You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ACNielsen takes EDI off the marquee

$26 mil brings B.O.-tracking company into fold

Market research giant ACNielsen Corp. Thursday acquired movie box office tracking service Entertainment Data Inc. in an all-cash deal for $26 million.

Marcy Polier, the former theater chain secretary who founded EDI in 1976 and has remained at the helm of the privately held company for more than two decades, will stay on as president. The rest of the EDI staff also will remain in place, according to Polier.

The move gives market researcher ACNielsen, which specializes in consumer products and services, a toehold in the feature film industry, an area currently dominated by National Research Group.

Several companies kicked the tires at EDI after Polier engaged investment bank Coopers & Lybrand Securities to help find a buyer late last year. Among those who expressed an interest in the company were software giant Microsoft; Reed Elsevier, the parent company of Daily Variety; and VNU Marketing Information Services Inc., parent of NRG and the Hollywood Reporter.

Beverly Hills-based EDI provides overnight theatrical ticket sales reports and other box office data services to U.S. studios and exhibitors. Over the past few years the company has expanded its operations into the U.K., Germany, Spain and France.

Polier said the merger will allow EDI to accelerate its growth in the international arena. About 80% of ACNielsen’s $1.4 billion annual business is done overseas. The company has offices in 65 countries.

ACNielsen — which is no longer related to domestic television ratings service Nielsen Media Research — became an independent public company last year when Dun & Bradstreet Corp. spun off its consumer products and services market research operations.

The company’s current entertainment activities include tracking video-cassette sales and monitoring TV viewership and other media usage in 25 foreign countries.

Using its HomeScan technology, ACNielsen tracks the buying habits of better than 50,000 households in the U.S. and abroad. The company now hopes to use the system to provide the motion picture industry with information about “who is watching what and why,” said Michael Connors, ACNielsen vice chairman.

In addition to its overnight box office reporting and online box office database, EDI also publishes a weekly Release Schedule of feature pic release dates, a Theater Atlas showing theater locations and performance data for the top 100 markets, a School Holiday Calendar, and the annual Academy Award Handicap.

More Biz

  • Tokyo Film Festival and Market Choose

    Tokyo Film Festival and Market Set Separate Dates in 2019

    The Tokyo International Film Festival and its accompanying rights market, TIFFCOM, will be held on separate dates this year. Some film executives may have to choose to attend one or the other. The film festival Wednesday announced that it will be held from Monday, Oct 28 to Tues, Nov. 5. Previously, the TIFFCOM market said [...]

  • Jeremy Vuernick

    Capitol Music Group Promotes Jeremy Vuernick to Executive VP of A&R

    Jeremy Vuernick has been promoted to Executive Vice President of A&R for Capitol Music Group, it was announced today by CMG COO Michelle Jubelirer and president Ashley Newton. In his elevated position, Vuernick will draw upon his broad experience as an A&R executive to sign and develop artists for the company, as well as oversee recording projects for new and [...]

  • Darnell Strom

    Darnell Strom to Lead UTA's Newly Created Culture and Leadership Division

    Darnell Strom has joined UTA and is set to lead its newly created Culture and Leadership division. Strom will represent and work with existing and new UTA clients who want to expand their diverse businesses and cultural influence at the intersection of entertainment, media, entrepreneurship, politics, the arts, and thought leadership. Strom brings years of [...]


    British Lawmakers Reject Prime Minister's Brexit Plan, Heightening Uncertainty

    British lawmakers have resoundingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s terms for the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union, heightening the country’s sense of uncertainty and paralysis less than two months before the exit is supposed to take effect. Parliament rejected May’s Brexit plan by a 432-202-vote Tuesday evening, one of the biggest parliamentary defeats in [...]

  • Dan Cohen nonesuch records

    Nonesuch Promotes Dan Cohen to Senior VP of Marketing

    Dan Cohen has been named Nonesuch Records’ senior vice president of marketing, the company announced today. In his new role, Cohen oversees marketing, sales, publicity, new media, and content creation for the long-running Warner Music Group label. Cohen reports to Nonesuch President David Bither and is based at the label’s headquarters in New York. Cohen [...]

  • hollywood debt

    Can Hollywood's Biggest Media Companies Avoid Getting Crushed by Debt?

    Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chairman-CEO, summoned all of his folksy Oklahoma earnestness as he made an enthusiastic pitch to Wall Street analysts about the telephone company’s bold efforts to transform itself into a multimedia powerhouse. It was late November, less than six months after AT&T had wrapped up its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner. But [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content