CHICAGO -- Media Derivatives ("MDEX") is pleased to announce that it has received approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC") as a designated contract market. Media Derivatives will operate under the name The Trend Exchange ("TrendEx"). TrendEx is the first new exchange to offer innovative products that has been approved since 2004 and one of only 7 US based commodities exchanges. TrendEx is primarily focused on the development of a variety of products to benefit the entertainment industry with one if its initially proposed products being designed to help mitigate risk and enhance the successful financing of motion pictures through trading of opening weekend domestic box office receipts. TrendEx, like other CFTC approved exchanges, will consider other products to offer beyond those of just the media industry.

Founder and CEO Robert S. Swagger said The Trend Exchange welcomes collaboration from all segments of the entertainment industry in the development of market-based products that provide maximum risk management potential for the participants. Launch of the exchange's first products is anticipated in the third quarter.

"Like all Americans, we cherish the entertainment industry," Mr. Swagger said. "We believe that our products, designed in partnership with the broad industry constituency, will help better manage economic uncertainty and financial volatility, thus enhancing opportunities for success."

Mr. Swagger added: "The recent attention to our initially proposed product is normal and healthy. Historically, initial product skeptics have eventually become the greatest adopters through a process of time, education and communication that demonstrates the many benefits of futures market for the US Economy. Now that our exchange is approved, we will resume the work we've been doing throughout the entertainment industry."

By designing its products for institutional traders and commercial users, TrendEx intends to fulfill critical financing needs. Historically production companies have had no effective way to minimize the risk of producing major motion pictures, which cost on average $107 million per title.

"The Trend Exchange will fulfill this crucial risk-management need by utilizing the time-tested exchange-traded futures market model that has served agriculture, industry and commerce in America for nearly two centuries," Swagger said. "The regulatory review and oversight of the CFTC is rigorous - and necessary to inform and protect all participants in these markets. We look forward to working collaboratively with all parties to set the highest standards for these new risk-mitigation markets. Furthermore, we wish to thank the CFTC Chairman, Commissioners and staff for the countless hours of hard work and dedication throughout this process."

The Trend Exchange is privately funded by Veriana (www.veriana.com ) and is in discussions with several key industry participants regarding what it deems as possible strategic partnerships. The company's directors and advisors include prominent members of the entertainment and financial services industries. In addition, the exchange's senior management is comprised of many well known professionals from the Chicago futures and options exchange community. The Trend Exchange's corporate offices are located in Scottsdale, AZ with exchange operations office in Chicago.

 

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Dallas, TX -- Former Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Group President, Mark Zoradi will join the Board of Directors of newly formed Rave Cinemas, LLC, now the United States' fifth largest theater exhibition chain.

Mark Zoradi's 30-year career at Disney spanned the television, home entertainment and film businesses. He began in 1980 as marketing manager for Walt Disney Home Video during the beginning of the home entertainment boom. From there he moved into television as marketing director for the Disney Channel, also in its early development at the time.

In 1985, Zoradi entered the motion picture business as director of sales for Buena Vista Pictures Distribution. With his combined media experience, next he was named vice president and general manager of Buena Vista Television (BVTV). From 1987 to 1992, he led the rapid growth of this business unit and was responsible for ad sales (which generated $100M in the first year), finance, administration and operations. He was also instrumental in the launch of a two-hour syndicated animation block called "The Disney Afternoon."

In 1992 he was hand-selected from BVTV to set up a stand-alone international theatrical marketing and distribution organization named Buena Vista International (BVI). Under his leadership as president, BVI shattered records by earning more than $1 billion at the international box office for 12 consecutive years, generating $16.8 billion from 1995-2006. From 2007 to early 2010 he spearheaded the worldwide Disney Marketing and Distribution teams which were responsible for such hits as Pirates of the Caribbean, The Chronicles of Narnia, Ratatouille, and UP.

Thomas W. Stephenson, Jr., President and CEO of Rave Motion Pictures remarked, "Rave is extremely fortunate to have Mark Zoradi join the board of our newly formed company. His long career at Disney and experience in all facets of the entertainment industry will provide valuable insight and counsel. His track record as a leader and innovator will be invaluable as we move forward."

Mark Zoradi commented, "I am so pleased to be joining the board of Rave Cinemas and serve with the TowerBrook partners, Chairman Charley Moss, and our CEO Tom Stephenson and his team. The new entity is well positioned within the exhibition community to excel in providing the best cinema-going experience to movie audiences. My longtime experience on the studio side of the business will be a complement to the existing team."

Zoradi holds an MBA in Marketing and Finance from UCLA's Graduate School of Management and a BA in Economics and Sociology from Westmont College. He is a member of the following organizations: Board of Trustees at Westmount College; Board of Directors of Providence St. Joseph Medical Center and Los Angeles Regional Young Life.

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Before landing on DVD/Blu-ray on April 22, Avatar will be playing at 61 theaters in 29 markets during late-night showings on Friday, April 16 and Saturday, April 17 thanks to AMC. The sci-fi epic will be offered up in IMAX 3D at select locations.

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Cameron's film has raked in more than $2.715 billion worldwide since opening last December.

It will be interesting how Avatar performs in terms of DVD/Blu-ray sales considering that it will always be viewed as an event film that was meant for movie theaters.

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Burbank, California - GDC Technology ("GDC"), a world leading digital cinema solution provider, is pleased to announce the signing of a server deployment agreement with Movie Tavern, a fast growing US cinema eatery chain. The agreement involves the deployment of 76 GDC servers scheduled to commence in Q2 of this year with full deployment expected to be completed by the end of year. As part of Cinedigm's Phase 2 digital cinema deployment program, GDC servers will be integrated with Series 2 DLP Cinema® projectors supplied by Barco. Participating theatres will become part of Cinedigm CertifiedTM digital cinema network.

Movie Tavern pioneered a unique cinema-eatery concept that has become a popular trend in recent years. The concept combines the enjoyment of movie-watching with an in-theatre dining experience that historically has not been provided by traditional cinemas. As the fastest growing cinema eatery in the US, Movie Tavern currently operates these unique venues in Texas, Colorado, Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia and Virginia, and is expected to cover at least 15 locations and 120 plus screens by year's end.

"Movie Tavern is committed to giving its guests the very best film presentation possible. We know that GDC shares that commitment, and are excited to be able to partner with them to achieve our full conversion to digital cinema," said John Hersker, CEO and President of Movie Tavern.

"As an industry visionary who have pioneered and popularized the cinema-eatery concept in the US, Movie Tavern has always enjoyed a special status among its peers in the industry," said Dr. Man-Nang Chong, founder and CEO of GDC Technology. "It gave us great honour to be the sole server provider to an industry innovator and we hope other US exhibitors would take cue from Movie Tavern's decision and opt for GDC servers in their digital conversions."

 

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Source: Deadline New York

Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential) will tackle the true story of a man who showed up in a small Missouri town to rid it of drugs before being exposed as a bank security guard. Clark Gregg (Choke) will pen the screenplay.

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After watching his clout rise post-L.A. Confidential, Hanson has suffered through some commercial duds. Wonder Boys, Lucky You and In Her Shoes all failed to catch the attention of mainstream audiences. Only 8-Mile was a hit thanks to the star power of Eminem.

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