked (side by side). The Barco projectors are Digital Cinema Initiatives compliant and feature Texas Instruments' Digital Light ProcessingTM digital cinema technology to deliver the best combination of brightness, image sharpness, and color accuracy to every seat in the auditorium.

"Working with Russell Allen of Dolby Production Services and the team from Barco at the Eccles Auditorium set-up was a delight," said Mark Lewis, writer, producer, and director of Cane Toads: The Conquest. "They not only managed to make my toads look beautiful in Dolby 3D, but they made them sing in Dolby Surround Sound."

For a complete list of Dolby Digital Cinema and Dolby 3D Digital Cinema locations, please click here.

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This upcoming weekend we have two new wide release openers in Edge of Darkness, and When In Rome. Will Mel Gibson's gritty action-thriller or Kristen Bell's romantic comedy be enough to surpass Avatar? Let's see how they both fared on Twitter last week.

upcoming012910.jpgEdge of Darkness had a very solid 1,168 tweets last week. I'd expect its core demographic to be males over 35, but much of its breakout potential will be linked to if Mel Gibson can still offer crossover appeal to older women as well. In terms of comparisons, I think the best yardstick would be Law Abiding Citizen which had 902 tweets its week prior to release. As such, right off the bat it appears to be primed for high teens to low twenties opening weekend.

When In Rome had 865 tweets reference it last week on Twitter. In terms of comparisons, there have surprisingly been no young skewing romantic comedies in the last few months, while there were five targeted at older audiences: Love Happens, The Invention of Lying, Everybody's Fine, Did You Hear About the Morgans and It's Complicated. Unfortunately I don't think any of these five will offer great insights into this film's potential since its target audience of young women 15-30 make up the core demographic of Twitter. As such, expect a ratio of 1,000+ here, maybe even 1,500+. Low double digits seems likely at this point.

Check back Monday night for analysis of the Monday tweet totals.

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

alltweets012210.jpg

The 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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