Hoyts plans return to post-quake Christchurch

Day and Date Down Under

Hoyts will return to the center of Christchurch in 2018 for the first time since the 2011 earthquakes. They will operate two very large screens and two more intimate theatres with luxury seating plus food and drink. The cinemas will be part of a complex that includes 16 food and drink outlets on the ground floor and will be located opposite the bus interchange. The previous Hoyts cinemas were demolished in 2012 after sustaining extensive damage.

A documentary on New Zealand rugby player Richie McCawChasing Great, has become the highest grossing Kiwi doc on record. It has taken over NZ$1.8 million and is still playing.

Kiwi director Peter Jackson has several projects in development. His next is likely to be a new Tintin film, but he is also co-writing other movies. One of these is an adaptation of the fantasy novel Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. Jackson optioned the rights in 2001 and feels now is the right time. Christian Rivers, a longtime collaborator with Jackson, will make his directing debut on the project. Production on the film, the first in a series based on Reeve’s novels (the book is one of four so far), will start in New Zealand in late 2017. Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens are currently working on the script.

Perth, the capital city of Western Australia, gradually lost its central-business-district cinemas over 13 years. Hoyts and Greater Union closed their city complexes between 2000 and 2007. Then in 2013, the final remaining cinema in the Perth city center, the Piccadilly, closed. Finally, the city has received some good news with the announcement by Palace Cinemas and property developer Charter Hall that a 12-screen multiplex will open in the new Raine Square development in 2018. The cinemas will be on level 2, with a hotel tower above the retail areas.

Palace Cinemas signed a three-year exclusive supply agreement with Christie and Hoyts Cinema Technology Group for digital projectors and services. The deal is expected to involve around 70 projectors including the new Christie CP2208 as Palace increases its screen count across Australia.

John Boyega and Scott Eastwood join returning stars Ron Perlman and Max Martini in Pacfic Rim: Maelstrom, now shooting in Sydney and the Gold Coast. Guillermo del Toro, who made the original, has written the script for the sequel and is the producer. Steven S. DeKnight has taken over directing duties. Very little information about the plot has been released apart from the fact that Boyega plays the son of Idris Elba. The release date is set for February 2018.

Send your Australia/New Zealand news to David Pearce at insidemovies@hotmail.com.