Imax is set to open its first European virtual-reality entertainment center in Manchester, England, the company announced on Tuesday. The Imax VR experience will open in the northern England city’s well-known Printworks multiplex cinema at the end of 2016 and will deliver guests “immersive, multi-dimensional VR experiences, including entertainment content and games.” A range of interactive experiences ranging between five and 15 minutes in length will be on offer and the center will have several pods to allow multiple players to use the VR experiences. The company is in advanced stages with several content developers, including Hollywood studios and gaming publishers, to produce and distribute VR content. Imax also plans to eventually incorporate premium content resulting from the cinema-grade virtual reality camera that it is currently developing with Google. It’s in the process of launching its first showroom and pilot VR center in Los Angeles and is targeting additional test facilities in China, Japan, the US, the Middle East and Western Europe.
Vivendi chairman Vincent Bolloré has upped his stake in the French media giant to 20.4%, crossing the 20% threshold for the first time and further tightening his grip on the company. This raises the French billionaire’s ownership by 5.4% (it previously sat at 15%) and further seals his commitment to Vivendi-owned companies such as Universal Music Group, Canal Plus and Studiocanal. Bollore Group released a statement that said he would now have 29% of voting rights in the company by April next year, when a controversial French law comes into affect that enables long-term shareholders to double their voting rights. Bolloré was appointed Vivendi chairman in 2014 and has been gradually increasing his stake in the business since his initial 5% stake.
India’s Viacom 18 has signed a five-picture deal with with Lionsgate to market and distribute titles including Damien Chazelle’s La La Land and Mark Wahlberg starrer Deepwater Horizon in the upcoming months across the subcontinent. Deal also includes: Patriot’s Day, an account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis’ actions in the events leading up to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing; Saban’s upcoming Power Rangers title with Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks; and Nerve with Emma Roberts and Dave Franco. Morris Street Advisors Pvt. Ltd., which reps Lionsgate in India negotatied the deal with Viacom18.