Life Cinema begins operations in Fiji

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Day and Date Down Under

We do not often have news about cinemas in Fiji, where the industry has been dominated by the Damodar Cinema Group. For many years they were the only company with multiplex cinemas in the country. Damodar operate three multiplexes in conjunction with the Force Corporation of New Zealand and Village Roadshow. Recently a new company, Life Cinema, started operating, first with a cinema complex in the capital Suva, and just this month with a new two-plex in Lautoka. The two-plex has a main auditorium with 183 seats and 3D capability, while the second cinema has 12 VIP and 142 normal seats. Ticket prices in Fiji are normally NZ$7 (US$4.92) for adults with a discount to NZ$6 on Tuesdays. Premium cinemas charge NZ$10.

Tom Cruise is bringing his Mission: Impossible franchise down under for the second time. Plans are for a good deal of Mission: Impossible 6 to film in New Zealand, with some location filming in Paris and London. MI6 is due for release on July 27 next year.

Even though it was nominated for Academy Awards, the subject matter put off Kiwi exhibitors and only two New Zealand cinemas had booked Moonlight prior to Oscar night. After it won the Best Picture award, the screen count went to 48 and the film entered the weekly top ten box office for the first time.

The future of the Innaloo Cinema complex in Western Australia had been up in the air for some time, as various developers bought the property and proposed plans included grocery stores, a bowling alley and office space. Now the Scentre group, which owns the Westfield Shopping Centre next door, has purchased the site with plans to enlarge the Westfield SC. Event Cinemas, which currently operates in the center, will be relocated to the new section with upgraded facilities and will operate along with a range of food and beverage tenancies.

DVD releases often offer extended versions of features with deleted scenes added. Cinema audiences in Australia are to be treated to an extended version of Lion in April with eight minutes of new and extended scenes. The film has been a huge success in Australia and is in the all-time top five Australian films box-office list, with around A$28 million to date.

Films from Summit Entertainment have been distributed down under by eOne for the past few years, but that is about to change following a new agreement between Summit Entertainment and StudioCanal. Their new releases, including John Wick: Chapter Two and Robin Hood, will go into release through StudioCanal in Australia and New Zealand.

Aussie director Bruce Beresford has long wanted to film the 1983 Madeleine St. John novel The Women in Black, which tells the story of a young girl taking a job in the fashion department of an upmarket department store in Sydney in 1959. A musical stage show, Ladies in Black, based on the book, has been touring around Australia for the past eight months to great success and acclaim. Beresford plans to go back to the original book and film it as a straight comedy-drama. He just received production investment funding and plans to film in Sydney later this year. Sony Pictures has worldwide rights. No casting has been announced.

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