March 19, 2010
MILWAUKEE, WI — Although Marcus Theaters does screen 3-D films on some of its screens, current digital systems do not work on their UltraScreens which measure up to 75 feet wide and 32 feet high. A system to project 3-D films on these screens is being tested, and the company is also installing and expanding digital 3-D throughout its chain.
Greg Marcus told conference attendees that company executives have concluded that 3-D is more than just a fad, noting the box office success of the 3-D film “Avatar.”
“We’re excited about it,” he said. “We will continue to grow it.”
A company spokeswoman said after the presentation that Marcus and Neis had nothing additional to say about how long the tests would take or when the 3-D UltraScreen capability might be available.
Read the full story in the Journal Sentinel.
March 18, 2010
First it was the cell phone application that let you know when an opportune moment in the film was coming up so you could quickly exit to use the restroom. Now someone has created software that allows a movie to become “interactive.” In connection with an upcoming German-made horror film, patrons can provide their cell phone numbers upon entry; one audience member will be called and, via the voice-recognition software, will assist a character in the film make life-and-death decisions with rest of the audience listening in on the conversation. Here’s the news item which includes a demo via YouTube:Movie Viral
March 2, 2010
John Huston’s “The African Queen” (1951), starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn shall finally be released on U.S. Region 1 DVD on March 23, 2010. For many years, this was the only film on the American Film Institute’s original Top 100 List that had not been released on DVD.
This, of course, is great news for fans of the film, as well as Bogey and Kate. But as I rejoice in the news and prepare to open my wallet for the inevitable purchase, I also find myself asking, “What about the rest of them?”
The rest of them – you know, the other essential film classics that still have yet to see the light of DVD. Classic titles like “Wings” (silent), “The Crowd” (silent), “The Island of Lost Souls”, “The Magnificent Ambersons” and “A Guy Named Joe” have, to this day, still gotten no further than American-made VHS tape (that’s probably why I still own those films in that now-ancient format).
February 25, 2010
Some theaters in Europe are threatening to not show Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” because of the studios decision to release the DVD only three months after the film hits theaters.
Disney said it intended to release the “Alice” DVD about three months after the movie appears in theaters, compared with the typical four- to six-month window. Like other studios, Disney is experimenting with shorter windows in response to declining DVD sales. Theater owners, especially in Europe, fear that will discourage consumers from going to theaters amid a period of record revenue. Exhibitors are also upset because they have recently spent millions of dollars upgrading thousands of screens to show 3-D movies.
The flare-up illustrates how an arcane topic once only of interest to Hollywood executives can affect moviegoers around the world.
No U.S. theater owners have threatened to boycott “Alice” so far, although some have said they will pull it from their screens once it hits the home video market.
Read more in the Los Angeles Times.
February 24, 2010
CYPRESS, CA — Christie, the leader in digital cinema projection technologies, is pleased to confirm full production, shipping and installation of the latest generation of 4K-ready DLP Cinema projectors, the Christie Solaria series, beginning with the Christie CP2220. The Christie CP2220 digital cinema projector features Texas Instruments' (TI) (NYSE: TXN) next generation Series 2 DLP Cinema technology. Shipments began early January to North and South America, Europe and Asia and are now installed and showing feature films worldwide, including Australia, Canada, Korea and the United States. With orders arriving daily, Christie continues its lead in digital cinema deployment resulting in 70% of all digital cinema installations worldwide since the introduction of DLP Cinema projectors — which Christie was also the first to market.
Designed to meet all Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) specifications, the Christie Solaria is fully upgradeable to 4K digital cinema and features Christie Brilliant3D technology, providing the ultimate, most realistic 3D experience with the lowest cost of operation.
According to Pastapadre, the increase in 3D movies means more and more screens will have to be added with the technology.
The cost of converting, being upwards of $100K per screen, has caused hesitation in the past with uncertainty that it would be worth the investment. However leading up to the release of Avatar (and now especially after its success) theater owners have been making a more concerted effort to meet the oncoming demand. About 250 screens are being added each month.
February 19, 2010
According to the Wall Street Journal(sub. rqr’d), the time frame between a movie’s release in theaters and on DVD is getting shorter. A good example is “GI Joe: Rise of Cobra” on DVD, which was releasd three months after the movie was in theaters. Disney is doing the same with its “Alice In Wonderland” 3-D film, which is coming out in June, three months after the movie’s debut in theaters.
The coming release of Walt Disney Co.’s “Alice in Wonderland” might serve as a looking glass into the movie industry’s future.
Instead of releasing the DVD 16 and a half weeks after the movie opens in theaters, Disney plans to put it out after just 12 and a half weeks, even if it is still playing at the multiplex.
February 18, 2010
According to Engadget the James Cameron sci-fi megahit Avatar, which has become the highest grossing film of all time worldwide, is being shown in 4D but only in Korean theaters. What that means is that the audience will hear, feel, taste, and smell the movie.
February 10, 2010
Right up there with “free” credit reports and the ever tempting hotel minibar sitsmovie theater popcorn as one of the nation’s biggest ripoffs.
A medium bag of popcorn costs just 60 cents to make but retails for $6, a whopping 900% markup. That’s enough to make “Avatar” fans turn blue.
Richard McKenzie, an economics professor at University of California-Irvine, says theater owners mark up the snack so much because they don’t make a profit elsewhere.
February 9, 2010
The latest winner of the THS Outstanding Theater Book of the Year award is Brian Leahy Doyle for his book “Encore: The Renaissance of Wisconsin Opera Houses.”
Read more about it Boswell and Books.