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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » First hint at end of 35mm film distribution for Disney (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: First hint at end of 35mm film distribution for Disney
Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16062
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-01-2011 06:37 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This was posted on my Facebook today and I thought it significent enough to share. If Disney barks for making the post go ahead and delete it.

Mark
________________________________________________________________

Dear Exhibitor:

At the end of this month I conclude 40 years in exhibition and
distribution. I do not want to make this transition without sharing my deep concern with you. Some of you are among the dwindling number still playing only 35mm prints, apparently without plans to migrate to digital cinema. Others of you have converted only a few screens. (For those of you who are in the majority who have committed to conversion, congratulations and you can stop reading!)

The window of opportunity is closing for you to take advantage of our VPF contributions to convert to digital cinema. At the same time, 35mm print costs are rising as suppliers grapple
with falling volumes and soaring input costs such as silver and oil. (Film stock costs are up about 20% in just the past year.) I can't predict when, but we may reach a point when it is no
longer economic for us to supply film prints on the same terms we have in the past, or at all.

Likewise, it may become uneconomic for our suppliers to remain in the 35mm print business.

Under these circumstances, if you intend to remain a long term player in the theatrical exhibition business, why take the risk of the eroding economics and questionable prospects for 35mm? The question is particularly timely and urgent when you can still take advantage of limited-time distributor-subsidized programs to convert to digital cinema.

I urge you, as a friend in exhibition, not to miss the best opportunity you will ever have to upgrade. For the sake of your business and the moviegoers that we serve, I urge you make the
move to digital, and do it now.

Very truly yours,

Chuck Viane

500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521-1208

Tel 818.560.5900 Fax 818.841.6847

chuck.viane@disney.com

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8233
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 07-01-2011 07:29 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Quite interesting. What (asking a general question here, not directed at Mark...) are the Drive-In's gonna do with this: find ways to do digital or close down and sell their land off?

..and along with "mom and pop" cinemas?

..gonna be interesting to find out .. - Monte

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Tony Ratcliff
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 216
From: Madison, IN, USA
Registered: Mar 2002


 - posted 07-01-2011 08:34 PM      Profile for Tony Ratcliff   Email Tony Ratcliff   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I received this e-mail letter directly from Disney today.

I couldn't decide if it was for real or a hoax.
But since it appears that others have gotten it also,
I guess it is real.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12278
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-01-2011 08:53 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
He's just saying the same thing John Fithian has been saying, except without guessing at an end date for film.

The ones who have converted, or who have plans to get converted, are the ones who want to stay in the business. There are some who have resigned to the fact that when film stops, they will close -- or maybe wait out some opportunities for used digital equipment.

Then there's a group of naysayers who think digital is just a fad and that clearer heads will prevail and film will make a comeback. These are probably people who are still listening to cassette tapes, thinking that the CD fad will end soon.

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Victor Liorentas
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 787
From: london ontario canada
Registered: May 2009


 - posted 07-01-2011 09:35 PM      Profile for Victor Liorentas   Email Victor Liorentas   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes thank God the reign of Compact Disc is finally nearly over!
Now I can enjoy my record's and tapes in peace! [Smile]

Still not buying the film is over thing.Need to wait for better digital deals on equipment anyway!The last possible second is the only way for us silly diehards to go digital. [Razz]

The film projectors will stay right where they are next to the [dlp] in case filum makes a comeback!
We don't play Disney stuff anyway [beer]

As a single screen we will get a D Cinema machine when we can afford it but it is not clear if we really should though?

I hope we can. [Frown]

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12278
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-01-2011 11:15 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well...our film projector is still there all right, but it hasn't projected anything for an audience since June 16 of last year. I still turn it on once in a while to keep the gears lubed. It looks kind of lonely over there.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8233
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 07-02-2011 12:15 AM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
....lonely, but still loyal to be used again since they've earned their place in this industry.

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Burleigh Ibbott
Film Handler

Posts: 46
From: Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, UK
Registered: Jul 2006


 - posted 07-02-2011 08:33 AM      Profile for Burleigh Ibbott   Email Burleigh Ibbott   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well some films have been released on digital only like the last Resident Evil and Universal's Senna. So I gather small release films maybe only digital in 18 months. My service engineer who comes travels the UK says that he has install so many D cinema in small chains and independants that its only a matter of time when that saturation rate will hit its target. I suppose it when the big ones like Odeon and Cineworld go totally digital thats will be the call to big companies to save money and go only digital prints.

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Jim Cassedy
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1522
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Dec 2006


 - posted 07-02-2011 09:37 AM      Profile for Jim Cassedy   Email Jim Cassedy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Tony Ratcliff
it appears that others have gotten it also,
I guess it is real.

Everyone I know has gotten an e-mail from a Nigerian
buisnessman claiming they'll get several million dollars if
they provide him with their bank account information.
"So I guess it is real."

But seriously - - There's 'something' about this e-mail;
I can't quite put my finger on it, that makes me think
it's not what it appears to be. I could be wrong, but
that's my "gut feeling" - - and over the years I've
learned to trust my 'gut'. It's rarely been wrong. . .

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Edward Havens
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 612
From: Berkeley, CA
Registered: Mar 2008


 - posted 07-02-2011 09:49 AM      Profile for Edward Havens   Email Edward Havens   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Chuck Viane has been one of the major proponents of digital cinema and 3D, so I don't doubt for a second the letter isn't real. It was Mr. Viane who pushed for Disney to make and release Chicken Little in 3D.

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2272
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-02-2011 11:43 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Shorter Chuck Viane:
Nice theater you got there. Pity if anything would happen to it.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12278
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-02-2011 12:49 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I suppose it is possible that this is just one of those internet scams, but it's a bit different than the old one from "Walt Disney's daughter" who was "working with Bill Gates" to develop and email tracking program and would send you on a free trip to Disney World if you forwarded the email to enough people. This one is just repeating the same thing that's been said before.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16062
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-02-2011 01:22 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Jim.. No one is stopping you from e-mailing the Nigerians with the same thing.... You might just come out ahrad...

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Aaron Mehocic
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 804
From: New Castle, PA, USA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-02-2011 01:58 PM      Profile for Aaron Mehocic   Email Aaron Mehocic   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
(For those of you who are in the majority who have committed to conversion, congratulations and you can stop reading!)
He may want to go back to school after 40 years to re-up on what constitutes a "majority". We are nowhere near a majority of digital houses.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7929
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-02-2011 02:09 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Perhaps someone who knows the man should call him and confirm that this actually originated from his office. Major industry announcements are not normally made in the form of Facebook posts.

In any case, even if it is legitimate, this doesn't really say anything that hasn't already been said. Personally, I would not make a major business decision based upon this sort of veiled threat of what may or may not happen in the future. Sure, there will come a time when major new releases are not generally available on 35mm film, but that could be next year or it could be many years away. In the meantime, [dlp] equipment is becoming both better and cheaper.

Considering that it has taken about five years to install [dlp] in about half of the cinemas in the US, I would expect that it would take at least another five before the process is complete, given the limits of manufacturing ability, installation ability, and the fact that many of the 35mm-only venues may have little or no desire to convert. Additionally, the newer theatres were generally the first to get [dlp] equipment; the remaining houses tend to be older and may require more construction work, electrical work, or other upgrades before the conversion can be made.

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