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TOPIC: Questions about Digital Cinema and other things

Questions about Digital Cinema and other things 24 Oct 2008 10:51 #30183

  • Nesagwa
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Hey all, been reading the forums for a few weeks now after sitting around and thinking to myself "Hey, a theater would be cool to do someday (way off someday, only 23 and have no plans to even try it any time soon)" and wanted to ask some questions that I had and didn't really see in my searches in the archives.

With the rise of digital distribution for theaters somethings are obviously going to be different from film. I was wondering how the studios and distribution centers handle "second run" situations with a digital print? Is it after a certain period of time or do they even do that sort of thing? Since the medium doesnt degrade like film or (Im assuming) get destroyed after its usefulness is up (due to damage or what not.) How would a discount or second run theater theoretically operate in a digital only scenario? Also, what sort of availability do library titles have in digital?

Second question, sort of related. I know that licensing DVDs for exhibition costs a flat rate (something like $300 according to past posts) and a percentage of ticket sales (not sure if I read that right before, please correct me if I'm wrong) but what about Bluray discs? Same deal or are they more expensive / run on a different type of agreement?

Ive probably got more questions, but this kind of a long winded question so Ill leave it at that for now. :)
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Re:Questions about Digital Cinema and other things 26 Oct 2008 23:09 #30199

  • DanZee
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Second-run theaters may be in danger because in 10 years all of the first-run theaters will probably be converted to digital projection and studios may not be distributing movies via film anymore at that time, or they may actually charge an additional fee to strike a film print, thus making it more expensive for second-run theaters that can't afford to convert to digital.

Otherwise, the second-run market will probably work as it does now. You'll just get a hard drive or DVDs that you load into your server instead of a film print. The main challenge is by the time you get the film, the studios have sucked most of the life out of them revenue-wise. Second-run theaters work well in areas not well served by the first-run market.

As for the classic film market, I think Disney is the only studio that has done anything about remastering its older films with its animation re-releases. I think you may eventually see some digital remastering of classic films for theatrical presentation, and once they've been remastered, the cost is relatively small to provide them to theaters. Digital prints will probably replace film in the rental market, and eventually a good library of films will be built up. Right now the studios aren't really concentrating on that area and I don't think there's any classic films available as digital prints (other than the Disney cartoons).

As for showing DVDs, I've only heard of studios allowing schools and film clubs performance licenses to screen them. Regular DVDs have a lot less pixels and are more highly compressed than a standard 2K print. A DVD may look pretty bad on a screen larger than 6-feet to 8-feet. Blu-Ray has only about 1/4 of the number of pixels of a 2K print and it's more highly compressed, so again, you might have problems projecting a Blu-Ray disk on anything bigger than a 10-foot or 12-foot screen. So I don't think it's commercially viable to theatrically screen commercially available DVDs.

Hope this helps.
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Re:Questions about Digital Cinema and other things 26 Oct 2008 23:15 #30200

  • Nesagwa
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Exactly answered what I wanted to know.

Its probably a weird time for discount and second run theaters. I wonder what will happen when 32mm prints just stop coming in the future. Would probably make it more difficult for anyone starting up and indie places especially.
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Re:Questions about Digital Cinema and other things 26 Oct 2008 23:56 #30203

  • slapintheface
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Digital projection prices are falling faster than home sales.New christie m series now 40 to 45 k.2 years ago noyhing under 100,000.
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Re:Questions about Digital Cinema and other things 27 Oct 2008 00:07 #30204

  • Nesagwa
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That is true.

How are the studios about new movies in digital? Do all the new major releases just automatically get one nowadays?
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