Wednesday Afternoon Update: MovieTickets.com is reporting 587 sold-out shows for Sex and the City 2 as of Wednesday, 4 p.m. PT. PT. 56 of those sold-out shows are for midnight screenings.

Tuesday Afternoon Update: SATC 2 is "slightly outpacing" the original film on Fandango.com at the same point in the sales cycle, according to Fandango spokesperson Harry Medved.

As of 11:30 a.m. PT, SATC 2 is responsible for a dominant 81 percent of daily sales on Fandango. The ticketing site also conducted a survey to gauge the level of enthusiasm for the sequel:

• 94% of the Fandango SATC 2 survey respondents are women.

• 79% of fans will see the movie with a group of women, while only 7% said they're bringing a date.

• 76% said that the movie represents a "great escape."

• 75% plan to attend a SATC 2 get-together before or after the movie.

• 53% plan to dress up for the occasion.

• 52% plan to drink Cosmos before and/or after the movie.

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CHICAGO - NEC Display Solutions of America, a leading provider of commercial LCD display and projector solutions, announced today that Southern Theatres, LLC, has selected digital cinema projectors from NEC for the newly renovated and redesigned Theatres at Canal Place in New Orleans. The move by Southern Theatres extends its current relationship with NEC and Master Reseller Ballantyne Strong, Inc. (NYSE Amex: BTN), and positions this leading exhibitor to capitalize on the growing list of upcoming 3D Hollywood blockbusters.

Seeking to resurrect The Theatres at Canal Place, Southern Theatres outfitted five all-digital auditoriums with over-sized, reclining leather seats, shared swivel-tables and drink holders in a stadium-seating configuration with reserved seating. The new amenities include an upscale café and premium bar in the foyer, and a call button for in-theater food and beverage table service. NEC large-screen LCD displays give the concession areas added appeal and menu flexibility. The grand opening of the complex is at 10 p.m. today, just before the 12:01 a.m. premiere of the new "Sex and The City 2" movie.

"It is an honor to continue our work with George Solomon of Southern Theatres," said Pierre Richer, President and C.O.O. of NEC Display Solutions. "New Orleans is being restored one project at a time, and we are very privileged to play a small role."

Ballantyne Strong, a master reseller for the exhibitor segment of NEC's business, is providing the hardware and installation services for the theaters. For this project, NEC NC2000 projectors were selected, which are 3D capable with advanced security features for digital content protection. The NC2000 also includes sophisticated technology for venting and cooling.

"Ballantyne Strong is grateful to have a role in revitalizing New Orleans, and this major upgrade transforms The Theatres at Canal Place into a top entertainment destination," said John Wilmers, President and CEO, Ballantyne Strong. "Our innovative solution of mounting the projectors in soundproof ceiling enclosures also provides more room for movie patrons to enjoy the ambience of the buildings."

"Investing in this community means a lot to us, and the superb design of the facility continues Southern's tradition of delivering the best movie-going experience possible," said Solomon, President of Southern Theatres. "NEC and Ballantyne Strong are great partners, and they understand our mission of rebuilding the area to include simple luxuries people have missed since 2005."

Solomon has been in the theater business with his family for more than 50 years and launched Southern Theatres, LLC, to develop and operate state-of-the-art, multiplex stadium-seating movie theaters.

The NEC Digital Cinema Projector Series models meet DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) requirements, so exhibitors are prepared to capitalize on current opportunities as well as position themselves for future growth.

 

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Singapore/Manila - President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has signed the Anti-Camcording Act, thereby passing it into law and intensifying the fight against movie piracy in the country. Considered a milestone legislation piece not only in the Philippines but also in South East Asia, the Anti-Camcording Law aims to help curb illegal camcording activities in the country and in the Asian region.

Under the Anti-Camcording Law, any person who is caught using or attempting to use an audiovisual recording device to transmit or make a copy of any part of a performance in an exhibition facility of any cinematographic film or other audiovisual work will be charged with a fine of PhP 50,000 to PhP 750, 000 (US$1,000-US$17,000) and will face imprisonment of a minimum of six months and one day to six years and one day.

"We congratulate the Philippine government in this milestone victory in the country's fight against movie piracy and its renewed commitment to join its Asian counterparts in protecting content and tackling copyright theft by going after the source with a strong anti-camcording law," said Mike Ellis, President and Managing Director for Asia Pacific of the Motion Picture Association (MPA). "Enforcement authorities in the Philippines can get down to the business of clamping down on the serious problem of camcord piracy like their counterparts in Japan and Hong Kong have done so effectively."

Introduced by House Representative Irwin Tieng and sponsored by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and Senator Mar Roxas, the new law is expected to greatly benefit the local movie industry, which has suffered staggering losses amounting to lost revenue due to the illegal replication and proliferation of pirated optical discs. Under the new law, the Philippine National Police (PNP) with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Optical Media Board (OMB), the National Cinema Association of the Philippines (NCAP) and its member exhibitors will be expected to fully enforce the provisions.

Currently, more than 90% of the pirated copies of newly released movies on the street and on Internet sites originate from illegal copies made in cinemas. Around 9% of global camcords in 2009 have been forensically traced to theatres in the Asia-Pacific.

"Undoubtedly, the Anti-Camcording Act will boost OMB's overall piracy initiatives," said OMB Chief Ronnie Ricketts. "It is about time that we have this law in place to fully implement our anti-piracy programs and operations against illegal camcorders and pirates."

"The recent passage of the Anti-Camcording Law will play a critical role in helping protect the interests of the Philippine movie industry which is still struggling from huge losses due to piracy. Through this law, we are also counting on the help of other industry players to reinvigorate the industry and eventually, creating more business and employment opportunities for all the members of the industry," said Engr. Ric Camaligan, President of the Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council.

Industry groups, including international exhibitors and cinema associations that ensure that local movie-going public enjoys the best cinema entertainment experience, likewise, expressed their full support for the new law.

"The National Cinema Association of the Philippines welcomes the passage of the Anti-Camcording Law and will fully support its implementation. The new law will further boost our fight against movie piracy as illegal camcorders will now be forewarned of the consequence of their illegal activities through the signages to be posted in our cinemas. We would like to thank our lawmakers and all others who supported the passage of the law," said Atty. Rolando Dueñas, External Vice-President of NCAP.

"The passage of the Anti-Camcording Law is a welcome advantage in our battle against film and video piracy," remarked Philippine Motion Pictures Producers Association President Orlando Ilacad. "Piracy has crippled our industry to a point that moist of the players have already stopped their businesses due to losses. This law might be the shot in the arm that we have been waiting for."

The Anti-Camcording Law will be considered effective and in force 15 days from the date of the latest and complete publication made of the Act and its provisions. With strict enforcement of the law's provisions and with the full government and industry support, the Anti-Camcording Law is expected to effectively bolster content protection efforts, not only in the Philippines, but also in the region.

 

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