A dozen cinemas invest in crime comedy 'Brothers Nest'

Day and Date Down Under

There was a time when studios owned both the films and the cinemas, but anti-trust legislation in many countries put an end to that. (The Netflix model seems very much like the old model in that they own both the films and the distribution method.) But in a new Australian twist, 12 cinemas have invested in an Australian film, the comedy crime thriller Brothers Nest, about two brothers intent on committing a murder.

Cinemas were offered a variety of different packages by pledging an advance on expected ticket sales for the film. For A$5,000, they get trailers and radio spots that name-drop the cinema and locality. For $10,000, they get to host the filmmakers (but not star Shane Jacobsen) for Q&A screenings. For $20,000, they get both star Shane Jacobsen and director Clayton Jacobsen for a red-carpet premiere. One cinema owner paid A$25,000 and received exclusive screenings in his area for his cinemas. This investment helped get the film off the ground. The cinemas investing were all independent cinemas. Brothers Nest played the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas in March and released in Australian cinemas on June 21.

Strike action is not very common at cinemas Down Under, although in the past staff have refused to sell confectionery and ice creams as part of a wages campaign. Members of the cinema attendants’ union in New Zealand called a strike to coincide with the midnight premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story at Event Cinemas in New Zealand. The strike was planned to last from 10.30 p.m. to 1 a.m. on the day of the premiere. Not all staff belong to the union in New Zealand. The strike was over pay and conditions and had nothing to do with the film. Event Cinemas says the strike did not affect the screenings.

Sony Pictures Australia scooped up the Australasian rights to the contemporary remake of Storm Boy after the initial deal with StudioCanal fell through. Sony executive VP Stephen Basil-Jones said he thinks the film has excellent commercial prospects and will release it in Australia on Jan. 10 during peak school holiday season. The first film adaptation of Colin Thiele's novel about a boy and an orphaned pelican was released in 1976 to great local success. Geoffrey Rush, Jai Courtney and newcomer Finn Little star. David Gulipilil, who was in the original film, returns playing the father of the character he first played.

Five years ago, the last remaining cinema in the central business district of the capital city of Western Australia, Perth, closed. Perth is now poised to again have inner-city cinemas. First up around September is the new Raine Square Entertainment area, with a dining precinct and a 12-screen Palace Cinema complex. Then in 2021, Hoyts returns to the city with a nine-screen complex at Carillon City. Hoyts had cinemas at the Carillon Arcade from 1970 to 1990, but this area is now being totally redeveloped.

Also in West Australia is a new cinema complex planned for next year. Independent exhibitor Roy Mustaca and his United Cinemas group will open an eight-screen complex in the Eaton Shopping Centre. "We are creating a fantastic opportunity for Bunbury as the gateway to the Southwest region." Mustaca said, adding that "every cinema will feature comfy stadium seating and our new electric recliners."

Send your Australia/New Zealand news to David Pearce at insidemovies@hotmail.com.