Why Digital Cinema Is Taking So Long

from the can't-look-long-term dept

There was a lot of talk about how George Lucas had been hoping to show Attack of the Clones on mostly digital screens when it finally came out. What he hadn’t counted on was there would still be fewer than 100 such screens around the country. Many (though, certainly not all) filmmakers seem to love the technology. It has the potential to cut down (drastically) on distribution costs. It could also let movie theaters respond to customer demand more rapidly and accurately. So, why aren’t more theaters going digital? Mostly because the conversion is expensive. The benefits are seen to be more long term, and theaters who are struggling from the load of debt they have due to the “megaplex building boom” don’t have much spare cash to put towards a long term bet. Also, there’s less incentive to rapidly respond to customer demand, since the earlier a movie gets shown, the more money the theater has to pay back to the studio. The article here suggests that the best way to get more theaters to switch is to have the distribution companies take on the upgrade costs. They have the incentives and all the right relationships to make it happen.

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