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TOPIC: BREAKING NEWS!

BREAKING NEWS! 28 Apr 2011 22:16 #35866

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Grauman's Chinese Theatre to be sold to movie producers
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April 28, 2011 | 12:54 pm
One of Hollywood's most iconic landmarks, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, is once again changing hands.

A partnership between Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures parent Viacom Inc. has signed an agreement to sell the historic theater on Hollywood Boulevard for an undisclosed sum to a pair of movie producers: Don Kushner, executive producer of "Tron: Legacy," and the flamboyant and controversial entrepreneur Elie Samaha, two people familiar with the deal said Thursday.

The sale, which is scheduled to close May 20, also includes the Mann's Chinese 6 multiplex, located in the adjacent Hollywood and Highland retail mall.

The single-screen Grauman's -- known for its giant, red Chinese pagoda, signature Chinese dragon guard dogs at the entrance and cement block footprints and hand prints of famous Hollywood figures -- was declared a historic and cultural landmark in 1968.

Neither Samaha nor Kushner were immediately available to discuss their plans for the theater, but one person familiar with the matter said the theater will continue to screen movies and host premieres and that the new owners plan to upgrade food and beverage services.

The sale involves the buildings only and not the land the theater sits on, which in 2008 was sold to the CIM Group, which owns the Hollywood and Highland complex and other commercial properties in Hollywood.

Representatives of Warner, Viacom and Mann declined to comment on the pending sale.

Samaha, who has owned dry cleaners and nightclubs in Los Angeles, made waves more than a decade ago when he ventured into the movie business, producing such films as Bruce Willis' hit "The Whole Nine Yards" and John Travolta's box-office flop "Battlefield Earth."

But his business practices led to a high-profile legal battle with the German company Intertainment AG, which alleged in a fraud and racketeering lawsuit in 2000 that Franchise Pictures, the independent film company headed by Samaha, had made up inflated budgets for such movies as "Battlefield Earth." Samaha had denied any wrongdoing. Intertainment was awarded $122 million in damages, but was unable to collect the money and ultimately settled the complex legal brawl for $3 million.

Warner and Viacom have been trying to sell the historic theater for more than a year but had struggled to find a buyer.

Warner and Viacom acquired Grauman's Chinese Theatre in 2001 along with six other theaters owned by Encino-based Mann Theatres after the circuit declared bankruptcy in the face of rising competition from large theater chains.

Mann continues to operate theaters in Hollywood, Glendale, Van Nuys and Thousand Oaks.

Ted Mann, owner of the Mann chain, had purchased Grauman's Chinese in 1973; it then operated under the Mann name for nearly three decades.

Sid Grauman and partners that included silent screen stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks financed construction of the theater, which opened in 1927 with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's film "The King of Kings." Over the decades it has hosted several Academy Awards ceremonies and was used for scores of high-profile premieres, including George Lucas' "Star Wars" in 1977.

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Re: BREAKING NEWS! 05 May 2011 01:32 #35945

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Flixster And Rotten Tomatoes Bought By Warner Bros Home Entertainment Today
By NIKKI FINKE | Wednesday May 4, 2011 @ 6:06am PDT
Tags: Acquisition, Flixster, Rotten Tomatoes, Warner Bros, Warner Bros Home Entertainment Group


BURBANK, Calif., May 4, 2011 – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group today announced an agreement to acquire Flixster, the movie discovery application company with over 25 million worldwide users per month. The acquisition also includes Rotten Tomatoes website devoted to film reviews, information and news. Under the terms of the deal, Flixster will continue to operate independently and will expand its services beyond movie discovery to enable digital content ownership and delivery across any connected digital device.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group will utilize the Flixster brand and technical expertise to launch a number of initiatives designed to grow digital content ownership, including the recently announced consumer application “Digital Everywhere.” This studio-agnostic application will be the ultimate destination for consumers to organize and access their entire digital library from anywhere on the device of their choice, as well as to share recommendations and discover new content. The Flixster acquisition and “Digital Everywhere,” combined with the Studio’s support of the UltraViolet format are all part of an overall strategy to give consumers even more freedom, utility and value for their digital purchases.

“Driving the growth of digital ownership is a central, strategic focus for Warner Bros.,” said Kevin Tsujihara, President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Office of the President, Warner Bros. Entertainment. “The acquisition of Flixster will allow us to advance that strategy and promote initiatives that will
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Re: BREAKING NEWS! 08 Aug 2011 02:02 #36825

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Fox Intl To Stop 35MM Print Distribution In Hong Kong & Macau: Digital Only After Jan. 1

By NIKKI FINKE | Sunday August 7, 2011 @ 7:46pm PDT
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Twentieth Century Fox International will cease the distribution of 35mm film prints to theaters in Hong Kong and Macau effective January 1st, 2012. After that date all Fox feature film content in cinemas will be provided exclusively through DCI-compliant digital media formats. Through December 31, 2011 Fox will provide its films in both 35mm print and DCI-compliant digital formats to the region.

“We anticipate that by the end of 2011, exhibitors in Hong Kong and Macau will have converted more than 95% of their cinema screens to DCI-compliant digital cinema projection technology,” Sunder Kimatrai, SVP and Asia-Pacific Regional Managing Director for Twentieth Century Fox International said in a statement issued Monday. “As a logical result of the transition to digital cinema, we feel the time is right to phase out the supply of our films in 35mm analogue formats. The entire Asia-Pacific region has been rapidly deploying digital cinema systems and over the next two years we expect to be announcing additional markets where supply of 35mm will be phased out.”

Julian Levin, Executive Vice President Digital Exhibition and Non-Theatrical Sales added, “Fox thanks Hong Kong and Macau exhibitors and key digital cinema integrators for their continued efforts and investments to convert cinema screens to digital projection technology. Fox has entered numerous digital cinema deployment agreements in Hong Kong/Macau and throughout the Asia-Pacific region, and we will continue to support DCI-compliant digital cinema conversion efforts in all major markets. The future of the cinema business is in digital technology, particularly as a basis for providing to consumers the extra value of 3D cinema. We encourage exhibitors in all countries to sign with their local integrator or to speak with Fox directly about their digital cinema conversion plans.”

Twentieth Century Fox International is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a segment of News Corporation.
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