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Friday, May 02, 2008

How 'Crystal Skull' Almost Didn't Have a Digital Release

Variety's Pamela McClintock writes today about the continuing spat over whether the digital 3-D roll-out is proceeding quickly enough. But there's an interesting aside in it about the plain old 2-D digital release of the new 'Indiana Jones' movie.

McClintock writes:

    There was an outcry among theater owners earlier this year when Par suggested it wouldn't supply digital prints of Spielberg's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," because Spielberg wanted the movie played only as film on 35mm screens. Filmmakers including Spielberg sometimes balk at having their movies shown in digital when they were shot on film.

    Not providing a film like "Crystal Skull" on digital would slight theater owners who have made the conversion, according to exhibs. Theater owners have long argued that there's no reason to make the transition if the product isn't there.

    Par changed its position and will be releasing digital prints of "Indiana Jones." Exhibs aren't entirely mollified, though, since digital prints will go only to those houses where all the screens are digital. If there's a mix of screens in a theater, that theater will get only a film print.

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