Nordisk builds up Danish dominance

Plex war escalates

AMSTERDAM — Nordisk Film Biographen, the exhibition arm of Egmont Entertainment, has upped its stakes on two fronts in a brewing plex war in Denmark.

Nordisk, the dominant site-builder in Denmark, inked a deal last week to build a new six-screener in Kolding, an area on the Jutland peninsula marked for economic expansion in the next few years.

Odense expansion

Nordisk will also add three new screens to its existing nine-plex in Odense, a city of about 150,000 located on the second-largest island in the Danish archipelago.

The build-out, Morten Anker Nielsen, managing director of Nordisk Film Biographen, told Daily Variety, “is in direct response to new competition in the area.”

Indie film distributor All Right Films recently announced it would establish a circuit called All Right Projects and would go up against Nordisk by building a seven-screener in Odense, set to open in November. It already has a four-plex in Helsingor, a town about 20 minutes outside of Copenhagen.

Sandrews the competish

Nordisk currently has 59 screens in Denmark. Its main competition in exhibition is Sandrews Metronome, which has 12 screens in Copenhagen and plans to build another 11 in nearby Lyngby.

The Kolding plans and the quick response to competition in Odense is a sign Nordisk has no plans to let its edge erode, either to Sandrews Metronome or any other competitor.

Swedish exhib and film company Sandrews and Norway’s powerful Schibsted group linked up in late February to unite all exhibition, distribution, rights acquisition and homevideo interests into a new company called Sandrews Metronome Theaters. The move gave Sandrews Metronome a pan Nordic edge in exhibition, putting it in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and scouting for sites in Norway.

Looking beyond border

Nordisk parent group Egmont currently has the distribution edge in the Nordic territories through its joint venture with Columbia TriStar, but it’s clear Nordisk would also like to expand beyond Denmark with exhibition. It is currently in talks with the municipality of Stavanger to build a new plex on the west coast of Norway.

Kolding, along with two other neighboring towns, Vejle and Fretericia, together are expected to become a major growth area in the near future. The area currently has only five screens to accommodate a population of 150,000.