Reading multiplex in Wellington cuts ticket price

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Day and Date Down Under

Is a ticketing price war about to break out in New Zealand? Reading’s Courtney Place 10-plex in the heart of the New Zealand capital city of Wellington has just reduced its standard cinema tickets from NZ$16 to NZ$10. The cut follows a recently published survey that said patrons would go to cinemas much more often if prices were dropped by NZ$4 to $5 a ticket. Tickets in the Gold Class seats have also been reduced. An increase of 30% in the number of patrons, and their spending at the concession stand, could well result in higher total profit for the cinemas. Time will tell if the move is a success, but it would certainly be very hard for the cinema to put ticket prices back to their previous level without a consumer backlash.

Christchurch, post-earthquake, is considered to be an ideal setting for a new supernatural film. Timothy Spall and Lucy Lawless will arrive in Christchurch in August to film the adaptation of the Margaret Mahy novel The Changeover. Stuart McKenzie and his wife Miranda Harcourt will direct the story of a young woman who discovers she has supernatural powers. Some filming may take place in the red zone, where some of the worst earthquake devastation occurred.

Australian singer-songwriter Helen Reddy who rose to worldwide fame with songs such as “I Am Woman” and “Delta Dawn,” is to be the subject of a new film bio called I Am Woman. Reddy left Australia in 1966, arriving in America as a single mother before reaching fame and fortune with a series of hit records. Casting is currently underway, with director Unjoo Moon set to direct the script by Emma Jensen. Producer Rosemary Blight said, "This is a very, very powerful celebratory story with great music about a great woman."

South Australia is one of Australia's smallest states in terms of population, but it has been one of the major states for its support of local films and filming. Three films are set to be directed in the state in the second half of this year. Martin Freeman (“Sherlock,” The Lord of the Rings) will star in the zombie thriller Cargo, to be filmed in the outback. Freeman’s character in the film has been infected by a zombie virus and has 48 hours to find a safe place for his child before be becomes a full zombie.

Xavier Samuel (the Twilight films, Love & Friendship) and Morgan Griffin (San Andreas) team up for director David Pulbrook's thriller Bad Blood, in which a veterinarian finds herself battling a psychopathic killer while on a weekend retreat with her fiancé.

The third film is the thriller Hotel Mumbai, starring Dev Patel and Armie Hammer. This is centered around the 2008 terrorist attack on the Taj Hotel in Mumbai. The Weinstein Company has acquired U.S. and U.K. rights to the film, which will shoot in both India and South Australia beginning in August.

The annual Australian International Movie Convention will be held at Jupiters Hotel and Casino Oct. 9-13 on the Gold Coast. Now is absolutely the best time to plan a trip. Plane tickets to Australia are at their lowest price for many years and you will get plenty of Australian dollars in exchange for your local currency, as the Australian dollar has dipped recently. Check out details at www.movieconvention.com.au. Accommodations are available at the hotel or at one-, two- and three-bedroom holiday apartments across from the casino in Broadbeach—perfect for families.

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