IMAX Has New Competition in Premium Large Format Theaters

Large format theaters with over-sized high-resolution screens, more comfortable seating, and better sound systems are on the rise. IMAX has traditionally been the leader in these offerings, but competitors such as Cinemark Holdings, Regal Entertainment and AMC Entertainment have started offering their own premium large format (PLF) theaters. Last year, the three chains’ 325 PLF theaters increased revenue by 31 percent to $237 million. Continue reading IMAX Has New Competition in Premium Large Format Theaters

Chris Cookson Speaks at NAB’s Technology Summit on Cinema

“It’s all about the story” was the message of Chris Cookson’s keynote address, and a recurring theme throughout the first day of the NAB Show’s Technology Summit On Cinema: The Future of Motion Imaging and Sound (TSC), produced in partnership with SMPTE. The essence of cinema is storytelling, he said. Cinema is the canvas for storytellers to convey their ideas to the audience. Throughout his talk, Cookson used cinema in the broadest sense, to include content viewed in theaters, on TVs, and on laptops, tablets and phones. Continue reading Chris Cookson Speaks at NAB’s Technology Summit on Cinema

Panel Envisions the Future of Cinema at SMPTE Tech Summit

The through-line of Saturday’s “The Future of Cinema” panel at the SMPTE Technology Summit on Cinema at NAB was entertainment technology evolution and experimentation, for better or worse, in the service of story and the entertainment experience. Panel members from MKPE Consulting, Entertainment Technology Canada, Group 47, IMAX, Disney and Deluxe discussed a range of topics including projection systems, light sources, frame rates, dynamic range, color gamut and what moviegoers will be looking for in their theater experience. Continue reading Panel Envisions the Future of Cinema at SMPTE Tech Summit

CinemaCon: 4DX Theater Technology Coming to Los Angeles

Seoul-based CJ Group, which operates Asia’s largest theater chain, wants to transform the multiplex experience with its new 4DX theater technology. The conglomerate has signed a deal with AEG to introduce “4-D” cinema to U.S. consumers this summer at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live Stadium 14 in downtown Los Angeles. The 4DX tech combines moving and vibrating theater seats with effects such as wind, strobes, fog, rain and scents — all synchronized to the film action taking place on screen. Continue reading CinemaCon: 4DX Theater Technology Coming to Los Angeles

Digital Cinema Consortium Plans to Acquire Satellite Network

The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition — a consortium formed by AMC, Cinemark, Regal, Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures — signed a letter of intent to acquire the Deluxe/Echostar satellite network in a significant step toward updating the digital delivery of content to theaters and eventually eliminating the need to ship hard drives. Over the next 12-14 months, the consortium will pay to convert 699 Deluxe/Echostar screens to DCDC and add another 300 that were not yet deployed. Continue reading Digital Cinema Consortium Plans to Acquire Satellite Network

NHK to Demo 8K Transmission Over Single TV Channel at NAB

During April’s NAB Show in Las Vegas, Japanese broadcaster NHK plans to demonstrate the latest version of its Super Hi-Vision 8K system, including the wireless transmission of 8K content over a single 6 MHz television channel. The broadcaster will also present the results of recent single-channel, over-the-air 8K test broadcasts performed in Japan. NHK has been promoting the move to 8K Ultra HD, which offers 16 times more resolution than current HD. Continue reading NHK to Demo 8K Transmission Over Single TV Channel at NAB

Mark Duplass Offers Advice to New Filmmakers: Get on Netflix

During a talk at the Variety Studio at the Sundance Film Festival, director/producer/actor Mark Duplass offered some straightforward advice to peers and young filmmakers navigating the world of distribution. He stressed the importance of making films available on Netflix, saying the release of his first movie on the streaming media service “made his career.” Duplass, who has debuted nearly 10 films at Sundance, was there to premiere his new project, “The One I Love.” Continue reading Mark Duplass Offers Advice to New Filmmakers: Get on Netflix

Paramount: First Studio to Go Digital-Only with Movie Releases

In a move toward all-digital formats, Paramount Pictures announced it will stop distributing major motion pictures in the U.S. using 35mm film. The Adam McKay-helmed “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” was the studio’s last film to be distributed in 35mm, while Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” became Paramount’s first wide release to be made available theatrically only in digital format. This year could mark a complete phase-out of film by major Hollywood studios. Continue reading Paramount: First Studio to Go Digital-Only with Movie Releases

Increasing Number of Sundance Films are Being Crowdfunded

Of the 140-plus films in this year’s Sundance Film Festival, 26 of them were crowdfunded through Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Zach Braff’s “Wish I Was Here” was one such film, which raised funds from more than 47,000 fans to make up part of its $5 million budget. Some question what kind of impact crowdsourcing might have on sales and distribution, but many filmmakers insist it’s a great way to raise awareness and interest in their productions. Continue reading Increasing Number of Sundance Films are Being Crowdfunded

Newest Installment of “The Hobbit” Trilogy Improves Upon HFR

Part two of “The Hobbit” trilogy, out this week, is back with the much-debated High-Frame-Rate (HFR) 3D format — but with some changes. The 2012 “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” boasted 48 frames per second, but some of the criticism of the format was that the super-HD quality was an eyestrain. The new “The Desolation of Smaug” maintains the HFR; however, director Peter Jackson says he’s toned down the sharpness of the image to make it look more “filmic.” Continue reading Newest Installment of “The Hobbit” Trilogy Improves Upon HFR

Announcement: Entertainment Matters at the 2014 CES

Entertainment Matters at CES, sponsored by Variety, is returning to this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. The program helps entertainment professionals navigate CES through exhibits, conference sessions and events specifically geared for the Hollywood community. CEA is offering ETC members complimentary CES registration as well as a 25 percent discount off the Entertainment Matters Conference Pass. Please use priority code EMETC when registering to receive these discounts. Continue reading Announcement: Entertainment Matters at the 2014 CES

Netflix Executive Says Theater Owners Resistant to Innovation

During a keynote at the ninth annual Film Independent Forum over the weekend, Netflix executive Ted Sarandos told attendees the video streaming giant might begin releasing its own movies. During the 40-minute speech at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles, the chief content officer attributed the move to the fact that theater owners are resistant to let movies bow day-and-date on Netflix, and that they are not supportive of innovation. Continue reading Netflix Executive Says Theater Owners Resistant to Innovation

DCDC Launches Digital Theatrical Delivery Service via Satellite

The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition launched the industry’s first-ever digital theatrical delivery service yesterday. The service delivers films and other content to theaters via satellite. The DCDC initiative was founded by theater chains AMC, Regal and Cinemark, with Warner Bros. and Universal. Partnering with the remaining major studios and exhibitors Southern Theatres and National Amusements, the service will reach about 17,000 screens in 1,200 theaters. Continue reading DCDC Launches Digital Theatrical Delivery Service via Satellite

ShowEast: Digital Cinema Turns to Laser Projection Tech

To address complaints that theater screens are too dark, especially when showing 3D films, the digital cinema industry is experimenting with laser technology. Advocates of laser-illuminated projection assert that benefits include lower operating costs, reduced power consumption and increased system lifespans. However, others are concerned that the cost may be too exorbitant and fear the involvement of the FDA, since it monitors the use of lasers. Continue reading ShowEast: Digital Cinema Turns to Laser Projection Tech

Do Movie Fans Turn to Piracy Due to a Lack of Legal Options?

A new website is building a dataset to help determine whether consumers are increasingly turning to piracy when movies are not made available legally via streaming, digital rental or digital purchase. The site — PiracyData.org — lists the top 10 most pirated movies on BitTorrent as reported by TorrentFreak each week, and researches the Can I Stream It? service to determine whether each title is available legally. The authors suggest that shorter windows would help counter piracy. Continue reading Do Movie Fans Turn to Piracy Due to a Lack of Legal Options?

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