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Global Showbiz Briefs: Cinemark To Sell Mexico Screens, Ireland Boosts Film-TV Incentive & More

By | Saturday February 16, 2013 @ 7:30pm PST

Cinemark To Sell Theaters In Mexico
Texas-based Cinemark Holdings will sell its Mexico theaters to Grupo Cinemex and Cadena Mexicana de Exhibicion, the company announced. The Mexico circuit encompasses 290 screens in 31 theaters. Cinemark CEO Tim Warner said the sale would allow Cinemark to concentrate on its remaining Latin American theaters in Central and South America. Cinemark said its Mexico operation’s unaudited revenues for the 12 months ending September 30, 2012 were $73.7 million from 12.9 million admissions with a net income of $7.9 million. Sale of the Mexico theaters is subject to closing conditions and regulatory approval.

Ireland Reauthorizes Film & TV Incentive With 4% Increase
Ireland’s film and TV tax incentive has been signed into law and extended through to 2020. Value of the incentive commonly known as Section 481 will increase to 32% of qualifying expenditures from 28% from 2015. Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan acknolwedged the new law during a visit to the set of Frank, which he described “an example of the excellent work the Irish film industry is producing.” Michael Fassbinder stars in Frank with Domhnall Gleeson and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The project centers on a band fronted by an eccentric leader Frank, played by Fassbender. Currently shooting in Dublin and Wicklow, it’s directed by Lenny Abrahamson and co-produced by Ireland’s Element Pictures and the UK’s Runaway Fridge Productions. Other big-budget projects to benefit from the incentive include The History Channel’s Vikings and BBC’s Ripper Street.
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Netflix Sets UK & Ireland Service For 2012

By | Monday October 24, 2011 @ 9:54am PDT

The big Netflix news will come later today, when the company releases its third-quarter earnings. That’s expected to include data on just how many subscribers fled the company after its recent public relations disaster that included a surprise fee hike, splitting off its streaming service from its DVD-by-mail service and then putting them back together again. For the year, Netflix’s stock is down by a third. Meanwhile, this morning’s news officially continues the company’s international expansion. Here’s the release:

LOS GATOS, Calif., Oct. 24, 2011 — Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), the leading global Internet movie subscription service, today announced it will expand to the United Kingdom and Ireland in early 2012, offering unlimited TV shows and movies streaming instantly over the Internet to TVs and computers for one low monthly subscription price.

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Execs Talk Future Of 3D, Distribution And Technology In Entertainment

By | Wednesday September 14, 2011 @ 1:17am PDT

The Irish Technology Leadership Group launched its Hollywood chapter tonight with an event at Sony Pictures Studios that included a panel discussion among execs from companies such as HBO, Warner Bros and BBC Worldwide. Panelists at Innovation in Entertainment, as the evening was billed, discussed the new ways people consume entertainment, how much they’re willing to pay for it (increasingly, that amount is nothing, one said), and whether they’ve even caught up to all the technology out there. The future is in knowing how to pitch and make the right product at the right time and place, said Jay Roewe, HBO’s SVP West Coast production. “Computer programmers that understand the film biz — that’s the kind of people I want to work with because I know I’m going to adapt to the future in a very big way,” Roewe said. One example of HBO embracing technology is social media integration in its new comedy series Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. “The producers said, ‘If you have these ideas you want to do, come to us.’ The core is our programming, but it’s leading us down the road to other content,” Roewe said. The Veep team decided to work Twitter into the show so viewers can follow along at home. Roewe also detailed a cost-cutting measure on HBO’s epic Game of Thrones, which shot in Belfast using a new digital camera instead of film, a risk that technology allowed the team to take.

Robert Nashak, EVP digital entertainment at BBC Worldwide, touted a Torchwood app in conjunction with Starz that features content written by the series’ scribes and voiced by its actors. The app creates alternate story worlds and “reaches users anywhere they happen to be,” Nashak said. Another extra for BBC Worldwide is a massively multiplayer online game for sci-fi series Doctor Who, which would bring gamer data to the network, in addition to its “actionable analytics” — Twitter and Facebook activity that reveals how viewers feel about different parts of the show. “This data will be useful and relied on more and more as time goes on,” Nashak said. The shift in distribution platforms is another growing concern. Warner Bros’ SVP postproduction Bill Daly said he sees the industry eventually providing content directly to the consumer. Because of this, companies are looking to move away from the idea that you “launch it and leave it,” said Nashak. “The community and fanbase need constant nurturing.” Read More »

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