Russian exhibitor Cinema Park has signed an agreement with 3D manufacturer RealD to install RealD's 3D technology in 200 cinema screens across Russia. Installations have already begun and are expected to be completed by 2018. Cinema Park will also install a "LUXE: A RealD Experience" Premium Large Format (PLF) auditorium at its Grand Canyon theatre in St Petersburg. In the meantime, another Russian exhibitor Karo Cinemas also purchased 10 LUXE auditoriums, with two of them planned to open by end of 2013. This follows on from its previous deal in February to equip 200 Karo cinema screens with RealD 3D technology.
Despite the slowing down of the 3D market in North America and Europe, developing countries like Russia, China and Brazil are still experiencing the popularity of 3D movies. Digital screens in Russia reached 2,688 in Q3 2013 (66 per cent of the total screens), of which 2,100 were 3D screens. Accounting for 78 per cent of the total digital screens (lower than previously as a wider rollout is slowly emerging), 3D penetration is very high compared to many other European countries. Box office revenue generated by 3D titles is still rising in Russia. 3D revenue in 2012 reached RUB13.7bn, representing more than one third of the total revenue (36.8 per cent). This is up from 36.4 per cent in 2011 and 33.1 per cent in 2010, while this figure is declining in most European countries.
In terms of RealD, the deal with Cinema Park will significantly increase its presence in Russia. RealD currently hold a six per cent market share in Russia (in Q3 2013), relatively small compared with Xpand's 22 per cent and Dolby's 56.2 per cent.
Cinema Park currently operates 281 screens in Russia, of which 226 screens are 3D enabled. The 200 screen deal with RealD also shows Cinema Park's ambitious expansion plans in the next five years.