Cineplex to replace Tribute with Famous Magazine

The in-theatre magazine, Tribute, has been bumped out of Cineplex Entertainment's venues. Its rival, Famous Magazine, will see a huge boost to its circulation.

Starting with the March issue, Famous Magazine and its French-language counterpart, Famous Quebec, will be exclusively distributed in Toronto-based Cineplex Entertainment’s 128 theatres.

The announcement marks the end of Cineplex Odeon and Galaxy’s long-standing contract with Tribute, an independent magazine based in Toronto. Brian Stewart, CEO of Tribute, says the move was not unexpected. In 2005, Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund purchased the Famous Players chain from Viacom. As part of that deal, Cineplex inherited Famous Magazine, an in-theatre publication launched Nov. 1999 to serve theaters owned by Famous Players, including Coliseum, Colossus, and SilverCity. More recently, the monthly was also distributed in Alliance Atlantis theaters and some HMV stores. It’s sister publication, Famous Quebec, which launched in Aug. 2002, is published 10 times a year and focuses much more closely on the Quebec movie industry.

The new distribution arrangement is expected to push Famous Magazine‘s circulation over 650,000 copies. The readership per issue is estimated to be 1.5 million, but that could jump to two million with the March issue. Famous Quebec‘s circulation is expected to rise to 150,000 with readership jumping to 285,000, based on PMB numbers.

Cineplex Entertainment’s 128 theatres serve about 60 million movie-goers annually with 1,290 screens. Marketers looking to reach movie-goers through the company’s media division can now add the print mag to the list of packaged marketing opportunities including in-lobby screens, banners, standing boards, popcorn bags, ticket backs, kiosks, sampling, T-shirts, floor clings and washroom mirrors. Cineplex Media president Salah Bachir tells MiC the magazine sells regular ads from HMV, Playstation, Honda, Toyota, Labatt, Coke, Warner, Alliance Atlantis, L’Oreal and P&G.

Cineplex Entertainment VP communications and investor relations Pat Marshall says, ‘The arrival of Famous Magazines into all of our theatres marks the first time all Cineplex Media advertising mediums are available in every Cineplex Entertainment location across the country. Advertisers can now launch a comprehensive media campaign that includes magazine, web, in-theatre backlits and lobby monitors as well as on-screen full motion and pre-show advertising. Now all of our advertising vehicles are located in-house, enabling us the opportunity to provide maximum flexibility and creativity to our advertisers.’

Although Tribute is losing over half of its distribution outlets, Stewart says his company still expects to publish 500,000 copies monthly for his on-going distribution deals in theater chains: AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Cinemas Guzzo, Empire Theaters, Magic Lantern and Landmark Cinemas. Stewart has not dropped ad rates, but will do more integrated media sales between the magazine and the website, which gets 1.1 million unique hits per month. The company has also signed a distribution deal to launch the magazine in five large theatre chains in the US. ‘If we are to grow the company, we have to go beyond our borders,’ says Stewart.