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Singapore flexes big plex

GV VivoCity opens hope to larger market share

Golden Village Multiplex’s ninth cinema complex, GV VivoCity, will open Saturday in a massive mall. GV is looking to increase its current 44% market share to 50%-plus once the 15-plex opens.

In fact, GV Multiplex managing director Kenneth Tan has staked his job on it. “I’ve promised my board over 50% market share,” he said, relying on new auds rather than cannibalizing existing customers from GV’s eight other theaters.

Despite its small population of 4.3 million, Singapore has a growing appetite for movies: Admissions have grown from 12 million in 2001 to 15 million in 2005. Per-capita filmgoing rate is one of the highest in the region, if not the world.

GV showcased its GVMax, touted as one of the world’s biggest screens, with trailers for Touchstone Pictures’ “Deja Vu” and Sony Pictures Entertainment’s “Casino Royale,” “Ghost Rider” and “Spider-Man 3.”

There is also arthouse alternative Cinema Europa, with its concept of “a film festival all year round” helping it compete with the recently opened Picturehouse at Cathay Cineplex.

Cinema Europa’s debut offering will be Woody Allen’s “Scoop,” but Tan said that in a market dominated by blockbusters, some of the pics screened will fall somewhere between arthouse and mainstream.

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