MGM/UA has become the latest distributor to jump on the digital sound bandwagon, entering into a three-year exclusive agreement with Digital Theater Systems. The deal calls for half of MGM/UA’s annual output to be in the DTS digital sound format.

MGM/UA now joins Warner Bros., Paramount, New Line, Miramax, Turner Pictures, Amblin Entertainment and Universal Pictures — all of whom have scheduled releases in the DTS format. By the end of 1994, over 50 films will have been released in DTS.

According to sources, MGM/UA and DTS have been in negotiations since last fall, working out a deal to use the system. In addition, sources said that executives were swayed by knowing that more than 1,200 theaters already utilize the DTS technology.

One of the first MGM/UA films to launch the deal will be “That’s Entertainment III,” a compilation tribute to MGM’s golden age and the first musical film to utilize DTS. In addition, the studio’s “Blown Away,” the Jeff Bridges actioner due in theaters July 1, is also skedded to be released with the DTS system.

“We are excited to present our future releases using this latest advancement in sound technology,” Larry Gleason, MGM/UA’s president of worldwide theatrical distribution, said in a statement. “We are confident that it will enhance our audiences’ filmgoing experience.”

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