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Warner Bros. Pictures to Show Off New Films at Comic-Con International: San Diego

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Warner Bros. Pictures brings some of its biggest films and brightest stars to this year’s Comic-Con International: San Diego.  The announcement was made today by Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, who stated, “Every year we look forward to Comic-Con and every year we—along with our wonderful actors and filmmakers—eagerly share our enthusiasm for the upcoming Warner Bros. slate. Coming off the success we’re enjoying with ‘Wonder Woman,’ we are more excited than ever to interact with the fans, thank them for their ongoing support, and give them a taste of the incredible films we have for them in the coming months and into 2018.”

On Saturday, July 22, beginning at 11:30 a.m., Warner Bros. will light up Hall H with a presentation showcasing some of its eagerly awaited upcoming releases, with exclusive footage and revealing conversations, helmed by master of ceremonies Chris Hardwick.  The lineup includes:

  • Director Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One,” based on the hugely popular Ernest Cline novel, with stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke and T.J. Miller, author/co-screenwriter Cline, co-screenwriter Zak Penn, and Spielberg on the panel;
  • And the greatest Super Heroes of the DC universe, united for the first time on the big screen, with stars Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher talking all things “Justice League,” as well as an early look at director James Wan’s “Aquaman.”

In addition to the Hall H presentation, Warner Bros. will host several activities and activations throughout the convention and around the town.  Starting things off on Wednesday, July 19, the Studio will frighten fans with a screening of “Annabelle: Creation,” the newest feature in New Line Cinema’s “Conjuring” horror-verse, which debuted out of the Los Angeles Film Festival with a score of 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.  The screening will take place at the Westfield Horton Plaza and will be followed by a Q&A with director David F. Sandberg and stars Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Lulu Wilson and Anthony LaPaglia.

Keeping the scares going strong, on Thursday the 20th and through the weekend, brave fans can hop on the creepiest school bus in town: an “IT”-inspired virtual reality installation that will have them skipping school for the foreseeable future.  The bus and FLOAT: A Cinematic VR Experience will be located at the Interactive Zone across from Petco Park—no badge required.

On Thursday evening, attend a panel for “The LEGO® NINJAGO® Movie” in the convention hall’s room 6A, with stars Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Abbi Jacobson, Olivia Munn, Kumail Nanjiani, Michael Peña and Zach Woods and producer Dan Lin.  Attendees will receive an exclusive, movie-themed giveaway.  And for an hour each day during the convention, fans looking for a good stretch before standing in their next line can head to the lawn at the Omni Hotel to participate in “NINJOGA,” a tai chi/yoga-like workout for the ninja in everyone.  The class begins at 10 a.m., Thursday through Sunday.

And finally, following the Hall H presentation on Saturday, fans can hit the convention floor for talent signings in the Warner Bros. and DC booths, starting at approximately 12:15 p.m.

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Entertainment

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is Releasing in the Region This Eid

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‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ is coming to cinemas across the region on April 20th.

As part of the movie’s marketing activities, you can witness the first-ever 3D takeover of Dubai’s iconic tower, to see the movie trailer come to life. The trailer goes live on the Burj Khalifa on the 13th of April at 7:30 pm.

From Nintendo and Illumination, the film is produced by Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and by Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario.

The film is co-financed by Universal Pictures and Nintendo and released worldwide by Universal Pictures. Catch ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ this Eid, in cinemas regionally from 20th April.

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Gadgets

James Bond Film No Time to Die Delayed to Reshoot Nokia Product Placements

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Back in 2020, a Nokia executive teased a partnership between the company and the latest James Bond film to show off the latest Nokia smartphone of its time, which was 2019. The 007 film No Time to Die was originally set to be released in theaters in April of 2019 until the departure of the film’s original director and co-writer Danny Boyle caused delays, further pushed back after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The film was set to be released in April of 2021 until a more recent delay was announced. A report from The Sun cited industry insiders who were aware of at least some of the reasoning for the film’s latest delay. It’s reported that the brand deals struck up by brands for the film, which was partly filmed in 2019 going into 2020, would feature tech and products that would be far outdated by the time it was to be released in 2021.

Nokia’s 8.3 5G smartphone was to be featured in the film, but this item’s placement, along with others from Adidas footwear, Bollinger champagne, and Omega watches would all have outdated products featured in the film. The Nokia 8.3 went on sale in October of 2020, which is already too outdated, even for James Bond.

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Cool Stuff

Cinépolis Cinemas Inaugurates its First Cinema in UAE at Sharjah Oasis Mall

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Ashish Shukla, the CEO of Cinépolis Gulf, speaks to Gadget Voize about the company’s entrance into the UAE and its plans for the region 

Tell us about the Cinépolis brand. How many cinemas does it operate in the region?
Cinépolis was founded in Morelia, Mexico in 1971, and today is the largest cinema chain in Latin America and the third-largest worldwide. Having crossed a mind-blowing total capacity of 1.1 seats across all locations, the brand continues to grow and gain popularity among its loyal guests.

After its debut in Gulf in February 2019, the brand has successfully launched a total 5 cinemas in slightly over a year and currently operates in Bahrain, Oman, UAE and will be venturing into Saudi Arabia with two separate locations expected to open before the end of the year.

Which markets are you currently present in?
Globally, we are present in 18 countries, including Latin America, USA, Spain, India, Indonesia, and Gulf (being the latest region in the Cinépolis brand portfolio). For Gulf in specific, we are present in Bahrain, UAE, Oman, and soon in KSA.

Tell us about your new cinema at the Sharjah Oasis Mall. What is the seating capacity? How many screens?
Cinépolis Cinemas in Sharjah Oasis Mall is our first cinema in the United Arab Emirates. The cinema has 10 screens with a total capacity of 1194 seats. The cinema includes Junior – our revolutionary, internationally acclaimed, and highly admired family-oriented auditorium, which features a colourful jungle gym, complete with slide and ball pit, as well as fun bean-bag seating. In short, the auditorium has been designed to allow families to enjoy their favourite movies in a welcoming and fun space that expertly caters to their needs. 

Cinépolis Cinemas in Sharjah Oasis Mall also includes our Macro auditorium, completed with Dolby Atmos surround sound that creates a powerful audio experience thanks to the high-tech combination of the latest generation of audio speakers located throughout each of the venue’s premium auditoriums. The Deluxe or Premium seat options all enjoy an uninterrupted view of the screen with rocking leather chairs available. The screen is triple the size of an ordinary cinema screen and makes you feel like you are part of the movie.

Guests of Cinépolis Cinemas at Oasis Mall, Sharjah, will be able to enjoy a range of premium and delicious movie treats, including buttered popcorn, nachos and hotdogs from the concessions counter. Or, they can opt for a full menu of gourmet snacks from the speciality coffee shop ‘Coffee Tree’. Fan favourites include the ever-so-popular dynamite shrimp, edamame, chicken popcorn, samosas and crêpes. 

What sort of precautions are you following during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The safety of our guests, staff members and vendors remain the foremost priority for Cinépolis Cinemas and we have taken a number of measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable movie-going experience which include:

  • Temperature screening at the entrance
  • Limited auditorium capacity
  • Social distance inside theaters and at common areas
  • Adoption of contactless technologies for access and payment
  • Regular screening and check-ups of all staff and vendors
  • Frequent disinfection of all surfaces, counters ad common areas
  • Sanitizing auditoriums and seats after every viewing
  • Use of disposable F&B utensils
  • Trained health and safety ambassadors are available to assist you

The Junior auditorium with slides to enter and a play area is quite unique in the region. What made you opt for such an auditorium for kids?
The region acts as a haven for families with toddlers and children. In fact, no matter the destination, you will notice large families enjoying time together. For this reason, we’ve decided to introduce our Junior auditorium, it is revolutionary for the region and caters to the needs of young families with children to enjoy the big screen together. 

We also wanted to bring a product that makes the movie-going experience fun and guilt-free for parents. We’ve noticed that parents face slight difficulties when bringing their children to the cinemas as it can be difficult to expect a child to sit straight for a pre-determined duration of time. 

We also noticed that parents tend to leave the movie in the middle of the screening to accompany their children. Because of these reasons, we’ve developed a specialized program for the Junior auditorium that provides play time before the movie begins, and even a 20-minute intermission in the middle of the movie. 

What sort of expansion plans in the region do you have for the upcoming months?
As previously mentioned, Cinépolis Cinemas has ambitious plans for global and regional expansion. Our focus and direction for the region are currently KSA, where we see massive demand and with a market hungry for new entertainment options. We plan to open our first two locations in Saudi Arabia in Dammam and Jeddah by the end of 2020. We plan to open 100+ screens in the next two years in the Kingdom. 

What sort of challenges are cinema operators facing during the pandemic?
2020 was an arduous year for many industries and the cinema industry is not an exception. Apart from the obvious, there is the challenge of the rise in popularity of streaming services, as well as delayed-release dates of blockbuster content, both of which impact our revenues. We are starting to see customers gaining confidence in the health and safety measures we and the industry as a whole are taking. 

We at Cinépolis Cinemas doing everything in our power to keep our business and workforce engaged. We believe in a strong team, and the impact that has on keeping operations moving.  We are extremely optimistic about the future given the line-up of movies set to be released. 2021 the content line up is strong and major change will be seen with the vaccine distribution when people will gain the confidence for out of home entertainment. 

The industry is going through a churn and we are at its latter half. Cinepolis will come back better and stronger for our movie buff audiences.

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