Tuesday, 25 November 2014

BFI to preview Blade Runner re-release

Blade Runner
Blade Runner, Ridley Scott’s iconic adaption from Philip K Dick’s science-fction novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, will be re-released in cinemas by the BFI on 3 April 2015.

Ahead of next year’s UK-wide opening, a one-day special screening of Blade Runner: The Final Cut will take place in over 80 cinemas on Sunday 14 December 2014 as part of the BFI’s Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder season, a nationwide celebration of film and television’s original blockbuster genre.

Harrison Ford plays Rick Deckard, a world-weary detective hunting down intelligent but murderous replicants in a neon-lit, rain-spattered future Los Angeles. The film co-stars Rutger Hauer, Sean Young and Daryl.

In 2007 Scott was given complete artistic freedom to make The Final Cut to mark the 25th anniversary of the film’s release. This enabled Scott to create his definitive version of the film, fully restored from the original negative. 

Star Wars and The Avengers boost Pinewood Shepperton profits

JJ Abrams and the cast of Stars Wars VII
British studio operator Pinewood Shepperton saw its half-yearly profits rise by £160,000 to £17.6m, according to new figures published today. Total revenue was up £2.3m to £38.5m compared with the same period last year, with film revenue 15.2% higher at £22.5m.

This year Pinewood has seen the shooting of JJ Abrams’ Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and Shepperton has hosted Marvel’s Avengers:  Age of Ultron. It is now gearing up for the 24th James Bond film to be shot at Pinewood.

Ivan Dunleavy, Pinewood Shepperton’s chief executive, said: “These results reflect continued growth operationally and strategically for the long term. I am delighted the company continues to make such positive progress notwithstanding the pressures in the wider economy.”

Shares rose 1p to 483.5p in afternoon trading in London, valuing the company at £238m. The stock has risen by more than 50% this year.

Eric Pickles, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, overruled objections by local councillors and granted planning permission for Pinewood's £200m expansion plans.

The company has also been expanding outside London, with production facilities in Atlanta now operational, studios in Cardiff opening in January and a complex in China being planned. It now also has facilities in Canada, Germany, Malaysia and the Dominican Republic.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Cinemas should charge different prices for Hollywood blockbusters and British indies, says Lionsgate UK boss

The Hunger Hames: Mockingjay Part 1
Cinemas should vary ticket prices, charging more for Hollywood blickbusters and setting lower rates for domestic movies, Zygi Kamasa, head of Lionsgate UK has said. Kamasa has suggested that a ticket for an independent British film should cost £4 while a tent-pole movie should cost £10.

“In most other industries, retail price is related to the cost of production, but not in the film business,” Kamasa told Screen Daily. “A blockbuster can cost $250m and a UK independent film can cost $4m but it's £10 or more to see both. I think we should see UK films priced at £4 and US films at £10. A trip to the cinema isn't cheap anymore.”

Lionsgate big title for this year is The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. However the company has moved its sales headquarters from California to the UK, saying British films are a growth area. Lionsgate UK has released eight British films during 2014 including Locke, The Invisible Woman, Postman Pat and What We Did On Our Holiday.

Kamasa sees variable pricing as one way to combat declining admissions. Figures from the British Film Institute indicate that monthly cinema admissions are already down 10% so far this year compared to 2013, according to figures from the British Film Institute.

Exhibitors expect 2015 to see a recovery numbers with releases such as Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Postman pat
Kamasa told Variety he is wary of depending on blockbusters. “The problem is you'll likely have 20 films that take $40m (£25m) each and not much beside," he said. “They will account for more than 95% of the business and it could lead to an unhealthy lack of cultural diversity. I think UK film needs a bigger support from UK distributors and exhibitors and this could be one way to do that."

The Cinema Exhibitors' Association (CEA), countered Kamasa’s view, stating that a variable pricing approach would limit diversity. “Cinemas are essentially businesses," the CEA’s chief executive, Phil Clapp told the BBC. “They look to maximise revenue however they can. If you introduce pricing according to budget, cinemas are naturally going to show the blockbusters to get a higher revenue. I think we need to be careful of ghettoising particular films.”

Mark Batey of the Film Distributors' Association, said there were a lot films competing for limited screen space. “In 2013 there were 700 feature films released alone,” he said. “For most films, a cinema run will only last a few weeks, as there are so many newer titles constantly being released. The budget of the film is not necessarily an indication of its popularity - take The King's Speech or The Artist, for example. The question of 'what to do' to boost admissions does need addressing but there is no easy answer and it needs careful thought.

The average cost of a cinema ticket in the UK is currently £6.54 - an increase of 18.5% in the last five years. The figure is calculated by dividing box office profits by the number of tickets sold, meaning it includes buy-one-get-one-free and daytime discounts.