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Cinemas that struggled through 2020, hope coronavirus doesn't crush them in 2021 – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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TORONTO — If anything is certain about the future of movie theatres in 2021, it’s that nobody can be certain about anything.

After a year that saw Canada’s film exhibition industry roiled by the COVID-19 pandemic, industry observers say the country’s cinemas are sitting at a critical juncture with no clear path forward.

Most theatres across the country were dark over the usually bustling holiday movie season, as they were for the majority of the year in many major markets. The few screens that continued operating did so at a fraction of their usual capacity.

Some say sustained closures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 could spell doom for the movie theatre business, which has been battered in recent years as ticket sales declined and streaming giants like Netflix chased the same audience.

“There were enormous challenges to this industry long before COVID ever forced us into lockdown,” says Jason Gorber, a film critic based in Toronto.

“But it’s really easy to be cynical and think movie theatres are dead. I don’t think that’s the case at all… There’s a real opportunity for change and for theatres to actually come back, bigger and better in some ways.”

However, Gorber and other industry experts recognize a happy ending for Canada’s movie exhibitors is far from certain at this point.

They predict the road ahead for 2021 will be riddled with crucial developments, and potentially setbacks, that could set the trajectory for the future.

Among the most urgent questions is the speed of a nationwide vaccine rollout that could determine how quickly moviegoers return to theatres.

Several anticipated blockbusters are lined up for later this year, including much-delayed James Bond entry “No Time to Die,” in April and “Fast & Furious 9” in May. After a year of schedule reshuffles, none of those release dates seem certain, especially if lockdowns continue or moviegoers lack the confidence to return to theatres en masse.

“People are going to be a little bit skittish about gathering and there’s probably a percentage of the audience that’s gone for good,” predicts Louis-Etienne Dubois, an assistant professor at Ryerson University who serves as director of the school’s Future of Live Entertainment Lab.

“There’s a loss any way we cut it.”

Big changes were already afoot in the movie theatre business at the start of the pandemic as Hollywood studios wrestled with exhibitors over more flexible theatrical windows that would allow movies a faster leap to streaming and rental platforms.

For years, movie theatre owners had been the victors, keeping a 90-day exclusivity window for major releases, but the pandemic forced their hand in making exceptions.

It opened the floodgates for seismic changes, including shorter theatrical runs, and unprecedented studio decisions that saw planned theatrical releases re-routed to home theatres.

The sudden shift has shaken the industry, sometimes leading to dramatic public spats between Hollywood executives and lobbyists for exhibitors.

David Hancock, a London-based senior research manager at Omdia who scrutinizes the global film market, says the suggestion theatres are on death’s door is pure “hyperbole.”

“Everyone’s losing the plot of it,” he says.

“Cinemas are fundamentally an extremely valuable social and economic force. They provide a good place to launch a film, and people to come together, and they’re the only place outside the home you can watch a film properly.”

Hancock says he’s not convinced that streaming platforms will eliminate the movie theatre experience any time soon. People still thirst to watch entertainment on a big screen, he argues, and it’s a multi-billion dollar business that he doesn’t believe can be sustained on low-cost streaming platforms.

“Movies have a value,” he says. “And they need that value to make as much money back as they can, to justify $200 million in production costs and another $200 million in marketing. If you start to mess around with that, the whole thing starts to fall apart.”

However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be widespread consolidation of cinema chains in some countries, or a sharp reduction in the number of movie screens as smaller markets lose their multiplexes.

For Canada’s largest movie chain Cineplex Inc. and second-largest operator Landmark Cinemas, the possibility of a sluggish return to normalcy could be devastating.

During the first three quarters of last year, Cineplex’s revenues plummeted as provincial COVID-19 measures dramatically reduced theatre capacity, and a lacklustre slate of films drew smaller audiences.

Cineplex’s share value has dropped more than 70 per cent since the start of the pandemic, as a $2.8-billion takeover by London-based Cineworld fell apart, and the virus forced the company to lay off staff.

Last month, Cineplex announced plans to shore up $57 million by selling its Toronto headquarters and using that money to repay debt.

The company’s CEO Ellis Jacob is confident cost-cutting efforts will help weather the storm until audiences are back in the seats.

“I feel that we will have a huge pop when things start to get better,” he says.

“We feel 2021 is going to be an awesome year in this business.”

Jacob points to other countries that have seen moviegoers return in record numbers once pandemic measures eased. China saw solid ticket sales for some homegrown films in the months after lockdown, while Japan smashed box-office records with anime hit “Demon Slayer,” which became the country’s top-grossing film of all time in December.

Whether North American audiences can muster up similar enthusiasm for “Black Widow,” the next entry in the Marvel franchise, or a Ghostbusters sequel, remains to be seen.

Cineplex has a few options it could pursue to bring audiences back.

Jacob has expressed interest in testing out “dynamic pricing” for movies, a model similar to airlines and hotels which fluctuates the cost of a ticket based on demand. In theory, it could draw cost-conscious moviegoers outside of peak hours.

The company could also make a belated foray into the all-you-can-watch subscription movie pass, which allows cardholders regular access to theatres. The concept has been a hit with moviegoers at U.S. chains for years, but Jacob has not confirmed this model as part of Cineplex plans.

But before cinemas even think about innovation, they need federal and provincial leaders to acknowledge the damage caused by shutdowns and make good with financial support, says Ken Charko, director of the B.C. division of the Movie Theatre Association of Canada.

Leaders in Quebec have already announced $4.6 million in grants to help the province’s cinemas get through COVID-19 closures. The money will go exclusively to Quebec-owned theatres, rather than national chains like Cineplex. Charko, who runs the independent Dunbar Theatre in Vancouver, wants to see similar gestures from other provinces.

“The government needs to help the industry until we get to the point where we can survive and thrive,” he says.

“Whenever there’s great change, I believe there’s opportunity for growth. The steps that happen going forward will define that.”

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Redmi pledges allegiance to Dimensity 1200, promises a gaming phone in 2021 – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com

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Mediatek introduced two new chipsets yesterday, the Dimensity 1200 and Dimensity 1100, and Redmi has revealed it will launch the first phone with the mightier platform.

The announcement was made by brand CEO Lu Weibing who also confirmed on his Weibo profile that a gaming Redmi phone is also in the works and should arrive this year after the company will focus more on e-sports. While it is logical to assume that the two will coincide, the executive did not confirm that the new handset will come with a Mediatek chip.

Lu revealed that thanks to TSMC’s new 6nm process technology, the new phone can have one super-large core (that goes up to 3 GHz), improved 5G, AI, better video, and photo content – overall a huge win for the industry.

He reminded that the Redmi K40 series will arrive next month, something we already knew. He has repeatedly confirmed the series will bring the Snapdragon 888 chipset. Still, we shouldn’t be surprised to see an Ultra version with the Qualcomm platform and a Pro variant with the Mediatek chip – just like vivo, which introduced an X60 Pro with the 5nm Exynos 1080 and is planning to bring the X60 Pro+ with the SD888.

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Apple said to be working a high-priced standalone VR headset as debut mixed reality product – Yahoo Movies Canada

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GlobeNewswire

External Ventricular Drain Market Research Report by Indication, by End-User – Global Forecast to 2025 – Cumulative Impact of COVID-19

External Ventricular Drain Market Research Report by Indication (CSF Infection, Hydrocephalus, Intracranial Hypertension, Intraventricular Hemorrhage, and Meningitis), by End-User (Ambulatory Surgical Centers and Hospitals) – Global Forecast to 2025 – Cumulative Impact of COVID-19New York, Jan. 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report “External Ventricular Drain Market Research Report by Indication, by End-User – Global Forecast to 2025 – Cumulative Impact of COVID-19” – https://www.reportlinker.com/p05993437/?utm_source=GNW Market Statistics:The report provides market sizing and forecast across five major currencies – USD, EUR GBP, JPY, and AUD. This helps organization leaders make better decisions when currency exchange data is readily available.1. The Global External Ventricular Drain Market is expected to grow from USD 4,710.98 Million in 2020 to USD 6,412.73 Million by the end of 2025.2. The Global External Ventricular Drain Market is expected to grow from EUR 4,130.67 Million in 2020 to EUR 5,622.80 Million by the end of 2025.3. The Global External Ventricular Drain Market is expected to grow from GBP 3,672.18 Million in 2020 to GBP 4,998.68 Million by the end of 2025.4. The Global External Ventricular Drain Market is expected to grow from JPY 502,781.08 Million in 2020 to JPY 684,401.16 Million by the end of 2025.5. The Global External Ventricular Drain Market is expected to grow from AUD 6,840.97 Million in 2020 to AUD 9,312.14 Million by the end of 2025.Market Segmentation & Coverage:This research report categorizes the External Ventricular Drain to forecast the revenues and analyze the trends in each of the following sub-markets:Based on Indication, the External Ventricular Drain Market studied across CSF Infection, Hydrocephalus, Intracranial Hypertension, Intraventricular Hemorrhage, and Meningitis. Based on End-User, the External Ventricular Drain Market studied across Ambulatory Surgical Centers and Hospitals. Based on Geography, the External Ventricular Drain Market studied across Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe, Middle East & Africa. The Americas region surveyed across Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and United States. The Asia-Pacific region surveyed across Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand. The Europe, Middle East & Africa region surveyed across France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom. Company Usability Profiles:The report deeply explores the recent significant developments by the leading vendors and innovation profiles in the Global External Ventricular Drain Market including ARGI GROUP, Asher Medical Products Inc, B. Braun Melsungen AG, Dispomedica GmbH, Fuji Systems Corporation, Integra Life Sciences Corporation, IRRAS AB, Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc, KFF S. A., Medtronic PLC, Möller Medical GmbH, Neuromedex GmbH, Sophysa, Spiegelberg GmbH & Co. KG, and Zebra Medical Vision Ltd.. Cumulative Impact of COVID-19:COVID-19 is an incomparable global public health emergency that has affected almost every industry, so for and, the long-term effects projected to impact the industry growth during the forecast period. Our ongoing research amplifies our research framework to ensure the inclusion of underlaying COVID-19 issues and potential paths forward. The report is delivering insights on COVID-19 considering the changes in consumer behavior and demand, purchasing patterns, re-routing of the supply chain, dynamics of current market forces, and the significant interventions of governments. The updated study provides insights, analysis, estimations, and forecast, considering the COVID-19 impact on the market.360iResearch™ FPNV Positioning Matrix:The 360iResearch™ FPNV Positioning Matrix evaluates and categorizes the vendors in the External Ventricular Drain Market on the basis of Business Strategy (Business Growth, Industry Coverage, Financial Viability, and Channel Support) and Product Satisfaction (Value for Money, Ease of Use, Product Features, and Customer Support) that aids businesses in better decision making and understanding the competitive landscape.360iResearch™ Competitive Strategic Window:The 360iResearch™ Competitive Strategic Window analyses the competitive landscape in terms of markets, applications, and geographies. The 360iResearch™ Competitive Strategic Window helps the vendor define an alignment or fit between their capabilities and opportunities for future growth prospects. During a forecast period, it defines the optimal or favorable fit for the vendors to adopt successive merger and acquisition strategies, geography expansion, research & development, and new product introduction strategies to execute further business expansion and growth.The report provides insights on the following pointers:1. Market Penetration: Provides comprehensive information on the market offered by the key players2. Market Development: Provides in-depth information about lucrative emerging markets and analyzes the markets3. Market Diversification: Provides detailed information about new product launches, untapped geographies, recent developments, and investments4. Competitive Assessment & Intelligence: Provides an exhaustive assessment of market shares, strategies, products, and manufacturing capabilities of the leading players5. Product Development & Innovation: Provides intelligent insights on future technologies, R&D activities, and new product developmentsThe report answers questions such as:1. What is the market size and forecast of the Global External Ventricular Drain Market?2. What are the inhibiting factors and impact of COVID-19 shaping the Global External Ventricular Drain Market during the forecast period?3. Which are the products/segments/applications/areas to invest in over the forecast period in the Global External Ventricular Drain Market?4. What is the competitive strategic window for opportunities in the Global External Ventricular Drain Market?5. What are the technology trends and regulatory frameworks in the Global External Ventricular Drain Market?6. What are the modes and strategic moves considered suitable for entering the Global External Ventricular Drain Market?Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05993437/?utm_source=GNWAbout ReportlinkerReportLinker is an award-winning market research solution. Reportlinker finds and organizes the latest industry data so you get all the market research you need – instantly, in one place.__________________________ CONTACT: Clare: clare@reportlinker.com US: (339)-368-6001 Intl: +1 339-368-6001

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Apple’s first VR headset reportedly includes a fabric design, a fan, and expensive price tag – The Verge

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Apple is reportedly working on a VR headset that will include a fabric design, a fan, and an expensive price tag. Bloomberg News reports that Apple’s first VR headset may launch as soon as 2022 as a standalone device that operates through batteries, similar to the Oculus Quest 2. Apple is reportedly working on “some of its most advanced and powerful chips” for this unannounced VR headset, with some chips reportedly beating its own M1 Mac processors.

Apple has reportedly faced challenges in the development of this headset, with some prototypes ending up too big and heavy. Apple is reportedly using a fabric exterior to reduce the headset weight, but the company is also using a fan — an unusual move for Apple given its emphasis on fan-less design.

Bloomberg News also reports that the size of Apple’s VR headset, which is codenamed N301, is similar to the Oculus Quest, and some prototypes being tested include external cameras to enable some AR features. Apple is also reportedly testing the ability to use these cameras to track hand movements, and include software features like a virtual keyboard.

It’s not clear exactly when Apple’s VR headset will launch, but it could be as soon as 2022. It will reportedly be an expensive and niche device, with some at Apple rumored to be anticipating that the company may sell only one headset per day at each of its retail stores, or less than 200,000 units per year.

Apple has been working on VR and AR headsets for years, according to various reports. Bloomberg News also published a detailed look at Apple’s VR and AR ambitions last year, noting that the company has around 1,000 people working on AR and VR.

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