Advertising on the rise at Thai cinemas

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Niti Pattanapakdee, general manager at Major CineAd, a subsidiary of Major Cineplex Group (Thailand's largest cinema chain), reported to The Nation newspaper that in-theatre advertising in Thailand will increase at least 15% this year, based on positive first-quarter earnings.

A Nielsen survey of the first quarter showed that cinema ad revenue rose 37.3%, year on year to roughly US$68 million. Nielsen ranked cinema advertising the third-largest ad spend after television commercials at $514 million and newspaper ads at $120 million.

Niti said that with Major's more than 400 screens across the country, their ad revenue accounted for 70 percent of all cinema ad spending.

Though there was no word from SF Cinema Group on their ad spending, the circuit reported that they will open an additional 30 to 40 new cinemas in Thailand this year. SF currently runs more than 260 cinemas across Thailand.

Dubai's Film Industry Grows
Dubai's National newspaper reported that the film industry in the country contributed US$40.8 million to the economy last year, thanks to more television shows and commercials being shot in the Emirates.

Total budget for feature films and television was around $19 million in 2011. The majority of filming permits were from Dubai, with 115 from Europe and 12 from other Middle Eastern countries.

Animated Dino Coming to China
Los Angeles-based Super 78 Studios has partnered with China's Dinosaur Land to produce an animated feature which will be released in 2013 and developed into an attraction that will be built in the park.

China Dinosaur Land is one of China’s largest and most popular theme parks. Based in Changzhou, it features more than 30 attractions including the Brontosaurus Roller Coaster and the Whirling Dinosaur Carriage, and also houses a collection of dinosaur bones and fossils from all over China.

The feature, titled Mido Dino, is a family animated feature set in a magical world where dinosaurs and humans live together.

“Working with Super 78, we’re confident we can establish Mido Dino as a well-known, international brand,” said Horus Tsai, creative producer for Changzhou Dinosaur Land.

Tsai said that in addition to the film and theme park attraction, his organization is also looking to extend the Mido Dino franchise through the creation of a TV series as well as pursue mobile game platforms, stage performances and other potential branded products.

“It’s very refreshing to work with a partner who thinks big-picture and explores multiple platforms they can consider to fully leverage their story,” stated Dina Benadon, Super 78 CEO and vice chair of the Producers Guild of America’s New Media Council. “This is something the Producers Guild of America has been actively promoting and I really believe this is the wave of the future for our industry.”

Malaysia Fights Illegal Camcording
Theatre operators are now equipped with a new weapon to fight illegal camcording activities in Malaysia—Section 43A of the recently amended Copyright Act 1987.

The section states that any person who is caught using or attempting to use a recording device in a cinema faces a fine of not less than US$3,300 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or both.

In the past, cinema operators were unable to pursue legal action against culprits as there was no provision under the Copyright Act. Those caught recording were usually asked to delete the material and released with a warning.

According to statistics from the Motion Picture Association, a total of 69 illegal camcording incidents were detected in Malaysian cinemas between 2005 and April 2012. Year 2007 alone saw 30 incidents, the highest number in the past seven years.

Irving Chee, secretary of the Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors (MAFE), said that the new law will further boost cinema operators’ fight against movie theft. “It is a welcome advantage in our battle against film theft. The new provisions will allow authorities to take action against illegal camcorders, especially those who seek to make profits,” Chee said.

Kenny Wong, vice chairman of MAFE, stated, “Malaysia now joins Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines, who have passed similar anti-camcording laws. We will continue to fight against movie piracy until we reach zero incidents in our cinemas.”

New Opportunities in Myanmar
Anyone interested in doing business in Myanmar can contact the following government officer: Mr. Aung Myo Myint, Managing Director, Myanmar Motion Picture Enterprise, Ministry of Information. Contact me for his e-mail address.

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