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Thursday, July 28, 2005

The D Cinema roll-out: Shading, nuances, details

Been having lots of interesting conversations today, in the wake of yesterday's DCI announcement. (I liked this headline and assessment from Bruce Newman of the San Jose Mercury News.)

First, a spokeswoman for Mark Cuban and Landmark Theatres informed me that Landmark has only committed to buying six high-quality "4K" digital projectors from Sony; this press release from March 2005 made it sound like the deal was for at least 59 - one for each Landmark outpost around the US.

Then, I learned that this quote from Warner Brothers, which seemed to imply that starting this year, they'll be releasing all of their films in both 35 millimeter and digital form, actually means something else: all WB movies will be released in one or both of those formats. (Some films will still be released only in 35 mm.) So it turns out that like everyone else in the DCI Consortium, they're simply endorsing the concept of the new digital format, not committing to a particular timetable.

Finally, it was pointed out to me that some theater-owners may wind up financing their projectors by charging the distributor "virtual print fees" of $1000-$1200 for each movie that's shown on that projector; another option, though, is that the projectors' cost could be defrayed by running more pre-show advertising. (Yikes!) Or some combination of the two: fees and ads.


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