Las Vegas - GDC Technology ("GDC"), a world leading digital cinema solution provider, is pleased to announce that it has signed a server deployment contract with Zhe Jiang Time Cinema, the seventh largest exhibitor in China (according to 2008 published box-office collection). The contract will see the deployment of 100 units of GDC SA-2100A server starting from January 2010. To date about 20 servers have already been installed and it is expected that full deployment will be completed by end 2010.

Zhe Jiang based Time Cinema has a humble beginning as a provincial cinema operator dated back to 1950. It has since grown to become an inter-provincial cinema chain and as at 2008, it has 65 theatres under its wing with 207 screens and over 50,000 seats. With annual box-office takings of 161 million Yuan, Time Cinema has also climbed up the rankings to become the 7th largest cinema chain operator in China. "As the company who has installed the highest number of servers in China, GDC is a respected name in the industry whose quality products and professional service have clearly set itself apart from others," said JinTian Zheng, Technology Manager of Zhe Jiang Time Circuit. "It also came to our notice that GDC's range of products offers customers a smooth upgrade path so that their technology investment will not go obsolete. All in all, GDC's offer is one that meets most of our technical needs and at the same time offers us that extra bit of security that comes together with an established brand name; we know we are in safe hands working with GDC."

"Ten years in China and more than a thousand of installations in the country have put GDC in a unique position to fully understand the market here," said Dr Man-Nang CHONG, founder and CEO of GDC Technology. "Our wealth of knowledge and in-depth understanding of the China market allow us to offer our customers here solutions that truly address their business needs in addition to their technical needs. This contract is another vote of confidence from a prominent Chinese exhibitor and will surely further consolidate our number one position in the country; we are thankful for the support from all who have opted for GDC and will strive even harder to bring the best in digital cinema to our customers in China."

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Source: Ian McKellen's Official Site

Update (03/18/10): McKellen's site has changed the statement to say the film will shoot in July.

While the restructuring and potential sale of MGM continues to plague the production of The Hobbit, Ian McKellen appears to have revealed some good news for fans of the series.

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His official site was recently updated with the following message:

"THE HOBBIT's two films start shooting in New Zealand in June. Filming will take over a year. Casting in Los Angeles, New York City and London has started. The script too proceeds. The first draft is crammed with old and new friends, again on a quest in Middle Earth.

The director Guillermo del Toro is now living in Wellington, close to the Jacksons' and the studio in Miramar."

Previous reports pegged June as a potential start date, although the films were recently delayed from 2011 to 2012. It is not clear whether or not McKellen updates his site personally, or whether someone else does it on his behalf and may have acted without official word. Other recent reports have suggested the films will be in 3D, although Del Toro said that a final decision hasn't been made.

 

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Total tweets for March 19th Openers

Diary Of A Wimpy Kind accounted for 347 tweets on Twitter on Tuesday, up from 293 tweets on Monday. In comparison, The Spy Next Door had 226 tweets its Tuesday before release, and The Tooth Fairy had 352. Its total tweets are not where I would have imagined, since right now its looking like 1,750 is going to be the upper limit which will drop its potential slightly into the lower $3 million range.

Repo Men again squeezed out the highest day total of the new openers with 671 tweets. Decent, but not spectacular. By comparison, The Fourth Kind had 752 on its Tuesday before release, and Daybreakers had 1,152. Given this relatively slim increase from Monday it might have a hard time hitting 3,000 tweets for the week which would really make even a $3 million Friday highly unlikely. $2.5 - $2.75 million seems about right.

Lastly, The Bounty Hunter had a solid 667 tweets reference it on Tuesday. A solid number but not close to Couples Retreat which had 938 tweets its Tuesday before release. Its clear that this isn't going to mirror the success of Couples but it could flirt with high $20 millions. Much will depend on its Wednesday tally and how much it grows. Stay tuned.

Check back tomorrow to see the Wednesday 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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New York, NY - Screenvision, the leading innovator in cinema advertising, has signed long-term extensions with regional exhibitors Classic Cinemas, Uptown Entertainment, and Studio Movie Grill. Through these deals, Screenvision furthers its position in important DMA markets such as Chicago, Detroit, Dallas and Houston.

"Our partnerships with Classic Cinemas, Uptown Entertainment, and Studio Movie Grill demonstrate Screenvision's ability to provide advertising, technology and entertainment solutions that add real value to exhibitors across the country." said Darryl Schaffer, Executive Vice President, Exhibitor Relations, Screenvision. "These chains are strong in markets such as Chicago, Detroit, Dallas and Houston all of which are important for our network and I am delighted they have renewed with us."

Based in Downers Grove IL, Classic Cinemas has been a long-term partner with Screenvision. Within this deal, Screenvision will retain representation of Classic Cinemas' exclusive on-screen preshow selling rights under the new deal, as well as the non-exclusive promotions rights. As part of the deal, Screenvision will also be upgrading the circuit's digital preshow equipment.

Uptown Entertainment, based in Birmingham, MI, controls 3 locations with 24 screens, all in the Detroit DMA. As part of the new agreement, Screenvision will retain the exclusive selling rights to the on-screen preshow and take over the exclusive third party selling right for promotions. It will also be responsible for digitizing all screens integrating the Sony 4K digital cinema projectors.

Based in Dallas, TX, Studio Movie Grill -- a cinema eatery with full service dining within the theatre auditoriums -- controls locations and screens within the Dallas and Houston DMA. Studio Movie Grill also has two new locations planned for 2010, each in key markets: Atlanta and Kansas City. Through the agreement, Screenvision will have exclusive rights to the entire on-screen preshow, and the exclusive third party selling right of promotions. It will also digitize the entire Studio Movie Grill network.

 

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Centennial, Colo. - NCM Fathom, a division of NCM Media Networks, a leading integrated media company reaching U.S. consumers in movie theaters, online and through mobile technology, has reached a new agreement with Golden Boy Promotions to continue presenting live world championship boxing on the big screen in high definition throughout 2010. The first bout in the 2010 series will be The Rivals: Hopkins vs. Jones II featuring Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins vs. Roy "The Terminator" Jones, Jr., presented in more than 150 select movie theaters in high definition LIVE from Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Events Center on Saturday, April 3 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern / 6:00 p.m. Pacific. The new agreement follows the highly successful cinema presentation of the Floyd "Money" Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel "Dinamita" Marquez fight on the big screen in September 2009 - the first fight to be shown in movie theaters in over 20 years.

Tickets are available to The Rivals: Hopkins vs. Jones II special in-theater event at www.FathomEvents.com and presenting theater box offices. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, please visit the web site (theaters and participants are subject to change).

"Our experience of bringing big-time boxing back to the movie theaters was a great success for everyone - especially the fans!" said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "Along with our partners at NCM, we look forward to building on that momentum and offering the best fights in the business in a spectacular hi-def environment."

After 17 years, the wait is over as Hopkins (50-5-1, 32 KOs) and Jones (54-6, 40 KOs), two of boxing's most decorated and recognizable fighters, will put it all on the line and leave no doubts as to who gets the bragging rights. On May 22, 1993, Hopkins and Jones fought for the vacant IBF middleweight belt, the first shot at a world title for both fighters. The fight, which Jones won by unanimous decision, was a hard fought contest that set the stage for both fighters' respective paths to boxing stardom. Jones went on to win titles in four weight classes, including middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and his historic heavyweight championship. Hopkins, who claimed Jones' vacated IBF middleweight title in 1995, didn't lose another fight for 12 years following his battle with Jones. While Jones ruled as pound-for-pound best for the better part of a decade, Hopkins took advantage of his middleweight crown by setting a record of 20 defenses and solidifying his place as one of the greatest middleweight fighters in the history of the sport.

"Tens of thousands of boxing fans around the country proved they have an appetite for seeing boxing on the big screen as they enjoyed the larger-than-life, ringside experience of the Mayweather vs. Marquez in-theater event last September," said Dan Diamond, vice president of Fathom. "This exclusive partnership with Golden Boy Promotions allows Fathom to continue to present the biggest boxing events of 2010 to communities of fans nationwide and Hopkins vs. Jones promises to be a true classic to start the year."

Broadcast live from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, The Rivals: Hopkins vs. Jones II will be shown in more than 150 select movie theaters including AMC Entertainment Inc., Celebration! Cinema, Cinemark USA Inc., Clearview Cinemas, Goodrich Quality Theatres, Hollywood Theaters, Marcus Theatres and Regal Entertainment Group movie theaters, as well as the Carolina Theatre, Palace Cinema 9 (South Burlington, VT) and Penn Cinema (Lititz, PA), through NCM's exclusive Digital Broadcast Network - North America's largest cinema broadcast network.

At 45 years young, Hopkins is still rated among the top pound for pound best in boxing. After his victory over Segundo Mercado in 1995 for the IBF middleweight title, Hopkins' momentum began to build as he scored victories over quality contenders. The 2000s defined Hopkins' career starting with his win over Keith Holmes in April of 2001 in the opening round of the Middleweight Unification Tournament followed by a stunning 12th round stoppage of Felix "Tito" Trinidad on September 29, 2001 at Madison Square Garden. Following four more defenses of his middleweight crown, Hopkins faced Oscar de la Hoya in 2004. His ninth round knockout of "The Golden Boy" allowed Hopkins to attain his 19th title defense - setting a record and making him the first fighter to hold the belt of all four major sanctioning organizations at the same time, as well as the Ring Magazine title. In 2006, Hopkins moved up to light heavyweight for the first time in his career to defeat Antonio Tarver for The Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight World Championship. With his most recent win, a dominant performance over Enrique Ornelas, Hopkins showed the world that age is nothing but a number.

Roy Jones Jr.'s storied career has had countless defining moments which have catapulted him to being a household name. Jones was unstoppable in the 90's as he stunned his opponents with incredible speed and relentless power. He made history on March 1, 2003, when he thwarted then-heavyweight champion John Ruiz to become the first former middleweight champion to win the heavyweight title in more than 100 years. After taking John Ruiz' heavyweight crown, Jones dropped down to light heavyweight in order to take on Florida rival Antonio Tarver on November 8, 2003. He captured a split decision victory, but suffered consecutive defeats to Tarver and a surprising loss to Glen Johnson. Jones came back to score wins in his next two fights, setting up a highly-anticipated dual with Felix "Tito" Trinidad at Madison Square Garden on January 19, 2008. A renewed Jones looked sharp and focused, flooring an overmatched Trinidad twice, breezing to a unanimous decision win. Jones returned to Madison Square Garden later that same year and after 12 hard fought rounds came up short against future Hall of Famer Joe Calzaghe. Jones defeated his next two opponents but suffered a devastating first-round knock-out loss on December 2 against Australia's Danny Green. As Jones is disputing the loss, he remains confident he can overcome this recent defeat, and take on Hopkins with that same boxing prowess that he has been known for throughout his record-setting career.

Through this new agreement, Fathom in conjunction with Golden Boy Promotions will also present Floyd "Money" Mayweather vs. "Sugar" Shane Mosley in the welterweight championship fight on Saturday, May 1. Tickets will be available beginning Friday, April 2. Visit www.FathomEvents.com to learn more.

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