Year-End: UK Tax Breaks Too Much Of A Good Thing? Tasty Danish Offerings; French Film Biz Blues; Germany, Russia, Italy, Spain

YearEnd2013_badge__131227212819__131230220451The UK emerged in 2013 as an increasingly attractive location destination with new and expanded tax credits – but can it stand the bulge? Hollywood has cozied up to Britain, not only bringing its films there to shoot, but now its … Read More »

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UK-China Co-Production Treaty Inches Closer As Countries Sign Cultural Accord; David Cameron Pushes For Free Trade

By | Monday December 2, 2013 @ 9:56am PST

cameron china 2British Prime Minister David Cameron is in China this week on a mission to strengthen ties with the booming nation across many sectors, the film industry among them. He’s traveling with a large delegation that includes Culture Secretary Maria Miller, head of the British Film Institute Amanda Nevill and Pinewood Shepperton CEO Ivan Dunleavy. Although details were still being hammered out as of yesterday, it’s been hoped that a long-in-the-works co-production treaty between the UK and China would be unveiled on the ground. In the meantime, the pair today did announce a “cultural agreement” that includes in its text an accord “in principle” to support the conclusion of the treaty, and a bid to facilitate TV productions in both countries.

A treaty could still be signed this week, but it’s not a guarantee of more British films making their way into China since true co-production status, which eliminates the quota barrier on foreign movies, remains elusive across the board. A treaty wouldn’t relax the censors either as all movies are susceptible to cuts. Last year’s Skyfall, which was shot at Pinewood and also partly in China, saw some scenes excised from the version that went to local theaters.

SkyfallHowever, in a longterm move, Cameron is also pushing for a free trade agreement between China and the EU – curiously at a time when Britain continues to debate whether it wants to remain part of the Union at all. I’ve heard conflicting thoughts on whether free trade would permit UK films to bypass the quota system, and the proposal overall is likely to rankle other EU countries. In a letter he penned in the current edition of Chinese business weekly Caixin, Cameron remarked on the increasingly prosperous Chinese population and cited James Bond and Downton Abbey, among Britain’s “world-class goods and services they need.” He wrote that he would back “an ambitious and comprehensive EU-China Free Trade Agreement… that could be worth tens of billions of dollars every year.” Read More »

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‘Despicable Me 2′ Becomes UK’s Highest-Grossing Film Of 2013

With $1.8B in box office as of last week, Universal Pictures International has already been enjoying a record-breaking 2013. It’s added another feather to its cap today with word that Despicable Me 2 has become the … Read More »

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European Cinema Chain Vue Entertainment Sold For $1.45B

By | Monday June 10, 2013 @ 3:34am PDT

Canadian investment groups OMERS Private Equity and Alberta Investment Management Corporation will pay £935M ($1.45B) for pan-European multiplex operator Vue Entertainment. Vue’s current owner, private equity firm Doughty Hanson, acquired the group in 2010 for £450M and expanded … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Indonesia, UK

By | Tuesday December 6, 2011 @ 11:48pm PST

Cinema 21 To Open Two Imax Theatres In Jakarta
Imax Corp. and Indonesian exhibitor Cinema 21 have agreed to install a pair of digital Imax theatres in Jakarta, Indonesia. The first system is scheduled for May 2012 at Gandaria City, South … Read More »

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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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23 Million Americans Watch Royal Wedding, Beating U.S. Audience For Charles And Di’s; UK Viewership Can’t Match 1981 Nuptials

By | Saturday April 30, 2011 @ 7:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE SATURDAY 7 PM: Almost 23 million viewers in the U.S. watched the coverage of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton from 6AM to 7:15AM ET on Friday across 11 networks. That outpaces the estimated 17 million who tuned in for Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981, which was carried by the Big 3 broadcast networks in the era before the proliferation of cable. According to Nielsen, the combined viewership for yesterday’s nuptials was 22.77 million on ABC, CBS, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, BBC America, CNN, E!, FOX News, MSNBC and TLC. In households, the William-Kate wedding drew 18.6 million vs. 14.2 million for Charles-Diana. As for Charles’ wedding to Camila Parker Bowles in 2005, it was watched by 3.65 million viewers.

SATURDAY AM – Deadline’s London Editor Tim Adler reports: Nearly 27 million British TV viewers watched the Royal Wedding live, according to the three main broadcasters of Friday’s event. That is still fewer than the 28.4 million who watched the 1981 wedding of Charles and Diana on BBC and ITV. The BBC peaked at 20 million viewers when Prince William and Kate Middleton exchanged vows; ITV peaked at 6 million; and Sky News at 661,000. Those watching on other channels –-  Channel 4 and Five –- made up only 1% of the Brit TV audience. The figures still put yesterday’s Royal Wedding among the top 10 of programs ever watched in the UK, although the 1966 World Cup final and Princess Diana’s 1997 funeral drew bigger audiences. Read More »

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‘Fast Five’ Now No. 1 In UK Previews, Also Tops Korea And New Zealand

Sequels do especially well overseas, and Universal’s street-car racing franchise is scoring. Thursday’s previews of Fast Five in the UK at 416 locations grossed an estimated $2.1 million in the first day. The pic is No. 1 with 46% market … Read More »

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