Event Cinemas announces eight new locations
Event Cinemas (previously Greater Union/Birch Carroll & Coyle) has announced seven new cinema complexes in Australia, one new complex in New Zealand and a refurbishment of their Miranda complex in Sydney. The cinemas are in a mix of country towns and city suburbs and will add 70 screens to the 492 already operated by Event Cinemas. Many of the complexes are being developed in conjunction with Village Roadshow cinemas but will have the Event Cinemas branding. The expansion shows the faith the group has in the future of exhibition in Australia. This faith is underlined by the latest figures from the MPDAA which show that cinema box office in Australia is up nine percent for the first four months of 2014 over the previous year.
For many years, Village Roadshow Pictures has had a funding and producing deal with Warner Bros. The current deal involves 12 upcoming films including Clint Eastwood's American Sniper and currently runs until 2017. Village Roadshow has added to that by entering a co-production deal with Sony Pictures. VRP will finance between 25 and 50% of the budget of an undisclosed number of Sony films. The first films in this deal include The Equalizer with Denzel Washington, the Annie remake, and Grimsby with Sacha Baron Cohen. As part of the funding arrangements, Village Roadshow is expected to get distribution rights to the films Down Under, with Sony handling distribution elsewhere.
Following a number of sales at Cannes, it now looks like 17 Australian films will be released in the U.S. in 2014. This would represent the largest number of releases ever. That number may increase following Russell Crowe's 12-minute presentation of footage from his World War I drama The Water Diviner at Cannes. Reports have suggested that The Weinstein Company is interested in U.S. rights. It opens in Australia on Dec. 26.
The 2014 Australian International Movie Convention will be held at Jupiters Hotel and Casino on Queensland's Gold Coast Oct. 12-16. The convention has numerous product presentations including trailers and feature film presentations along with seminars and forums, a trade show and numerous social events. A discount is available on registrations made before August 30. Full details are available at www.movieconvention.com.au. Have a holiday Down Under and enjoy the convention all in one trip.
Jocelyn Moorhouse (A Thousand Acres) has amassed an interesting cast for her adaptation of the 1950s comic drama The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham. Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth and Isla Fisher will star in the picture, which starts filming in Victoria in October for an October 2015 release in Australia by Universal. Winslet plays a glamorous woman who returns to her small rural town to clear up details of a murder. She also finds an unexpected romance there.
Send your Australia/New Zealand news items to David Pearce at email@example.com