Warner Bros.' and Village Roadshow Ltd.'s 17-screen state-of-the-art multiplex in Taiwan, their first in this territory, enjoyed record-breaking opening-week crowds of 85,000 people and ticket sales totaling a robust $666,000 from Jan. 23 to 30, 1998.
Second-week totals were even higher, with 92,703 attendees bringing in $756,543; this is believed to be the single biggest opening of any cinema anywhere in the world. The announcement was made Thursday by Millard Ochs, president of Warner Bros. International Theatres, and Graham Burke, managing director of Village Roadshow.
The Warner Village Multiplex is located in the Hsin Yi district of the city of Taipei and is the first theater complex in the region to offer such amenities as digital sound, stadium seating and computerized ticketing systems. The multiplex offered a mix of 11 films in its first week, nine of which were American mainstream entertainment and two of which were Chinese products.
Stated Ochs: "The success of this latest venture demonstrates conclusively that if you offer consumers top quality, they will respond positively. Simply stated, we have just seen the biggest opening of any cinema in the world.
"In the face of much negative news about the Asian economy, we have been able, with the participation of our long-term partners, Village Roadshow, to remain profitable in our expansion in these markets, and we look forward to continuing to grow and to offer audiences in the Far East the best entertainment value for their money."
Stated Burke: "We are delighted to be partnered in this venture with Warner Bros., with whom we have had so many other successful experiences; it is clear that our new multiplex will join that list. The Asian market offers tremendous potential for us and a chance to offer top-of-the-line quality to moviegoers in a new territory. We look forward to future growth here."
Through joint ventures, Warner Bros. International Theatres operates 74 multiscreen cinema complexes with 654 screens in eight foreign countries. In addition to Taiwan, these include 18 theater complexes in the United Kingdom, four in Germany, 28 in Australia, three in Italy, 13 in Japan, five in Portugal and two in Spain. In 1998, Warner Bros. International Theatres will open 26 cinemas and 252 screens.