News

PR-Theaters Book Non-Movie Attractions

Note from author Robert Marich. Movie theater owners are making headway in a long-desired ambition to book non-theatrical movie attractions. The press release below indicates theaters are using their electronic projection equipment installed to display on-screen advertisements for a children’s program from the Thomas the Tank Engine. With a 10 a.m. Saturday screening time, “Thomas & Friends” will not displace any movie showings.

PRESS RELEASE August 07, 2007

Thomas the Tank Engine Pulls into Movie Theatres with the First-Ever “Thomas & Friends™ On The Big Screen” Event

50 Movie Theatres Across The Country Invite Children and Families To Enjoy Never-Before-Seen Thomas & FriendsEpisodes Introducing Three Brand New Engine Friends

NEW YORK & CENTENNIAL, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--All aboard with Thomas & Friends™ as the popular children’s series rolls into movie theatres nationwide on Saturday, Sept. 8th at 10:00 a.m. local time with a special screening event, including five never-before-seen episodes from the Thomas & Friends series. “Thomas & Friends On The Big Screen” is presented by NCM Fathom, the entertainment division of National CineMedia, and HIT Entertainment.

Thomas & Friends On The Big Screen” will include a 60-minute screening of Thomas & Friends content that will introduce three new characters and feature exciting sing-a-longs, trivia and more. As a special bonus, all ticket holders will receive a complimentary Thomas & Friends activity book and a Wal-Mart gift card valued at $5.00.

Tickets for “Thomas & Friends On The Big Screen” can be purchased for $7.00 (children under 2 will be admitted free) at www.FathomEvents.com or at participating Regal theatre box offices beginning August 10th. For a complete list of theatre locations, please visit the website (theatres are subject to change).

“We’re excited to partner with NCM Fathom to introduce new characters and highlight old friends to Thomas’s young fans with ‘Thomas and Friends on The Big Screen’,” said Natasha Fishman, vice president of Retail Development, HIT Entertainment. “This first-of-its-kind Thomas event provides a fun-filled morning for Thomas & Friends fans to experience Thomas like never before – larger than life on the big screen.”

About Thomas & Friends

Thomas & Friends invites children to enter a world of imagination through the tracks of a train and the words of a story. Thomas the Tank Engine was created by a father for his son more than 60 years ago. Today, families in more than 145 countries enjoy fun and adventure with their engine friends while experiencing timeless life lessons of discovery, friendship and cooperation. Thomas & Friends is making tracks to great destinations on PBS KIDS® and PBS KIDS SproutSM. For more information about the world of Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends, please visit www.thomasandfriends.com.

About HIT Entertainment

HIT Entertainment, owned by private equity investment group Apax Partners, is one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights-owners. HIT's portfolio includes properties, such as Barney™, Bob the Builder™, Thomas & Friends™, Pingu™, Fireman Sam™, Angelina Ballerina™ and Rainbow Magic™. HIT represents Fifi and the Flowertots™ and Roary the Racing Car™ in North America and Japan and acts as a worldwide representative for The Jim Henson Company’s library of classic family brands and as representative for The Wiggles® in the UK. HIT also owns the Guinness World Records™ publishing and television property. Launched in 1989, HIT’s lines of business span television and video production (including studios in the US and the UK), publishing, consumer products licensing and live events. With a catalogue of more than 1,000 hours of young children's programming, HIT sells its shows to more than 240 countries worldwide, in more than 40 different languages and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. In 2005, the Company joined Comcast Corporation, PBS and Sesame Workshop to launch PBS KIDS SproutSM, a 24-hour digital cable channel and VOD service for preschoolers. In 2006, HIT Entertainment launched HIT Toy Company to design, manufacture and distribute toys in North America. For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com.

About National CineMedia

NCM LLC operates the largest digital in-theatre network in North America through long-term agreements with its founding members, AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark USA Inc. (NYSE: CNK) and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), the three largest theatre operators in the U.S., and through multi-year agreements with several other theatre operators. NCM LLC produces and distributes its FirstLook pre-feature program; cinema and lobby advertising products; comprehensive meeting and event services and other entertainment programming content. NCM LLC’s national network includes approximately 14,000 screens of which approximately 12,200 are part of the Company’s Digital Content Network (DCN). NCM LLC’s DCN covers 154 Designated Market Areas® (49 of the top 50). During 2006, approximately 550 million patrons attended movies shown in theatres owned by the NCM LLC founding members (excluding Loews). National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCMI) owns a 44.8% interest in and is the managing member of NCM LLC. For additional information, visit www.ncm.com.

POST EVENT UPDATE FROM THE AUTHOR:

While saying it doesn’t disclose ticket sales, NCM said the Sept. 8 screening was a success and sold out at some locations. Event information is available at www.fathomevents.com.