The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday, Dec. 18, edition that Cineworld boss Mooky Greidinger has made an audacious bet on the future of the movie-theatre business with a $2.2-billion offer to buy Cineplex, only two years after swallowing the U.S.-based Regal Cinemas chain in a similarly gutsy move.
The Globe's Konrad Yakabuski writes that Cineworld has made a rich $34-a-share offer for Cineplex.
Mr. Greidinger is buying a business that is increasingly dependent on gimmicks, such as cushier seats and booze, to persuade people to get up off their couch,
Already threatened by Netflix and Amazon, Cineworld now faces competition from the very Hollywood studio that has been responsible for putting the most bums in movie-theatre seats this year. With Walt Disney's move into streaming, theatre operators could see even more moviegoers abandon the multiplex for the comfort of their own living rooms.
Much will depend on how Disney plays its cards; but almost everyone agrees that Disney has the better hand. Theatre chains such as Cineworld and AMC Entertainment Holdings may have even less bargaining power to negotiate exclusive theatre runs for the big-budget action blockbusters that have become their bread and butter.
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