ABS-CBN begins cinema management as part of DoubleDragon partnership

MANILA, Philippines – Lopez-led ABS-CBN began its foray into cinema management with the opening of two cinemas at a CityMall, flagship brand of DoubleDragon Properties Corporation (DoubleDragon).

The nation's largest media firm announced on Tuesday, September 12, that it has opened cinemas 1 and 2 with seating capacities of 98 and 73 respectively at CityMall Anabu, Imus-Cavite.

The opening is the initial fruit of the partnership between ABS-CBN and DoubleDragon subsidiary CityMall Commercial Centers Incorporated (CMCCI) signed in December 2016. SM Investments Corporation owns a 34% stake in CMCCI.

Under the terms of the deal, ABS-CBN will manage the booking as well as the food and beverage operations of the mini theaters, while CityMall will provide the cinema infrastructure.

The partnership entails at least 10 cinemas to be opened this year in CityMalls located in Tagum City-Davao, Victorias City-Negros, Anabu-Imus Cavite, Cotabato City, Bulua-Cagayan de Oro City, Koronadal City, Consolacion-Cebu, Mandalagan-Bacolod City, Sta Rosa-Nueva Ecija, and Dumaguete City.

For ABS-CBN, the partnership allows it to screen its Star Cinema films in more far-flung areas, while the inclusion of cinemas allows CityMalls to further become the center of gravity in the communities they are located in.

Both firms also have ambitious plans of their own this year, with ABS-CBN planning to build the country's first sound stages and DoubleDragon eyeing the sale of more than 7 million new shares in a follow-up to its initial public offering. The real estate firm also seeks to build the biggest hotel in Davao.

DoubleDragon co-chairmen Edgar "Injap" Sia II and Tony Tan Caktiong were both present at the opening ceremony, along with Star Creatives chief operating officer Malou Santos and head of creatives and director Olivia Lamasan.

The inaugural film screened was Love You to the Stars and Back, featuring Joshua Garcia and Julia Barretto. The movie earned P60 million in its first week and continues to be screened in cinemas nationwide. – Rappler.com