Cineworld Founder and CEO Steve Wiener To Retire In March
More than 18 years after founding the UK’s leading cinema chain, Cineworld CEO Steve Wiener is retiring. The company said today that the 44-year industry veteran will step away on March 31. “In 1995 my wife Jenny and I wrote a business plan to start a cinema company,” Wiener said in a statement. ”We expected over a five year period to open five-seven multiplex cinemas and sell it on to one of the big operators. Today, Cineworld is the No. 1 cinema chain in the UK and has been for more than three years.” Said Cineworld Chairman Anthony Bloom: “Steve has led the company with great distinction from the first day of its founding and has mentored and developed an outstanding management team. He will leave the business in fine shape.”

Gravity’ Blasts Off In China With $9M For First Two Days
Gravity has landed in China, and it’s pulling in plenty of moviegoers. Warner Bros said today that the Alfonso Cuarón space drama starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney took in nearly $9 million in its first two days in China. The film generated $4.7 million from 5,854 theaters on its opening day Tuesday and an additional $4.2 million on Wednesday. It’s the studio’s biggest non-holiday opening in China. The biggest opening ever for any U.S. film in China was this year’s Iron Man 3, which debuted to $21 million in its first day, which was China’s Labor Day holiday on May 1 and made $64.5 million in its opening weekend.

Pacific Northwest Will Spend ‘Le Week-End’ In Canada
Pacific Northwest Pictures has acquired all Canadian rights to Roger Michell’s Le Week-End from international sales company Embankment Films. The romantic comedy stars Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan and Jeff Goldblum and was written by Hanif Kureishi. Le Week-End, which premiered at Toronto, revolves around a husband and wife (Broadbent and Duncan) who yearn to recapture their youthful fearlessness, lack of responsibility and idealism. They return to Paris — where they honeymooned long ago — in an attempt to revitalize their marriage, but things don’t go well. But when they run into an old friend (Goldblum) the weekend takes an unexpected turn. Pacific Northwest will release the film theatrically in Canada day-and-date with the U.S. release, which is planned for first-quarter 2014 through Music Box Films.

Pinewood Studios Backs Its First Short Film With ‘Alpha: Omega’
Alpha: Omega will be the first short film to receive funding from Pinewood Studios Pinewood Studios as part of its film financing initiative. The project from production company Gobby and Specs is about a century-long civil war where the battle line isn’t race or religion but gender, and the resource at stake isn’t land or wealth but reproduction. The film stars Avaigail Tlailim, Amanda Hadingue, Maggie Steed, Michael Thomson and Sebastian Armesto. Producer-director Chanya Button and her co-writer Sian Robins-Grace are developing Alpha: Omega into a feature film.

Dubai Fest Sets Lineup For Its Annual Celebration Of India
The 10th annual Dubai International Film Festival has set its four-film Celebration of India lineup. The program will include Amit Kumar’s dark cop thriller Monsoon Shootout; Madhureeta Anand’s Kajarya, about the struggles women in India face today; Suman Mukhopadhyay’s adaptation of The Last Poem, considered a landmark in Bengali literature; and Shaji N. Karun’s The Voiding Soul, about a budding romance that challenges traditional rules and explore forbidden territories. The Dubai fest runs December 6-14.

Tigress Productions Taps BBC’s Pete Lawrence As Creative Director
Pete Lawrence is headed to Endemol-owned Tigress Productions as Creative Director, starting at the beginning of 2014. The 25-year industry veteran comes to Tigress from the BBC, where he was Head of Features Production. He’ll be based in Bristol, England. The company said the hiring of Lawrence and ex-BBC Head of Features Development Claire Urquhart, who joined Tigress in September, are “part of a new initiative to further expand Tigress’ output by adding a portfolio of innovative features and factual entertainment programming.”