LONDON — Russia will see both 3D cinema provider RealD and digital cinema company dcinex open local offices in the country, it was announced this week at the 14th KinoExpo international convention and trade fair taking place in St. Petersburg Sept. 17-21.
RealD announced Tuesday that it will open its first office in Russia later this month in Moscow looking to expand its footprint in the Eastern European major.
Austria-based dcinex, the pan-European cinema sales and service company that was created from the rebranding of XDC, FTT and Bewegte Bilder, will also open a branch office in Moscow by the end of September.
“Russia is one of the emerging markets in the near future and will become a very important foothold for the group,” said Thomas Ruttgers, senior VP South Eastern sales for dcinex. The Russia office will be headed up by general manager Julia Vinokurova.
The Russian 3D market continues to grow rapidly with the number of 3D-enabled screens increasing 231% between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2012. The country had 1,446 3D-enabled screens at the mid-point of 2012, according to the latest statistics from Screen Digest.
Russia is the fifth biggest international market for 3D screens behind China (7,445), France (2,385), U.K./Ireland (1,691) and Germany (1,508). The number of 3D screens in the market is estimated to rise to 1,607 by the end of 2012.
Dolby (870 screens) and Xpand (391) are the biggest providers of digital 3D cinema systems in Russia with respective market share of 60% and 27%. RealD has a 4% market share with 56 screens as of June 30. MasterImage has a 5% share with 71 screens.
In 2011, 3D accounted for $420 million and nearly 49,000 admissions in Russia, representing 36% of box office and 31% of ticket sales.
Russia remains a key focus for growth in Europe. Imax Corp. recently revealed that it has 26 new Imax screens contracted for Russia, which is already one of the company’s biggest markets with 24 existing screens.