LAS VEGAS/ShoWest - Fandango, the nation's leading moviegoer destination, is unveiling a new convenience for film fans, where they can get movie tickets sent as barcodes to their mobile phones.

Fandango is rolling out its "Mobile Ticket" program in eight markets around the country, with more markets to come.

The benefit is that moviegoers can simply take their mobile phones straight to theater ticket-takers, who scan the phones' barcodes, allowing customers to bypass the box office windows and kiosks.

Fandango's Mobile Ticket works with most mobile carriers, and does not require a smart phone. The program is rolling out to more than 100 screens in the Reading Cinemas circuit, including:
• New York: City Cinemas 1, 2 & 3, Angelika Film Center, East 86th Street Cinemas, Village East Cinema, Beekman Theatre, The Paris Theatre.
• New Jersey: Manville 12 Plex.
• Houston: Angelika Film Center.
• Dallas/Plano: Angelika Dallas; Angelika Plano.
• San Diego: La Mesa Grossmont Center, Clairemont Town Square Stadium.
• Bakersfield: Valley Plaza 16.
• Sonoma County: Rohnert Park 16.
• Hawaii: Ward Stadium, Kahala Theater, Kapolei 16, Mililani Stadium.

"We've already seen success in the mobile space with our variety of apps for the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Palm and others," says Rick Butler, Chief Operating Officer of Fandango. "We know that Mobile Ticket will be one more Fandango convenience that moviegoers will enjoy. Our cell phones are with us all the time - so what better way to ensure you have your movie ticket?"

"Reading Cinemas is honored to work with an innovative company like Fandango," said Terri Moore, Vice President of Theater Operations for Reading Cinemas' Western division. "Fandango's Mobile Ticket is extremely convenient and our customers really enjoy being on the cutting edge of this new technology."

 

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Las Vegas-At ShoWest 2010 today, Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:DLB), announced it has reduced the price of its reusable 3D glasses. Starting today, Dolby exhibitors can purchase new 3D glasses at a list price of US $17.00, reduced from US $27.50, making them even more affordable and cost-effective.

Dolby is also offering additional cost savings through new, bundled pricing for its standard Dolby 3D single projector kit with up to 500 pairs of glasses as well as a Dolby 3D bundle for its large-screen solutions 3D kit with up to 1,000 pairs of glasses.

"Since our market entry just over two years ago, Dolby has shipped more than 3,200 3D systems to over 400 exhibitor partners in 67 countries. This growth in the number of Dolby 3D equipped digital cinemas around the world has enabled us to reduce the price of our glasses further," said John Carey, Vice President, Worldwide Sales, Products, and Services, Dolby Laboratories. "Our eco-friendly glasses are designed to be used repeatedly, bringing per-ticket costs well below disposable single use 3D glasses."

Dolby's 3D glasses are high-performance, environmentally friendly passive glasses that require no batteries or charging. The state-of-the-art color filter coating technology in the Dolby 3D glasses allows specific wavelengths of light to reach each eye, and delivers audiences vibrant color, startling depth, and amazing clarity bringing 3D movies to life.

In addition, exhibitors aren't required to constantly track and order disposable or one time use 3D glasses to avoid running out of stock.

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SHOWEST, Las Vegas - GDC Technology ("GDC"), a world leading digital cinema solution provider, is pleased to announce that it has won a major digital cinema deployment contract with Santikos Theatres, a leading cinema circuit in Texas. The project will see the deployment of 88 GDC SA-2100A servers into Santikos Theatres and currently work is already underway for the rollout.

Over the years, Santikos Theatres has established a well-deserved reputation for bringing the "latest and greatest" in cinema technology to San Antonio. From the first drive-in theatres and multi-plex indoor theatres, to THX and digital sound technology, Santikos Theatres leads the way in innovation. More recent additions include 3D presentation, Hollywood IMAX films, HD digital projection, in-theatre dining and the city's only art-house. John Santikos, founder and President of the locally owned theatre circuit is proud to continue this tradition. "It has always been our goal to offer our guests the best possible presentation, service and overall experience. Being the first local exhibitor to bring all digital projection here is an exciting undertaking," John added.

Art Seago, director of operations for Santikos, was the driving force behind expanding digital projection to the remaining multi-plexes. "When we decided to convert circuit-wide, we underwent the process of comparing all of the options available to us. GDC brought to us superior technology, quality, value and service which is what we strive to provide to our customers at all times."

"As one of the industry pioneers, Santikos Theatres is famed for having brought many innovative cinematic experiences to San Antonio," said Dr. Man-Nang CHONG, founder and CEO of GDC Technology. "It is an honour for us to be entrusted by a visionary company like Santikos Theatres to perform in their digital cinema deployment. We are committed to continuously bringing advanced digital cinema technologies and cutting-edge entertainment experiences to exhibitors and their customers."

 

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CHICAGO - NEC Display Solutions of America, a leading provider of commercial LCD display and projector solutions, announced today an exclusive agreement with Southern Theatres, LLC, management company for VSS-Southern Theatres, owners of The Grand Theatres and AmStar Cinemas, to provide digital cinema projectors at locations in nine states. The move by VSS-Southern Theatres extends its current relationship with NEC and Ballantyne Strong, Inc., and positions this leading exhibitor to capitalize on the growing list of 3D Hollywood blockbusters coming out in 2010 and beyond.

Building upon its more than 30 NEC digital cinema projector systems already installed, VSS-Southern Theatres selected NEC's new Digital Cinema Projector Series for its extreme reliability, performance and brightness. The projectors also were chosen for their upgrade capabilities to 4K technology.

The full complement of NEC digital cinema projectors can be seen in Palace 5 (Booth No. 1205) at ShoWest 2010, the motion picture theater industry convention held today through March 18 at Bally's & Paris in Las Vegas, Nev.

"Our relationship with VSS-Southern Theatres has been a strong one for quite some time, but we're especially grateful for the trust they have placed in us with this exclusive agreement," said Pierre Richer, President and C.O.O. of NEC Display Solutions. "The 3D juggernaut is upon us, and NEC is prepared to help forward-looking exhibitors, such as VSS-Southern Theatres, capitalize on the powerful opportunities presenting themselves to the industry."

NEC Financial Services is providing the financing for the project, which will be rolled out in three phases over the course of this year and early 2011. Phase I will be completed in time for the movie releases, "How to Train Your Dragon 3D" and "Clash of the Titans 3D."

Ballantyne of Omaha, a trusted partner and master reseller for the exhibitor segment of NEC's business, is supplying the ancillary digital components, screens and installation for the 18 VSS-Southern Theatres locations, which consist of 268 screens.

"Ballantyne Strong, Inc.'s, relationship with VSS-Southern Theatres extends back to its start as a theater circuit. We have been providing projectors and associated equipment to the Solomon family since the ‘70s," said John Wilmers, President and CEO, Ballantyne Strong, Inc. "VSS-Southern has aggressively been equipping theaters over the past two years to keep up with the 3D demand, and we are excited they are committed to lead the pack as the industry transitions to digital cinema."

"We pride ourselves on offering the best movie-going experience to the public," said George Solomon, President of Southern Theatres, LLC. "NEC and Ballantyne Strong, Inc., are playing crucial roles in that objective."

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.

Among the NEC digital cinema projectors being deployed are the NC1600-C, NC2500S-A, NC1200C, NC2000C, and the ultra-bright NC3200S at 31,000 lumens.

The 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. These NEC projectors include new Texas Instruments Series 2 electronics and are designed for easy maintenance to minimize downtime.

Combining advanced DLP Cinema projectors with reliable multiplex and screen servers, NEC's Digital Cinema Projector Series offers the most comprehensive digital cinema solution on the market today.

 

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Green Zone came out of the gate in first place amongst the new openers with $5 million on Friday. This gave it a Twitter ratio of 650, which was close to my estimated ~525 and $6 million Friday estimate. The movie appears to be on course for a $14.5 million weekend.

Our Family Wedding rung up $2.50 million on its first Friday. This led to a Twitter ratio of 918, right in the range of my predicted ~750 ratio and $3 million. $7.5 million seems to be in store for the full weekend.

Remember Me had by far the biggest ratio of the weekend as expected, coming in a $3.6 million and a 3,062 ratio. This was much higher than my estimated ~2,000 ratio and $5.5 million Friday. The marks the 3rd biggest ratio I have seen since last September after Paranormal Activity (6,974), New Moon (5,171) and This Is It (5,155). It was always going to be difficult to gauge because of the very Tweet-happy Twilight fanbase and as it turned out their effect was bigger than I had imagined. The film appears set to take in $9.5 million for the weekend.

Lastly, She's Out Of My League brought in $3.3 million on Friday, for a Twitter ratio of 817. This was right in line with my estimate of a ~700 and $3.75 million. The film should be able to score $10.20 million for the weekend.

Check back tomorrow for a preview of the upcoming weekend's wide release films: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Repo Men, and The Bounty Hunter. 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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