The 67th annual Primetime Emmy Awards memorably opened with a pre-taped sketch that saw then-host Andy Samberg becoming increasingly overwhelmed with the amount of television shows his friends were watching but on which he was not caught up. The year was 2015, when there were about 409 scripted shows on broadcast, cable and streaming, and Samberg’s solution was to enter an underground bunker, armed with a stack of DVDs, determined not to come out until he knew all there was...
Cineplex 21 Group
Harris Lasmana, co-founder of Nusantara Sejahtera Raya, better known as Cinema 21 Group, may be one of the luckiest men in the film business. The company, which was formed in 1985 following an earlier act of patronage by Indonesia’s corrupt dictator Suharto, has long monopolized the country’s cinema industry. It dominates theatrical exhibition and its affiliate companies handle the releases of all the major Hollywood studios. Chronic under-investment has left the country of 260 million people with less than 1,500 cinema screens. NSR, which operates the Cinema 21, Cinema XXI and The Premiere brands, has 864 screens in 157 cinemas across 36 cities.
The Cinema 21 monopoly began to be challenged in a modest way with the launch in 2006 of the Blitz cinema chain. Three years ago, the challenge to Cinema 21 began to look much more serious when Lippo, one of the largest Indonesian retail and property conglomerates, moved in, opening Cinemaxx theaters in its malls. Earlier this year, Indonesia’s government said that the cinema sector would finally be taken off the negative list, which had prevented significant foreign investment in the industry. That opened the door for Singapore sovereign wealth fund, GIC, to invest $260 million (IDR3.5 trillion) not in a progressive newcomer, but in NSR.