SAN FRANCISCO - Flixster Inc., producer of the world's largest online movie community at www.Flixster.com, today announced that it has acquired Rotten Tomatoes from IGN Entertainment. IGN, a division of News Corporation, will receive a minority equity stake in Flixster as part of the acquisition. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The combination of Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes reaches a huge global movie audience of an estimated 30 million monthly visitors worldwide across multiple platforms: on the Internet, through web-based social networks, and via mobile apps for the iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices.

Both Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes will continue to be available to movie fans as individual properties. Together, Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes give movie audiences an unprecedented total picture of movie trends and opinions, combining half a million reviews from leading critics with 2.3 billion user ratings and reviews.

"To use movie terminology, we think this is a blockbuster double-bill," said Joe Greenstein, co-founder and CEO of Flixster. "It's a huge step forward in our goal of connecting users to their own personalized world of movies on any platform they choose. We can't think of a better pairing for movie fans and our technology partners."

Flixster's president and COO Steve Polsky added, "Rotten Tomatoes has built a fantastically well-known brand that moviegoers trust when making their decisions. Combined with Flixster's social networking and word-of-mouth, we're creating the leading movie destination on the Internet."

"Joining Rotten Tomatoes with Flixster creates a company that can dominate the online movie category," said Roy Bahat, president of IGN Entertainment, who will join Flixster's board of directors as an observer. "This also enables IGN to focus on serving the male 18-to-34 audience - especially videogamers - and the advertisers looking to reach them."

Flixster already operates the leading embedded movie applications on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, iGoogle, and for the iPhone, Android devices, Blackberry and Palm Pre. Together, Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes will be the most comprehensive, one-stop movie-information provider for both end users and technology partners, including: a database of more than 250,000 movies; 2.3 billion user reviews; 500,000 critic reviews; more than 20,000 trailers and videos; the well-known TomatometerTM and Flixster Scores; unique movie news and editorial content; category-leading social-networking features; localized movie showtime information; theater maps; and online ticketing.

Prior to the acquisition, Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes partnered in several areas, including a recent deal that syndicates critic reviews from Rotten Tomatoes to Flixster's online movie community, both on the Web and via Flixster's mobile apps.

Since its inception in early 2006, Flixster has rapidly become the Web's largest community for movie fans, with more than 20 million monthly users.

As the web's leading aggregator of reviews from top movie critics, Rotten Tomatoes offers the most comprehensive guide to movies, and its TomatometerTM rating - based on the published opinions of hundreds of film critics - is a trusted measurement of movie quality for millions of moviegoers. The site has also seen tremendous year-over year growth, with its monthly unique user base rising on average nearly 40 percent in each of the past five months compared to the same months in 2008.

The deal follows a series of moves by IGN Entertainment to refocus its efforts on building out its suite of game-related and men's-lifestyle offerings. The company recently launched Game On, a videogames-dedicated portal on MSN, and its network of sites currently reaches the most concentrated audience of males 18 to 34 and technology influencers on the Web today.

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TORONTO and LOS ANGELES -- IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq:IMAX) (TSX:IMX) today announced that for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2009, IMAX DMR(R) gross box office worldwide reached the $100 million milestone, a first for the Company and an approximate 225% increase over last year's fourth quarter box office of approximately $31 million. Fourth quarter DMR gross box office results include the approximate $54 million generated from Twentieth Century Fox's Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience. DMR gross box office of Hollywood DMR titles shown in the worldwide IMAX network increased 108% to a record $270 million compared to $130 million in fiscal 2008.

"Our strong 2009 box office results reflect the compelling film slate put together, our aggressive network expansion and increased productivity in many of our existing theatres," said Richard L. Gelfond, CEO of IMAX Corporation. "We consistently delivered approximately 10% of the box office, on average, of any major title in our network this year on less than 3 percent of the screens. We look forward to our 2010 film slate with great anticipation, and are pleased to kick off the year with the juggernaut, Avatar, which opens in China this week."

"The combination of many of the best and coolest titles Hollywood has to offer and audience enthusiasm for the IMAX(R) brand is a great one-two punch that has driven ticket sales at existing and new IMAX locations. We look forward to continuing to deliver significant value to our studio and exhibitor partners," said Greg Foster, Chairman and President, IMAX Filmed Entertainment. "We appreciate those that have contributed to our significant growth, look forward to announcing more titles for 2010 and beyond in the weeks and months ahead, and working closely with both new and long time partners as we bring The IMAX Experience(R) to more moviegoers around the globe."

"IMAX has always added a special level of excitement to studio titles, but now the significant contribution to overall Hollywood box office is an undeniable indication of the importance of IMAX in the release of any potential blockbuster. Simply put, if it's not in IMAX, it's probably not an event film," said Paul Dergarabedian president of the box-office division of Hollywood.com, "When 230 screens in 2009 can deliver $270 million in worldwide box office, this says very clearly that moviegoers prefer to experience event-type films in the premium IMAX format."

In addition to the strength of IMAX DMR titles, the Company's original documentary, Under the Sea 3D, produced in partnership with Warner Bros., was released in February of 2009 and generated worldwide gross box office of approximately $25 million as of year-end. The Company will release its next original title, Hubble 3D, also in partnership with Warner Bros., in limited release in March 2010, and wide release in April 2010.

The Company's announced 2010 film slate includes:

Alice in Wonderland: An IMAX 3D Experience (Walt Disney Studios)
Hubble 3D (IMAX Corp.\Warner Bros.)
How to Train Your Dragon: An IMAX 3D Experience (Dreamworks
Animation)
Shrek Forever After: An IMAX 3D Experience (Dreamworks Animation)
Toy Story 3: An IMAX 3D Experience (Walt Disney Studios)
Twilight Saga: Eclipse: The IMAX Experience (Summit Entertainment)
Inception: The IMAX Experience (Warner Bros.)
Tron Legacy: An IMAX 3D Experience (Walt Disney Studios)

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Add Comment on December 28, 2009

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CYPRESS, CA - Christie, the world's leader in digital cinema projection installations, was a "star attraction" at the recently inaugurated, all-digital Beacon Cinema complex located in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts. One of the most highly anticipated events in Pittsfield, the new $23 million complex, whose six screens are powered exclusively by Christie CP2000-ZX DLP Cinema projectors, is reviving the city's core. Built within a restored century-old historic building, The Beacon Cinema brought the excitement of the movies back to the downtown area after a 15-year absence.

"It took us several years to complete the project, including the planning, design, gutting and rehabilitation of the existing structure. Early on, I saw the direction in which cinema was moving, with studios releasing everything in digital and alternative content emerging. I decided to take the wider view, and go ‘all digital' with Christie DLP Cinema projection systems," said Richard Stanley, managing partner of The Beacon Cinema. "Along with sporting events, live concerts and special events, as well as corporate and business activities increasingly taking place in a theatre environment, I see myself not only in the cinema business but in the entertainment industry."

The mixed-use facility incorporates offices, retail space and the 850-seat Beacon Cinema, which resides over three floors, with auditoriums on the first and third floors and projection booths on the first and third floor mezzanines. It features all-stadium rocking seats, a state-of- the-art data network that includes security, phone, Internet, and digital cinema distribution from two data control rooms. There are two concession areas, which also serve wine and beer. They also boast all digital concession menu boards, digital poster cases and digital box office signage.

Stanley noted that Beacon's opening night was sold out, with the midnight showing of The Twilight Saga: New Moon on all six screens. Their opening celebrations with the 3D showing of A Christmas Carol also attracted full houses, even though the movie had premiered several weeks before at competitive theatres, which drew only a fraction of the audience when it was shown in 2D.

Integrity Entertainment Systems, LLC, an authorized digital cinema reseller for Christie, handled the sales and installations. Gary Engvold, president of Integrity Entertainment Systems, explained that his organization supplied all the components necessary for the complete installation. "We recommended Christie CP2000-ZX digital cinema projection systems for all six auditoriums. Two screens are equipped for 3D presentations and, since 3D is driving market momentum, there is an option for a third 3D projector," he said. "Christie's proven digital expertise, along with the brightest, highest performance projectors and the lowest cost of ownership, make it the projector of choice."

Pittsfield's Mayor James M. Ruberto participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony, which used 35mm film in place of ribbon to signify the theatre's "cutting of the cord" with old technology and embracing digital cinema. He remarked, "The Beacon Cinema complex will become the cultural hub and entertainment center of Berkshire County once again. Pittsfield's downtown is now open for fun, families, and tourists."

"Independent theatres serve an important niche in the cinema industry, since they cater to local audiences and provide a connection to their communities," observed Craig Sholder, vice-president, Entertainment Solutions, Christie. "By working closely with certified Christie dealers who sell, install and service the independent theatres, Christie can offer a broad range of support and the most advanced and cost-effective digital projection solutions available."

For video footage of the opening of the all-digital Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield, go here and here.

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MORRISTOWN, NJ -- Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. (NASDAQ: CIDM), the global leader in the digital cinema industry, today announced R/C Theatres, a Maryland-based cinema chain, has signed an agreement to participate in Cinedigm's Phase 2 digital cinema deployment program. R/C Theatres is the first of many National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) Cinema Buying Group (CBG) members expected to commit to this program. The CBG represents more than 600 members that collectively have over 6,000 screens. R/C selected Cinedigm's Exhibitor-Buyer financing plan, which means the exhibitor will purchase its own equipment and Cinedigm will administer the systems under its Virtual Print Fee agreements with all major studios for a ten-year term for 68 screens at 6 locations.

In Phase 2, Cinedigm has created an Exhibitor-Buyer financing option for exhibitors. When exhibitors participate, they select and purchase their own equipment and Cinedigm manages the reporting, billing and collection of VPFs from movie distributors, receiving a fee for doing so. R/C will install Cinedigm-certified fully-networked digital cinema systems. Cinedigm and the CBG also have system supply and service agreements with Barco and NEC.

John Fithian, President of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), commented, "Wayne Anderson, the former Managing Director of the CBG, and the CBG team who selected Cinedigm as its integrator had confidence in Cinedigm's technology, equipment vendor relationships and ability to bring appropriate financing options to the table. Wayne's tireless work with Cinedigm on behalf of all the CBG members makes it fitting that R/C Theatres is the first of many CBG members to move forward."

"The CBG was established to enable independent exhibitors across the U.S. and Canada to survive and thrive in the digital age," said J. Wayne Anderson, former Managing Director of the buying group. "R/C Theatres and the CBG, in partnership with Cinedigm, today begin an historic transition to provide high-quality digital cinema to the patrons of independent and small-town cinemas in North America."

Bill Campbell, current Managing Director of the CBG, said, "CBG, Cinedigm and our equipment partners have developed several options for our members, including exhibitor-financed, vendor-financed and integrator-financed programs. Beginning with Wayne's leadership and continuing today, the CBG and Cinedigm encourage all CBG members to be proactive in securing their place in the digital future of our industry."

David Phillips, COO-CFO of R/C Theatres, " We are excited to be the first circuit to sign up for the CBG Cinedigm Phase 2 digital cinema self-finance agreement. R/C has had the good fortune to be involved in so many aspects of the industry conversion due to the hard work, dedication and insight of its now retired Chairman and CEO, Wayne Anderson. To finally be at the end point of all that hard work is like coming to the end of filming and editing a movie. All the work has been done and now it's time to screen the final product - digitally of course!"

"Since the CBG selected us as the integrator partner for its members, the Cinedigm team has been working diligently to develop agreements that worked for all parties," said Bud Mayo, Chairman and CEO of Cinedigm. "This process for Exhibitor-Buyers was completed at the end of October and we're very excited that R/C Theatres will be the first to move forward in converting its theatres to digital cinema."

"R/C's decision to invest in digital cinema is a testament to their commitment of bringing the highest quality presentation and the diversity of alternative content programming to their audiences. Cinedigm is proud to be working with R/C to help them continue to fulfill that commitment," said Chuck Goldwater, President of Cinedigm's Media Services Group. "At the same time, we are at work with many more CBG members and look forward to adding them to our Phase 2 program as well."

Cinedigm's Digital Cinema division is the industry-leading deployment program for Digital Cinema that facilitates the funding, installation support and administration for the company's studio-supported Digital Cinema rollout plans. In April 2008, the CBG, a buying program of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) for small and independent theatre operators, announced the selection of Cinedigm as the digital cinema integrator of choice for the CBG's 600+ members in the United States and Canada.

To date, Cinedigm has contracted for and completed the rollout of nearly 4,000 systems in forty-one states with exhibitors including Atlas Theatres, Allen Theatres, Carmike Cinemas, Celebration! Cinema, Cinema West, Cinetopia, Dickinson Theatres, Emagine, Galaxy Cinema, Georgia Theatre Company, Great Escape Theatres, Marquee Cinemas, Krikorian Premiere Theatres, MJR Theatres, Neighborhood Cinema Group, Premiere Cinema Corp., Rave Motion Picture Theatres, Showplace Cinemas, UltraStar, and Cinedigm's own Pavilion Digital Showcase Theatre.

Its Phase 2 plan for up to an additional 10,000 screens will provide networked, turnkey Digital Cinema systems in conformance with DCI specifications.

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