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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Who Is Installing Digital Projection For "Chicken Little"? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Who Is Installing Digital Projection For "Chicken Little"?
Michael Coate
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1873
From: Los Angeles, California
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 10-05-2005 02:40 AM      Profile for Michael Coate   Email Michael Coate   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So how many of you work at a theatre that has recently installed or is scheduled to install a DLP Digital Projection system for your engagement of "Chicken Little"?

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Joseph L. Kleiman
Master Film Handler

Posts: 378
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Apr 2005

 - posted 10-05-2005 10:25 AM      Profile for Joseph L. Kleiman   Email Joseph L. Kleiman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 


By Nicole Sperling

After months of haggling and deal brokering, the country's top three theater chains have either signed or are about to sign five-year contracts with digital 3-D provider Real D for 3-D exhibition. Its system will be in place in time for next month's release of Walt Disney Pictures' "Chicken Little," which proved to be a tipping point for the agreements.

Real D has completed deals with AMC Entertainment and Loews Cineplex and is in final negotiations with Regal Entertainment Group.

By adopting Real D's technology in advance of the release of Disney's first homegrown CGI-animated film, which bows Nov. 4, the exhibition community is making one of the first tentative steps in the rollout of digital cinema.

Real D said the participation of the top three exhibitors, in addition to several smaller chains, will result in 85 locations where "Little" can be screened in 3-D. Excluding Regal, 20 chains have signed on.

The list of exhibitors now on board also includes the Boston-based National Amusements theater chain, which intends to install 10 systems in its circuit, as well as Century Theatres, headquartered in San Rafael, Calif. Century declined comment on the number of systems it will employ.

Absent from the list are such top 10 exhibitors as Cinemark USA and Carmike Cinemas.

The 85 systems matches the number announced by Disney Studios chairman Richard Cook when he discussed plans for "Little's" rollout at a demonstration of its 3-D footage Sept. 22.

Neither Disney nor technology partner Dolby Labs, which is responsible for the digital cinema servers and the system integration, would confirm the exhibitor list provided by Real D.

Regal is in negotiations to install 15 projectors across its circuit, according to sources involved in the deal. AMC has confirmed that it will install two systems, one in its Willowbrook 24 theater in Houston and the other in the Town Center 20 location in Kansas City, Mo. Loews is expected to install eight systems.

The smaller circuits, which have long been looking for a way to distinguish themselves from their competitors, appear even more eager to adopt the new technology.

Dallas-based Rave Motion Pictures has signed an agreement to install the systems in nine of its theaters. The 5-year-old theater circuit has been trying to differentiate itself from such larger competitors as Cinemark and AMC by offering consumers a unique moviegoing experience.

"Real D is the first truly transforming technology to meaningfully enhance the moviegoing experience," Rave president and CEO Tom Stephenson said. "Digital cinema is nothing without 3-D -- 3-D is the killer app for digital cinema."

Said Real D chairman Michael Lewis: "Real D is the next step in the evolution of cinema. It provides our exhibition partners with premium entertainment experiences that can't be duplicated at home."

The 3-D implementation was first announced by Disney, Dolby and Real D in advance of the CinemaExpo convention in Amsterdam (HR 6/27). At the time, the companies said they would install 100 systems in the top 100 markets, even though they had no advance commitment from the exhibition community. Since then, reps from the three companies have haggled long and hard with exhibitors, who have been reluctant to commit to extra expenditures for new technology when the prospective financial returns are unknown.

Dolby and Real D negotiated separate contracts for the systems. Sources said Real D's contract requires a $50,000 upfront payment, primarily for the installation of its silver screen, and $25,000 a year for five years. However, if the flow of 3-D product -- at this point confined to "Little" and Sony Pictures' release of "Monster House" in summer 2006 -- does not remain constant, then deal points with Real D will be renegotiated, sources said. The industry projection is for three to four 3-D films a year.

In contrast, Dolby has required exhibitors to sign 10-year contracts with the San Francisco-based tech company. Dolby is fronting most of the costs of installing its digital system, which costs about $85,000 per screen. Distributors will pay Dolby a virtual print fee of $1,200 per screen per movie. The exhibitors remain in negotiations with Dolby over maintenance contracts and warranty issues for the equipment, sources said.

Another challenge holding up the 3-D installation is the number of digital 2K projectors ready for deployment. Dolby already has announced that it purchased all 50 of Christie's available digital projectors.

Sources said the breakdown for deployment is 51 Christie projectors and 34 Barco systems -- all the stock available in North America.

Real D hopes to announce additional exhibition partners in the coming months as it works toward its goal of equipping more than 1,000 screens globally with Real D systems over the next two years.

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Amanda Jones
Film Handler

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From: Indianapolis, IN, USA
Registered: Aug 2005

 - posted 10-05-2005 11:22 AM      Profile for Amanda Jones   Email Amanda Jones   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Our theater is. Yesterday the new porthole was installed and they almost have the projector done. Don't know when the new screen is being installed.

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Bruce Hansen
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Stone Mountain, GA, USA
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 10-05-2005 05:06 PM      Profile for Bruce Hansen   Email Bruce Hansen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Looking back, 3D comes around every so often. At first, people think it's something special, then get tired of it, and it goes away. I wonder how long it will be around this time, and what will happen to these "deals" when 3D fades, as it has in the past.

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David Stambaugh
Film God

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From: Eugene, Oregon
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 - posted 10-05-2005 06:22 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm sure Hollywood is very excited about the prospects for releasing new 3D versions of their best catalog films like "Schindler's List", "Platoon", "The Godfather", and many many more. Those old boring dramas will really come to life in 3D! [beer] [Roll Eyes]

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Frank Dubrois
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From: Cleveland, OH
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 - posted 10-05-2005 08:11 PM      Profile for Frank Dubrois     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, I heard George Lucas is going to redo the original Star Wars Trilogy in digital 3D. If he's excited about it, should we all be? [Roll Eyes]

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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From: Lawton, OK, USA
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 - posted 10-05-2005 09:40 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Once those 2K systems (effectively similar to 1080 HDTV) are installed, I doubt if they'll be running much, if any, 3D content.

I think 3D movies are cool. But they only seem to work for things like IMAX-3D shows. The 30 to 50 minute run time for those kinds of large format movies tend to work better in 3D.

Why? Not many audiences can stand to watch a movie in 3D for up to 2 hours or more. When you watch a movie in 3D you're doing something phyiscally unnatural to your eyes. Normally your focal plane and convergence point in eyesight are tied together. They're separated when you watch a 3D movie. You focus on the screen. The point of convergence jumps in front of or behind the screen. Many people will get eye strain or even a full blown headache after watching an hour of that.

3D has also taken a step backward since most movie theaters don't have the right kind of screens to do the right kind of 3D.

It's not difficult for a 100% CGI-based cartoon to be produced in 3D. Very few, if any, live action movies will be made that way. I know George Lucas is working on a 3D version of "Star Wars," but I'm not convinced at this point it will look convincing. Without two discrete camera views of the original action the artificially produced 3D will have subjects looking like flat cut outs floating above a background. That won't be very good.

Without the 3D angle, I'm sure the movie companies and theaters that ponied up the cash for the projection systems will shout "DIGITAL!!!!" Yeah, digital, sure. A 1080p native rez HDTV monitor does an audience just as good.

Show me 4K. Some me something I can't get at home. Then that will at least be something.

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Brad Miller

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From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
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 - posted 10-05-2005 10:41 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
I dunno Bobby. I've heard from a couple of people whom opinions I trust that this 3D is unlike traditional 3D and that it doesn't have the normal eye strain.

I guess we'll see, eh? [Smile]

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Darryl Spicer
Film God

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From: Lexington, KY, USA
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 - posted 10-05-2005 10:51 PM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
ok can we step back for a few minutes and look at something interesting here. Why in the hell do you want to make a what is essentially a kids movie 3D...I mean come on all the fighting over the glasses...making them stay on the kids head....keeping them off the floor....getting the sticky goo off of them. I see one huge headache without even watching the movie.

I wish Lucas would stop milking a dry cow. It is obvious he can't move on to different things. He is stuck in a permanent cycle of dulness.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

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From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 10-05-2005 11:41 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw the 3-D preview of Star Wars IV at Great States. I thought of all the 3-D stuff they showed, it was the least impressive. But Mr. Lucas knows, as we all do, that the Star Wars fans will pony up.

Also: The glasses were uncomfortable. But supposedly this Disney thing uses a different kind of glasses (the ones we got at the demo were battery operated.)

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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From: Lawton, OK, USA
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 - posted 10-05-2005 11:56 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh, wooo. Battery operated...

...kinda like a dildo.
[Big Grin]

I'm sorry. I couldn't resist making the joke.

Weren't the original IMAX-3D laser controlled goggles battery powered? They were laser synched by lasers installed in the auditorium. The Sony Lincoln Square IMAX-3D theater had such a setup. But I haven't seen it repeated in most other IMAX-3D locations -even ones in Las Vegas where you have to pay $184,858,838,269.95 for a 25 second ride. You just get plastic plain non-powered glasses. They're polarized and work really well though. But they don't need any batteries....

...just a dose of dish washing detergent after all the mullet wearing throngs have tried them out! Hey, don't anyone be offended. A theater must eradicate head lice where ever the risk might be present!

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Mark J. Marshall
Film God

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From: New Castle, DE, USA
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 - posted 10-06-2005 12:05 AM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Brad Miller
this 3D is unlike traditional 3D and that it doesn't have the normal eye strain.

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Brad Miller

Posts: 17687
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 10-06-2005 03:30 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
...and the award for most useless post of 2005 goes to...Mark J. Marshall!!!

Care to elaborate on your lengthy post?

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Brian Michael Weidemann
Expert cat molester

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From: Costa Mesa, CA United States
Registered: Feb 2004

 - posted 10-06-2005 05:41 AM      Profile for Brian Michael Weidemann   Author's Homepage   Email Brian Michael Weidemann   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We currently have the one DLP, in #17. For Chicken Little, we're getting one more, for #15. The preliminary install wiring and port glass stuff is currently underway. The Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21 ... two DLP's, one IMAX ... we rule Orange County!

quote: Bobby Henderson
Weren't the original IMAX-3D laser controlled goggles battery powered?
They were, indeed, battery powered, but they were infrared, not laser. The glass in them was polarized, so they would work without a battery (should it die in the middle of a show, and if the projector ran with polarizers, too). The batteries powered the liquid crystal flicker, that was timed to the projector shutter system. It did a fantastic job eliminating ghosting, but I guess it wasn't worth the $600 or so per headset. Simply polarized disposable paper pieces of junk, handed out at box office, are a much better financial decision, it appears, to those in control.

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Paul Konen
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Frisco, TX. (North of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 10-06-2005 08:29 AM      Profile for Paul Konen   Email Paul Konen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've had two DLP systems for nearly 5 years. I currently have a 2K and a 1K system. No 3D Chicken Little for me though.

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