Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cine Asia - will it reel in Asians?

saw this in the local newspaper last week:
at first i thought it about AMC rehashing what it was meant to have done years ago when it first opened in sunnybank plaza, but then noticed that this is with the birch carroll & coyle cinema at garden city (as well as other selected cinemas around the country). it sounds like a good and smart tactical move - catering to the large asian population (and those non-asians with an interest in asian cinema) in the area, filling a niche in the market (previously you'd have to wait for film festivals and similar special events to see decent asian movies in your local cinema) - but part of me wonders if this move comes a few years too late. i can't remember why AMC reneged on their pledge to showcase asian films - from memory they lasted a few movies before the menu went to 100% standard hollywood blockbuster fare. perhaps the market wasn't really there - yes there will be people wanting to watch such movies, but between the flourishing piracy market in the orient and the propensity of people to travel (or have family / friends who do), the how-can-it-be-legal video hire shops smack bang in the middle of the asian centre that is sunnybank, and in more recent years the rise of torrents and youtube clones on the internet (though the latter is more widespread for tv series), people have worked out how to get their fix of asian screen goodness without having to fork out much (if any) money.

cine asia's mission is "to bring big screen, big budget Asian movies to Australian cinema goers on the same day and date as they are released in Hong Kong and China". time will tell whether this is a successful formula - the same day release bit should help their cause. i'd love to support it more myself, but trips to the cinemas aren't cheap these days. that's why i wished it was AMC who had run with the idea first - their prices are at least a tad kinder to the old hip pocket. i haven't been to the cinemas for a while now... maybe i can make an exception for a birthday treat? hmm...

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