Cineplex rethinks its experience

Entertainment and media company to build new Junxion locations with live event space, indoor food truck and amusement games.

Cineplex has been steadily increasing its business to include realms outside of movie theatres and its latest plan is to create an all-encompassing concept that includes film, dining and entertainment.

Junxion is the latest venture in Cineplex’s effort to expand its presence across numerous demographics in a one-stop-shop kind of atmosphere. The multiplex facility will offer state-of-the-art cinemas including UltraAVX, along with an open lobby for events and performances, live music, space for outdoor screenings as well as amusement games and a food hall, indoor food truck and bar.

With 165 theatre locations across the country, Cineplex will introduce the first Junxion location at Erin Mills Town Centre in Mississauga, slated to open in late 2020, followed by Kildonan Place in Winnipeg.

Ellis Jacob, president and CEO of Cineplex said the entertainment landscape continues to evolve and creating a community hub for families is an extension of that. “It will bring together the best of both worlds.”

In recent years the company has expanded into entertainment, such as its Rec Room family-friendly restaurant and games concept, and its partnership with stateside entertainment company TopGolf (both of which have integrated Cineplex’s digital signage business). It’s also expanded on itsĀ media efforts, including a greater volume of in-theatre advertising and expansions to itsĀ digital signage business. These efforts have helped the company keep its revenues steady despite declining theatre attendance.

In Q2, the company reported a 21.5% increase in its media revenue, now representing more than 11% of its total business. During the same quarter, attendance was down 1.7% year-over-year but box office revenues per person hit a record high of $11.13 after cinema revenue fell some 26% in 2018, a number Cineplex attributed to an increase in premium products.

Attendance at Cineplex theatres has been on the decline for years; in 2015, 77 million walked through its doors, while in 2018 that number was down to 69 million. As streaming services continue to disrupt the cinema business, Dan McGrath, Cineplex’s chief operating officer told The Globe and Mail this week, going to a movie just to watch content isn’t enough anymore. “If we want to get people coming out of the house, we have to create an experience,” he said.