Hoyts introduces new high-comfort Lux cinemas

Day and Date Down Under

Hoyts has taken an idea from plane travel with its multiple classes and introduced a new class of cinema in between the standard auditorium and the current premium cinemas. The new high-comfort cinemas, called Lux, will have reclining seats and more legroom than the standard seats, but not the same level of food as the high-end Hoyts cinemas named La Premiere. The Lux cinemas have around 31 seats with a bar and waiter service. They have opened at several locations in Sydney and Melbourne, plus one in New Zealand. Hoyts CEO Damien Keogh likened the new cinemas to Premium Economy on planes and said initial results have been very impressive.

For the first time ever, two films tied for Best Australian feature at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards in Sydney in January. The AACTA for Best Film went to Jennifer Kent's horror tale The Babadook and Russell Crowe's war drama The Water Diviner. The Water Diviner was the highest-grossing Australian film for 2014, even though it only opened on Boxing Day. It had taken A$15+ million after five weeks in release, while a new Australian family film, Paper Planes was at $5+ million after only two weeks. This bodes well for the box office for Australian films. Local films only took in A$26.1 million at the box office in 2014, representing a very poor 2.43% share of the total.

Total box office for Australia for 2014 was A$1,074,565,480, a drop of 2.28% over 2013. New Zealand had a very different result with a new record box office and a 5% jump over 2013. Cinemas took in NZ$183.1 million, topping the previous best of NZ$176.5 million set in 2010.

"We are very pleased to see an increase in 2014 theatrical revenue in New Zealand leading to record box-office revenues,” said Motion Picture Distributors’ Association chairman Andrew Cornwell. "New Zealand moviegoers have once again shown their thirst for a wide-ranging selection of content."

New York's Grand Central Station has been recreated at Fox studios in Sydney for the new romantic thriller 2.22, which started filming in January. Focusing on the aftermath of a near-miss mid-air collision, it stars Teresa Palmer, Michiel Huismann (“Game of Thrones”) and Sam Reid. 

The Government-run National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra is looking for a commercial operator to help program its state-of-the-art Arc Cinema. The cinema has 16mm, 35mm and digital projection. They want to optimize the sessions and income.

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