Two More Studios Join Digital Cine Fund

Sept.8, 2008 – Universal and Disney agreed to provide an indirect financial subsidy to movie theaters converting to electronic projection, which will facilitate the changeover to project 3-D in regular theaters by replacing mechanical projectors.

They join Twentieth Century Fox and Paramount Pictures. Meanwhile, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. remain uncommitted.
A Wall Street Journal article Monday says the studio support is welcomed by a consortium of theaters in the Digital Cinema Implementation Partners. They are Regal Entertainment Group, Cinemark Holdings Inc. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.
“The group is arranging a $1 billion financing package that it will begin to tap once a critical mass of four major studios has agreed to participate and help shoulder the financial burdens,” notes the WSJ article by Sarah McBride.
The article says just 5,000 of the 40,000 or so screens in the U.S. and Canada use digital technology and of those 5,000 about 1,200 screens support 3-D. Digital projectors cost about three times as much as mechanical projectors, but save film distributor studios money by eliminating the need for costly physical film prints.

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