Cineworld inks £30m digital deal with Arts Alliance
by Naman Ramachandran
UK cinema chain Cineworld has announced plans to convert all its 77 sites to digital within three years. To this end, they have engaged leading European provider of digital cinema technology and distribution services, Arts Alliance Media (AAM), in a deal worth £30m. This is in addition to the £10m already spent in 2009 and the first half of 2010.
Cineworld currently has a third of its 790 screens digitised. The company will recoup its cost over 10 years through a Virtual Print Fee deal, which AAM will collect from film distributors on behalf of Cineworld.
Cineworld CEO Steve Wiener said, “Digital is a core part of our strategy and we are delighted to be partnering with Arts Alliance Media to continue to lead the investment in digital cinema. Going to the cinema will no longer be just about going to see movies. Alternative content in 3D such as live rugby, plays, opera, and concerts and other sporting events will now become more readily available at all Cineworld cinemas across the UK. We are delighted to be at the forefront of the UK cinema industry, offering our customers the very best in entertainment at every Cineworld location.”
Julian Levin, EVP Digital Exhibition and Non-Theatrical Sales and Distribution of Twentieth Century Fox said, “Fox has a long standing relationship with Arts Alliance and we been working with our colleagues at Arts Alliance to transition the industry from 35mm to a digital platform. The security, digital image quality and 3D revenue opportunities offer a tremendous boost to the cinema industry and most importantly provide an enhanced experience for the moviegoer. AAM’s deal with Cineworld represents a major step forward in the digital transition in Europe.”
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