China’s Wanda Cinema Line To Add 80 IMAX Theaters
Wanda Cinema Line, Asia’s largest movie theater owner, will add 80 additional IMAX theaters to its locations throughout China, the company confirmed today. Rollout will start in 2016 and will bring Wanda’s IMAX commitment to 210 theaters in the territory. Under the terms of the agreement, up to 40 of the 80 additional theaters will install IMAX’s next-generation laser projection system. Wanda Cinema Line was one of IMAX’s first exhibition partners in China, dating to 2007. The parties signed a revenue-sharing deal in the territory in 2011. IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond recently said he plans to more than double the company’s footprint in China over the next five years. At a November Bloomberg conference, he said: “I feel like I’ve got the wind at my back. … I’m a huge China bull.” In 2012, Wanda Group expanded heavily into the U.S., acquiring AMC Entertainment in a $2.6B deal, and today that company went public on the New York Stock Exchange.
BBC Taps Mark Freeland To Controller of Fiction and Entertainment
Mark Freeland has been named BBC Controller of Fiction and Entertainment. The exec has been Controller of Comedy Production for six years. In his new role, he will lead the BBC’s in-house production teams within drama, entertainment and comedy. He also will work closely with the broadcaster’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide. During his tenure at the head of comedy production, the in-house comedy business has grown by 10% and commercial income has increased by 50%. Freeland has overseen such productions as Olympics comedy Twenty Twelve, three record-breaking Comic Relief Red Nose Days, Absolutely Fabulous and Armando Iannucci’s The Thick Of It. He previously was at Hartswood Films, now the makers of Sherlock, and had an earlier stint at the BBC, where he commissioned, developed and exec produced shows including Stephen Fry’s QI, Mock The Week, The Catherine Tate Show, The Kumars At No 42 and The Mighty Boosh.
The Cinema Guild Picks Up ‘What Now? Remind Me’ For U.S.
New York-based The Cinema Guild has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to Joaquim Pinto’s What Now? Remind Me. The documentary won the Jury and FIPRESCI Prizes at the 2013 Locarno Film Festival and was an official selection of the 2013 New York Film Festival. A 2014 theatrical launch is planned. Pinto has been living with HIV and hepatitis C for the two decades. His film chronicles a year of clinical studies with toxic, mind-altering drugs that have yet to be approved.