NEW YORK/ATLANTA/BIRMINGHAM -- EFA Partners, an entertainment financial advisory firm focused on providing financing solutions for movie exhibitors, announced that it led and advised the recently closed financing facility for Cobb Theatres, a progressive motion pictures exhibitor operating 210 screens at 17 locations throughout the Southeastern United States. The proceeds from the financing were utilized for Cobb's digital cinema conversion, refinancing existing debt and growth capital for future acquisitions.

"We were very impressed with EFA as their financial experience with film exhibition and digital cinema allowed them to lead our financing effort from start to finish," said Bobby Cobb, President and CEO of Cobb Theatres. "With Cobb having a tradition of innovative entertainment, our patrons will see immediate benefits from this financing as we continue our conversion to digital and, in addition, the facility provides capital for our long term growth objectives."

EFA's principals have over 20 years of collective experience in film exhibition finance and have deep relationships within the banking and leasing communities. This allowed them to procure numerous proposals for the Cobb financing and provide appropriate recommendations. In addition, the EFA team assisted with the negotiation of all credit documentation as well as agreements related to digital cinema.

 

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CINEASIA, Hong Kong -- GDC Technology ("GDC"), a world-leading digital cinema solution provider, is pleased to announce today the signing of a digital cinema deployment contract with Wanda Cinema. The contract is a repeat order which involves GDC supplying Wanda Cinema with 280 units of SX-2000A digital cinema servers with Integrated Media Block ("IMB"), as well as 45 units of Theater Management Systems ("TMS") complete with full theater automation solution. It is expected that full deployment will be completed by first quarter of 2012.

Wanda Cinemas was established in 2005. Within just 5 years, Wanda Cinema became the top cinema chain in China. In September 2010, Wanda Cinema's box-office takings broke the 1 billion RMB mark, the first time in China. Mr. Li Yao Han, Senior Vice President of Wanda Group and President of Wanda Cinema, shall receive the prestigious ‘The Exhibitor of the Year' award on behalf of Wanda Cinema at CineAsia 2010 which is the only international convention dedicated to the Asian cinema exhibition and distribution community. This is the very first time an exhibitor from China to receive this highly-regarded international award.

"With Wanda Cinema breaking the 1 billion RMB mark in box-office takings and also winning the prestigious ‘The Exhibitor of the Year' award at CineAsia 2010, we feel really proud and excited at what we have achieved. All these can be attributed to the full dedication and commitment of our staff and our adoption of digital cinema solutions in the past 5 years," said Mr. Li Yao Han, President of Wanda Cinema. "Our rapid growth could not have been achieved without the support of GDC, a world leading digital cinema solution provider with excellent technical know-how and professional after-sales services. We have been working closely with GDC since day one and its digital cinema solutions are able to catch up with our evolving needs."

"Wanda Cinema's impeccable theater management and relentless drive to provide the best theatrical experience for its patrons explain its rapid ascend to the top in just 5 years. We would like to congratulate Wanda Cinema on winning the well deserved ‘The Exhibitor of the year' award at CineAsia 2010," said Dr Man-Nang Chong, founder and CEO of GDC Technology. "We are pleased that another CineAsia winner has selected GDC's full spectrum of digital cinema products comprising new generation of servers with IMB, theater automation and TMS systems. GDC will continue to provide Wanda Cinema with the latest and best digital cinema technology so that its patrons can continue to enjoy the fully immersive cinematic experience. I regard this as our best way to repay the goodwill of a cherished customer and we look forward to achieving more with Wanda Cinema in the future."

 

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Source: THR

Andy and Lana (formerly Larry) Wachowski are prepping a modern-day take on the Robin Hood tale titled Hood. Their Matrix producer Joel Silver is producing, and they're reportedly looking at Will Smith as a potential star. Warner Bros. will house the project.

The Wachowskis are currently trying to scrape together funding for a controversial Iraq-themed drama titled CN-9. Their last project was Speed Racer, which turned out to be a critical and commercial disaster.

 

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cateblanchettnews.pngSource: THR

Cate Blanchett will reprise her role as Galadriel, the Lady of Lothlorien, in Peter Jackson's two-part adaptation of The Hobbit.

"Cate is one of my favorite actors to work with," says Jackson, "and I couldn't be more thrilled to have her reprise the role she so beautifully brought to life in the earlier film."

Principal photography begins in February, and the two films will be shot consecutively.

Blanchett will next be seen opposite Eric Banna in director Joe Wright's Hanna. That project is set to hit theaters on April 8, 2011.

 

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(December 7, 2010 -- Sony Corporation of America has extended Amy Pascal's employment agreement with Sony Pictures Entertainment. Pascal is Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures, and together with Michael Lynton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, they are responsible for overseeing all lines of business for the studio, including motion pictures (Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems and TriStar Pictures), worldwide television production and distribution, home entertainment, and digital productions (Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation). So far this year, the studio's successful slate of films has generated more than $2 billion in worldwide box office revenues. Since 2000, Sony Pictures has had 73 movies open to #1 at the domestic box office, more than any other studio. Last year, Sony Pictures enjoyed its best year ever at the worldwide box office with nearly $3.6 billion in theatrical ticket sales.

"At Sony Pictures, two heads are smarter than one, more distinguished than one, and more dynamic than one," said Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Sony Corporation. "Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton are synonymous with success and style and under their leadership, the studio continues to be an immense source of pride for us all. While The Social Network is receiving such unanimous acclaim, it is only the latest in a long string of hits from the studio over the past several years. There is no doubt Amy is making Culver City the epicenter of creativity, and a home away from home for Hollywood's finest."

"Michael and I care deeply about the content Sony Pictures creates and we share a unified and committed vision towards the kinds of movies and television programming we want to make," Pascal said. "I am very lucky to have a boss in my corner like Howard. He has been a true champion of this studio and he put Michael and me together as partners, and for that alone, I will always be grateful. There could be no better collaborator, no savvier businessman and no greater friend as we lead Sony into the future. We are tremendously proud of what our employees all over the world have accomplished over the past several years. For the better part of this decade, we have enjoyed an outstanding level of success thanks to each member of our team who tirelessly supports the innovative storytellers and talent who bring our projects to screens and devices of every size. I know the best from Sony Pictures is still to come."

"I have never enjoyed a job more than this one, thanks to my partnership with Amy. Her leadership, business skills and candid, no-nonsense approach to problem solving brings enormous strength to all of our lines of business, especially in this time of real challenge and change in our industry," said Lynton. "I couldn't imagine running Sony Pictures without Amy as my partner."

Sony Pictures Entertainment is only one of two studios to generate more than $1 billion in domestic box office sales for each of the past nine years. Since Pascal's promotion to co-chairman of the studio in 2006, the studio has released an impressive array of box office hits, including such worldwide blockbusters as Spider-Man 3, The Pursuit of Happyness, Casino Royale, Superbad, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, Step Brothers, Quantum of Solace, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and Hancock, among others.

Pascal joined Columbia Pictures in 1988, leaving the studio in 1994 to help build Turner Pictures as president of Production. During her first years at Columbia, she oversaw such memorable motion pictures as Groundhog Day, Little Women, Awakenings, and A League of Their Own. She rejoined Columbia Pictures in 1996 as president of the studio under John Calley.

Earlier in her career, Pascal was Vice President of Production at 20th Century Fox in 1986-1987. Before joining Fox, Pascal began her career as a secretary working for legendary BBC producer Tony Garnett at Kestral Films, an independent production company affiliated with Warner Bros.

 

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