You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Morelia: Cinepolis CEO Alejandro Ramirez on Growth Plans (EXCLUSIVE)

MORELIA, Mexico – Cinepolis CEO Alejandro Ramirez, who presides over the second largest exhibition circuit in the world in terms of admissions, declined to comment on the ongoing controversy swirling around Saudi Arabia and its embattled Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS. The Crown Prince has been tainted by the disappearance and alleged murder of Saudi-born Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in early October. As a consequence, some 40 participants pulled out of an Investment Conference hosted by Saudi Arabia (held Oct. 23-25) in the wake of the scandal.

Cinepolis unveiled plans in April to open cinemas in the ultra-conservative kingdom not long after MBS lifted the 35-year ban on cinemas in a bid to modernize the country. The Morelia-based exhibitor entered into partnership with Saudi Arabian entertainment and hospitality operator Al-Hokair Group and Dubai-based luxury and lifestyle retailer Al Tayer Group to build a theatre circuit over the next five years. The Arab nation’s long dormant exhibition market is anticipated to grow exponentially to $1 billion in a number of years.

Meanwhile, Cinepolis’ first multiplex in the Middle East opens Dec. 15 in Bahrain. The 13-screen multiplex will be located inside a new mall under construction, said Ramirez.

Cinepolis set up offices in Dubai in 2017 as part of its bid to erect a still undetermined number of screens in the Gulf states of Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates by this year.

On Oct. 19, Cinepolis announced a strategic partnership with Indonesia’s consumer services conglomerate, the Lippo Group, and its subsidiary Cinemaxx to grow its circuit in Indonesia. This is Cinepolis’ first foray into Indonesia, adding yet another country to its growing list of 17 countries and four continents where it currently operates 5,609 screens worldwide.

“By investing in a significant minority share in Cinemaxx, we hope to spur further exhibition growth in Indonesia,” said Ramirez, adding: “We’ll be focusing on all the cinemas we’re operating for now before entering more territories.”

Cinepolis has effectively become a vertically integrated studio with the creation of a distribution arm in 2016 and a production division this year.

Run by Leonardo Cordero, Cinepolis Distribution officially launched two years ago with the release of Jonas Cuaron’s “Desert” with an initial mandate to release up to 20 pics a year, among which six to eight would be homegrown titles.

Cinepolis’ fledgling production arm, led by Enrique Latapi, made its first feature film “Perfect Strangers,” which had its world premiere in Morelia on Oct. 23. Cinepolis Distribution has slated a wide release on over 1,000 screens on Dec. 25.

More Film

  • Kevin Costner Diane Lane

    Kevin Costner, Diane Lane to Reunite in Suspense Thriller 'Let Him Go'

    Focus Features has tapped Kevin Costner and Diane Lane to star as a husband and wife in the suspense thriller “Let Him Go.” The two also collaborated on “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Thomas Bezucha (“The Family Stone”) is set to direct his own screenplay, based on Larry Watson’s novel [...]

  • Chris Hemsworth Hulk Hogan

    Chris Hemsworth to Play Hulk Hogan in Biopic for Netflix

    Netflix is in the early stages of developing a Hulk Hogan biopic with Chris Hemsworth attached to star as the wrestling legend and produce. Netflix has obtained the exclusive life rights and consulting services from Terry Gene Bollea AKA Hulk Hogan. Todd Phillips, whose credits include “War Dogs” and “The Hangover” trilogy, is attached to [...]

  • Rooftop Films Announces Filmmakers Fund Grant

    Rooftop Films Announces Filmmakers Fund Grant Winners

    Swedish documentary filmmaker Anastasia Kirillova and “Negative Space” co-directors Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter are among the filmmakers who will receive grants from Rooftop Films to help complete their upcoming projects. Kirilova will be awarded $20,000 to finish her film, “In the Shadows of Love,” while collaborators Kuwahata and Porter will receive $10,000 for “Dandelion [...]

  • Jim Gianopulos

    Paramount Chief Jim Gianopulos Unveils Diversity Initiative

    Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos has announced that all studio productions will be required to complete a plan to enhance diversity. Wednesday’s reveal follows Paramount’s commitment to participating in Time’s Up and Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s 4% Challenge. The name is derived from women having directed only 4% of the country’s top grossing movies [...]

  • Leave No Trace

    Oscar Analysts Are Sincere -- but Often Totally Wrong

    With Oscars arriving Feb. 24, we can expect multiple “who will win/who should win” columns. There will also be a flurry of post-show analyses about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and why members voted the way they did. Since AMPAS never releases polls or voting tallies, these pundits will never be contradicted [...]

  • Green Book spiderman into the spider

    On Eve of Oscars, Variety’s Film Experts Answer Three Pressing Questions

    We continue to live in a divided world, with the current political landscape in the United States a seemingly endless hotbed of tumult and acrimony. Issues of racism, bigotry, diversity and gender equality drive the creative players as well, with Oscar-nominated films parlaying said themes into compelling, thought-provoking cinema. To analyze 2018 in big-screen entertainment, [...]

  • Karl Lagerfeld'Lagerfeld Confidential' Photocall at the

    Karl Lagerfeld Remembered at Costume Designers Guild Awards

    The death of fashion and costume designer Karl Lagerfeld cast somewhat of a shadow over the usually jubilant Costume Designers Guild Awards — the only award show where clothes literally steal the spotlight away from actors — which was held at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday night. Here it was obvious that Lagerfeld’s impact on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content