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Market Insight

Circuits encouraged by 3D box office results

July 21, 2008

Charlotte Jones Charlotte Jones Associate Director – Research and Analysis, Cinema, IHS Markit

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Canada's largest exhibitor has become the latest in a number of cinema circuits to secure a large-scale order for RealD's stereoscopic theatrical presentation system. Cineplex Entertainment has agreed to install a minimum of 175 3D screens by end 2009, a 13 per cent proportion to its total 1,332 screen base. The deal, like many of the recent agreements in support of the RealD system, following major circuits Regal, Cinemark and Cinepolis, is contingent upon the deployment of the underlying d-cinema equipment.
The announcements have also coincided with box office results from the latest digital 3D release, Journey to the Centre of the Earth in July. Out of a total US opening weekend box office of $21.0m, the 3D versions accounted for the majority 57 per cent of revenues, from just 30 per cent of screens (approx 3,200 screens in 2,811 theatres) . As the dominant stereoscopic system in the US, 954 RealD screens generated 55 per cent of the box office for a per-screen average of $12,118 or 2.9 times higher than the $4,116 respective average for the standard 2D version.


The results show that the existing 3D to 2D ratio (in the region of three times the per-screen-average) has still been maintained, despite this being the widest digital 3D release so far. Cineplex had previously stated that it would join the roll-out initiative spearheaded by DCIP in North America, lead by the three largest US circuits namely, Regal, AMC and Cinemark, but has since deployed several systems as part of Technicolor's beta test earlier this year. The announcements are intended to drive the now lengthy financial negotiations, on how to fund d-cinema to a close, so that these orders can be fulfilled in time for the plethora of 3D titles in 2009.

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