Cineplex Buys Famous Players

In Canada, the 2 main theatre chains (by FAR) are Cineplex Odeon and Famous Players. The two of them account for over 70% of the theatre market share in Canada.

HUGE news today, apparently Cineplex Odeon (the smaller of the two) has decided to put up $500 million to buy it’s arch rival. The good folks over at The Globe and Mail report the following:

Last fall, New York-based Viacom said it planned to sell its Famous Players arm in Canada, the largest movie exhibitor in this country with a market share of about 40 per cent. For months, industry observers have seen Cineplex, with a 31-per-cent share, as a top contender for the unit.

Famous Players operates at 81 locations with 787 screens across the country, including theatres in its joint ventures with Imax Corp. and its partnership with Alliance Atlantis. Cineplex Galaxy operates or has an interest in 86 theatres with 775 screens across Canada in six provinces.

What kind of effect this will have on Canadian film goers is yet to be seen. Will “Silver City’s” continue to operate? What effect will this have on ticket prices? Lots of question… very few answers right now. I’m very interested to see how this all plays out.

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21 thoughts on “Cineplex Buys Famous Players

  1. Try Rainbow Cinemas, an Edmonton based company that is slowly gaining popularity. $7.50 for adults, $4.25 on Tuesday or for mantinees. They’re not as fancy as Cineplex or Famous Players, but they show the big name films and are cheap! If more people go to them they will become a competitor.

  2. Famous Players is terrible. The Cineplex Grande in my city is far far superior to the crappy Silver City, with its terrible seats, gloomy atmosphere and insane ticket prices. The Cineplex has fantastically comfortable seats, bigger screens, larger cinemas and ticket prices lower than Silver City’s by half.

    I’m glad Cineplex bought out sleazy FP.

  3. I work at Famous Players: Silver City, We’ve been sold again. This sucks! We have to tear down the huge friggin Famous Players: Silver City signs off the building, get new uniforms, and not to metion change pop brands, we’ve got 150 20 litre pop bibs all of which are Pepsi Products.

    The Take over is finalized on the last day of September.

    Only good thing is all warning letters are being removed off of workers files.

  4. Listen to this clearly.

    Nothing beats Famous Players popcorn.

    Famous Doesn’t give refills but refills ARE unsanitary

    So maybe the retards who think they know things that aren’t true maybe they should read up on it.

  5. “no yellow oval at the top right corner of the screen every ten seconds”

    Every ten seconds is an exaggeration but I know what you are referring to. Those are called ‘cigarette burns’ in the biz. In the old days before movies had all the reels spliced together, those were the queue for the projectionist to change to the next reel because it meant it was near the end. As technology improved, the ‘cigarette burns’ stayed. For more information about this, watch Fight Club and pay close attention to the scene that shows Tyler Durden and his job as a projectionist at the movie house.

    Famous Players, namely Silvercities, have newer projectors which do not show the ‘cigarette burns’ but they are still present on the prints.

  6. Why was Famous Players sold? Because they had poor management. All the Famous Players that I walk into never have staff who look like they know what they are doing.

  7. I always wonder why movie theaters do not start the movies on the SCHEDULED TIME.

    1. Is it because they like to lie to moviegoers?

    2. Is it because they are waiting for the movie reels from another theater?

    3. Is it because they are waiting for late moviegoers?

    4. Is it because they want to let you know they control the projector and there is not one bit you can do?

    5. Is it because the projector operators are aliens that do not know how to tell time?

    6. Is it because they want you to go back and buy more popcorn for $100 a bucket?

    These, plus the price of movies tickets is a turn off or reason not to go to the movies. Actors like Tom Cruise make you wanna puke. Colin Farrell,and that australian-rock-singer-wannabe actor who throws telephones at hotel employees, would make you ask for your money back because they can not act.

    Hollywood writers, and directors do not think much of your intellect because they know you would believe the storylines they feed you however far fetched it is.

    Hollywood is responsible for a lot of myths and half-truths and untruths as a result of showing us their movies. Some people think it is the truth.

    Think who gets rich before you line up to pay $15 for another concoction of computer generated mumbo garble. The term “laughing all the way to the bank” is true for the studios and the movie people, they are laughing at your stupidity.


    Hold off going to the movies for another week.

    Go to second run theaters – its cheaper.

    Or wait for the CD to be released.

    Or wait for the CD to show up FOR SALE at the Richmond night market.

    Bring your own pop and popcorn.

  8. this sucks….famous has always been better than cineplex….screens are better…clearer…no yellow oval at the top right corner of the screen every ten seconds…this is ridiculous…. can anyone tell me if they are just gonna keep the theatres and change the name at the top?

    or rebuild

    or what….is the name famous players still gonna exist?

    i need answers

  9. I HATE ciniplex. There used to be one in my area but then famous shut it down and my movie experience was greatly improved. Famous just made the biggest mistake ever no the best and the worst are one. Famous set the bar, ciniplex won’t be able to keep the theaters the wat they are. I am afraid fot the future of the movie theatre business.

  10. I agree with the last poster that AMC is the way to go. I’ve got a Coliseum close to me as well in Ottawa, but for a quieter atmosphere the AMC is the clear choice.

  11. The real question for me is how does this affect my long-standing boycott of Famous Players…should I venture into thier annoying theme-park like atmosphere, fastfood overrun lobby, with 20 (LCD/DLP projected)minutes of commercials playing while you wait for the lights to dim, followed by more celluloid commercials, overly-high audio volume levels, etc. etc. Wait, I just answered my own question…Cineplex will probably abolish their price reduction (not that that ever enticed me into a Famous Players cinema anyway)…

    The Canadian AMCs are the best you can do in a multiplex. Quiet environments reasonably tame lobby, no arcade or fast food booths, reasonably good coffee for cheap, only 2-3 commercials before trailers start.

  12. This could go either way. They could Microsoft the prices, or they could just mainstream them and keep prices competitive. They would only have 70% market share, but they could lose that if they hike the prices. There would still be 30% of the market to go to.

    Likely it will just be a change of name and it will be business as usual.

    Of course one advantage will simply be the availability of films. At least here, if a title is playing at FP, the Cineplex cant show it. Now they will be everywhere.

  13. I’m from Mtl also and yeah I haven’t seen a Cineplex Odeon for 10 years or so since they all got run out of business by Famous Players megaplexes (I say someone should resurrect the Palace G). The Dollar Cinema occupies an old Cineplex Odeon so I’m really surprised that the virtually non-existant Cineplex Odeon is buying the bigger Paramount.

    There is AMC but they are sometimes even more expensive than Paramount. Guzzo at least still have very good tuesday & matinee prices at $6 which is cheaper than Eaton’s Centre’s all day every day $6.95 price. Guzzo’s weakness are its crappy locations.

    At least in Mtl I don’t think there’ll be much of a change. Really all this amounts to is a name change. There will still be 3 main competitiors: Guzzo, AMC and Cineplex(the artist formerly known as Famous)

  14. For me its always been Famous Players in my area. Have always had them ever since I started going to theaters Ive been to a cineplex odens only twice. haha.

    who knows what will happen.

  15. maybe now i can finally use the cineplex odeon coupon in my wallet at the famouse players location instead of driving to the opposite side of the city to use it

  16. For those who have no idea what’s going on, imagine if AMC bought Regal Cinema.

    Now that Cinaplex Odeon owns that many theatres, they could manipulate the ticket prices easily and say ‘if you dont like it, go somewhere else, wait, you cant!’

    I will be watching this unfold.

  17. Wow! This is crazy news. In Montreal, Cineplex has been driven out of the downtown core almost entirely, and operates primarily in the suburbs, so it does kind of make sense for them to want to reclaim some territory. I think it’s entirely likely, however, that if Cineplex were to buy Famous, that they’d probably keep the brand as is, and have different theatre chains operating in different markets, and offering a different selection of films.

  18. We’re doomed! *sobs*

    Okay, I’m not entirely sure how it will affect me personally, as they have to sell the Famous Player theatres in my area (thank goodness) but I am definitely worried about competitive ticketing and concession stand prices, NOT to mention the distribution of films here. Ticket prices were lowered not too long ago at the local Cineplex here because Famous Players had lowered theirs. And there was an (albeit limited) variety of films offered by the two.

    In short I am not at all pleased, but Viacom has been looking to unload some of their assets for some time now, so I don’t find it surprising.

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