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Monday, August 06, 2007

H'Wood Reporter prediction: Digital screens surpass film by 2010

Carolyn Giardana writes in the Hollywood Reporter that according to their tally, more than 20,000 digital cinema installations have been proposed in the US and Canada by 2010. That'd mean more digital screens than film within four years. From the piece:

    Currently, there are about 3,000 digital screens installed domestically out of a total screen count estimated at about 37,000. Most of those are part of the Christie/AIX program, which aims to deploy 4,000 digital screens. The AccessIT unit already has completed the rollout of about 2,800 screens with such exhibitors as Marquee Cinemas, Neighborhood Cinema Group, Celebration Cinema, Cinema West, Cinetopia, Emagine, UltraStar, Galaxy, Rave, Carmike Cinemas and AccessIT's Pavilion Digital Showcase Cinema. Deployment of the 4,000 screens is expected to be completed by November.

NATO chief John Fithian is still cautious, saying, "(Digital cinema) is the biggest technological transition in our industry since the advent of sound, and it is much more complicated. This rollout will take somewhere between five to 10 years."

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  • I have a hard time believing this.

    I would think the projectors would need to drop a lot in price in order for this to happen.

    I think it would be great, but I have a hard time thinking this will happen within this time frame.

    After all George Lucas wanted more D Screens out by the time he release Episode 3 and the amount of screens he wanted didn't even come close.

    I would also think there has to be a financial incentive for owners to switch over to digital, I don't think "It's Digital" is enough.


    MCT Images Blog

    By Blogger MCT Images, at 1:16 PM  

  • The combination of Regal/AMC theaters alone represents over 13,000 screens. Travis Reid, the CEO of Digital Cinema Implementation Partners spoke at this year's D-Cinema Summit at NAB and said they plan to start their roll-out of digital to AMC/Regal in the first quarter of 2008. They plan to complete their installations within 5-6 years, and likely will convince other hold-outs (another 4,000 to 5,000 screens) in that time frame.

    It's all a matter of financing at this point. AccessIT/Christie is on track to hit their target of over 4,000 screens deployed this year. I'm betting they get another round of financing to roll out more D-Cinema servers and Christie 2K projectors.

    The financial incentive is the desire to continue to receive studio content. There's going to come a tipping point in the next 24-36 months where first-run features are likely going to be available as digital-only releases. At least for their first major weekend. The savings for the studios will be fairly substantial, and exhibitors won't want to be opening 2nd week movies.

    The ball is already rolling, and the table is already set for this to happen. Whether it's by the end of 2010 or 2011 or 2012 I think is fairly insignificant. It will happen.

    The case for SW:III was a lack of digital standards. DCI had not been ratified or even finalized when Episode 3 was released. If it was released today, they could easily hit 1,200 digital screens on opening weekend. That's the difference in only 24 months - and the "early adopters" to boot.


    Drink Me Pictures

    By Blogger Steve, at 2:44 AM  

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