Reading revenues in New Zealand show impact of earthquake

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Day and Date Down Under

The earthquake in New Zealand's capital city of Wellington had a very negative effect on Reading’s profits. The company reported increased revenue in both Australia and the U.S., but the temporary closure of their Courtney Place cinema in Wellington resulted in a 14% drop in cinema revenue in the country. The cinema reopened in March and the badly damaged adjacent car park has now been demolished. Reading has announced that they will open a tenth cinema complex in New Zealand in late 2019 or early 2010, but has not revealed the location.

Just along from Readings in Courtney Place is the Paramount cinema, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year. The cinema’s operators say they will not be renewing their lease, and the council has released plans for a possible apartment building or hotel using the cinema’s exterior. The exterior façade is heritage-listed but not the auditorium. Wellington Film Society, which uses the cinema for screenings, is hoping to save the building as a cinema.

Kiwi director Roger Donaldson plans to film The Guinea Pig Club in New Zealand in 2018. The film focuses on pioneer Kiwi surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe and his work in saving burnt British Royal Air Force pilots during World War II. Richard E Grant will star as the surgeon, with Sam Neill also attached.

New Kiwi production company Propaganda Films, headed by Murray Francis (10,000 BC) and financier Sir Owen Glenn, has set up an initial slate of three films to be produced in New Zealand. They include Michael Hurst's crime caper Inside Dope (based on the novel by Paul Thomas), which focuses on an undercover detective in the sleazy side of Auckland society; the romantic comedy You've Got The Cowboy from director Josh Frizzell, and Ruptured Soul, which focuses on the rehabilitation of a soldier returning from the Syria/Iraq border. No casting has been announced as yet for these films.

Fresh off the just-released period bio Churchill, Jonathan Teplitzky is going for a change of pace and getting ready to film the crime comedy Mr. Cranky on the Gold Coast. The script centers on an underworld debt collector, living with his seven-year-old daughter (the result of a relationship with a stripper), who finds himself pitted against bikers, Lebanese hit men, a drug-addicted circus clown and more as he tries to get his life together.

Australia's Village Cinemas has a major stake in the Golden Village chain in Singapore through the Hong Kong company Dartina Developments. Discussions are underway for that stake to be purchased by Asian film and TV content company MM2. Golden Village operates 91 screens at 11 sites in Singapore.

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