Adding 40 Screens Locally in 2002
Brazil Hotbed For Expansion
SAO PAOLO, Brazil Having displaced locally based exhibitor
Severiano Ribeiro as Brazils dominant exhibitor, Dallas-based
Cinemark International now plans to add 40 screens at four
Brazil sites in 2002 and as many as five sites a year for
the next several years.
Cinemark currently operates 258 screens nationally; Ribeiro
170 (with 15 more to debut this year); and Brazils third-largest
exhib, Encino, Calif.-based United Cinemas International,
Cinebox, a European-based concern new to the Brazilian market,
also plans to open an average of 30 screens annually in the
Screen count has risen 44 percent from about 1,000 screens
in 1997 to a current estimated 1,600-plus, while admissions
have also risen from 56.6 million in 1999 to 67.8 million
between January and November 2001.
54 Screens, Five Multis
Major To Become
Biggest Thai Chain
BANGKOK, Thailand Major Cineplex (MC) plans to build
54 screens at five sites in Thailand, putting itself on course
to become the largest circuit in the country with a total
screen count of 105.
Chief rival Entertain Golden Village (EGV) operates 88 screens
in Thailand and has revealed no expansion plans.
MC announced in February plans to float shares on the Thai
stock exchange in June, with the initial public offering of
20 million shares at a value of five baht each expected
to drive the circuits growth.
Currently, MC and EGV each enjoy about a 40-percent market
Vids and DVDs Seized
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia In an effort to crack down on
rampant audio and visual piracy in Yugoslavia, local authorities
in February seized 100,000 illegal items.
Plans were made to publicly destroy the pirated items, which
included 23,000 videos and DVDs, in the Yugoslavian capital
To further restore order to foreign copyrights, the government
has also fined nearly 300 firms and individuals and initiated
During the decade under former president Slobodan Milsoveic
in which international sanctions were placed on Yugoslavia,
unlicensed copies of films, songs and computer programs were
available within days of their release elsewhere in Europe
and the United States.
High For Admissions
Box Office Princely
For United Kingdom
LONDON Some 141 million United Kingdom movie tickets
were sold in 2001 the highest number since 1972
and strong blighty box office continued into 2002.
Admissions in January rose 29 percent to 15 million over the
same period last year, due largely to the first installments
of the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings
franchises, the number two and three U.K. box office champs
of all time, respectively.
Other Hollywood-financed films such as Monsters, Inc.,
Spider-Man, and the next installments of the Star
Wars, Austin Powers and James Bond
series are expected to help the nations upward trend
continue through 2002.
Increase by 26 Mil
Boost German B.O.
BERLIN The increase in German admits from 152 million
in 2000 to 178 million in 2001 is being attributed to the
capital improvements made to Germanys 4,700 screens,
of which nearly 2,500 were renovated or newly built within
the last six years.
The 26-million increase in admissions for 2001 marks the first
time Germans, on average, bought more than two tickets each
in a single year.
German box office increased to 987 million euros in 2001,
while local product grabbed a market share of 18.4 percent
the largest German share since 1986, when record-keepers
began to keep track. Nine German films drew audiences of larger
than one million.
Buys Sites for $18.5 million
Ster Sells Assets In
3 European Markets
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa UCI Central Europe BV will
pay $18.5 million for Ster Centurys multiplexes in Hungary,
the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
A joint venture between UCI and venture capital and private
equity fund Argus Capital Group, UCI Central Europe BV was
established in the late 90s to develop multis in eastern
and central Europe. Under the current agreement, UCI is involved
in the provision of management and operational services.
The agreement terms for Ster Centurys disposal of its
sites in Hungary and the Czech Republic were for a cash consideration
of $16.7 million, with a completion date expected in April.
Ster Centurys Slovakian sites were sold for $1.8 million,
with a completion date set for June.
Ster Century Europe still retains its holdings in the United
Kingdom, Ireland, Greece, Spain and Poland.