$945 million pact covers 8,000 installations
BRUSSELS — Warner Bros., Paramount, 20th Century Fox and Walt Disney have agreed to co-finance digital cinema installation in Europe to the tune of $945 million.The nonexclusive agreements with d-cinema service company XDC, announced Friday, will cover up to 8,000 installations in 22 European countries. Co-financing will cover more than 65% of the value of digital exhibition systems, including DCI-compliant projectors, servers, applications and services. The agreements foresee a rollout period of up to five years, while each digitized screen will be co-financed for a maximum of 10 years. Included as well is a commitment to provide features in digital form. Similar accords with Universal and Sony are in an advanced stage of negotiation, XDC said. The company now hopes to interest European distributors in the same co-financing proposal. “These milestone agreements offer European exhibitors a viable business model to convert their screens to digital cinema,” said XDC topper Serge Plasch. According to Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, international distribution prexy at Warner Bros., this d-cinema deployment agreement is the first for Warner Bros. Pictures Intl.