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Warner Bros. Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Digital Cinema Implementation Partners to Form New Digital Cinema Distribution Venture


Warner Bros. Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Digital Cinema Implementation Partners (DCIP) announced today the formation of a joint venture that will evaluate and implement the most efficient form of digital delivery for digital cinema.

The announcement marks a first-time collaboration between studios and exhibitors to develop the most cost-effective form of digital content delivery through technologies such as satellite or digital terrestrial distribution. The delivery system will be open and available to any content provider, vendor or exhibitor—including DCIP, which is owned equally by Regal Entertainment Group, AMC Entertainment Inc., and Cinemark USA, and represents more than 14,000 screens domestically.

“Utilizing digital distribution technologies to support digital cinema seems like a natural progression and complementary to the roll-out of projection systems that is currently taking place,” says Darcy Antonellis, Warner Bros.’ Executive Vice President, Distribution and Technology Operations. “We’re excited by the opportunities we will have to identify and implement the most effective, cost-efficient means for delivery of our films.”

Under the current distribution system, individual prints of each movie are physically shipped to theaters in cans—or hard drives in the case of existing digital cinema. As technology has evolved, exhibitors have led the charge for finding new digital methods of direct delivery, which could include satellite or broadband components.

“This system will provide theater owners with greater scheduling flexibility as it allows for real-time bookings to meet audience demands and expands a theater’s ability to deliver alternative programming,” says DCIP CEO Travis Reid. “It’s a big win for content providers, theater owners and consumers.”

A digital distribution system, which streamlines the delivery process and limits the number of people who handle the product, is expected to increase security and support the fight against film piracy.

Said Michael Joe, Executive Vice President, Universal Pictures, “The conversion to digital cinema comes with the promise of creating new, previously impossible, theatrical opportunities for the exhibition business. A scalable, cost-effective solution for delivering content to theaters is at the heart of fulfilling that promise. We’re looking forward to being a part of this exploration.”

A number of the other distributors, including Fox, have expressed interest in evaluating the venture and the potential opportunities that it aims to provide to the industry.

“This venture is aimed at transforming the medium and providing new, enhanced experiences for consumers via a robust and cost-effective digital distribution system,” said Julian Levin, Executive Vice President, Digital Cinema, Twentieth Century Fox. “We look forward to analyzing the options that this venture will identify that will support Fox’s D-Cinema strategy.”

About Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., is one of the world’s largest producers of film and television entertainment. It is a subsidiary of the Time Warner conglomerate, with headquarters in Burbank, California, USA.Warner Bros. includes several subsidiary companies, among them Warner Bros. Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Home Video, DC Comics and The CW Television Network

About Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios ( Universal Studios is part of NBC Universal. NBC Universal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.

About DCIP
Digital Cinema Implementation Partners (DCIP) is a company owned equally by exhibition industry leaders AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark USA, Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC). Representing more than 14,000 screens in the U.S. and Canada, DCIP is headquartered in Bergen County, NJ with offices in Minneapolis and Denver. DCIP was created in 2007 to plan and implement the deployment of digital cinema during the motion picture industry’s transition from film to digital technology.


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