You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Toho, NTT team up for digital delivery of pics

Osaka theater to be used as test for new distrib'n format

TOKYO — Japan’s top movie exhibitor Toho Co. will team with one of the nation’s largest regional telecom carriers to test a system for delivering digital movies over a fiber-optic network, industry sources said.

Toho will work with NTT West for the digital pic delivery system at Toho’s main theater in Osaka in July, they said.

If the test is successful, it could pave the way for digital movie delivery in Tokyo and Osaka where NTT regional carriers have been laying fiber optic networks and Toho controls some of the most lucrative theater circuits. The test could also be the first step in making digital movies the norm in Japan’s two major movie markets.

Concentrated outlets

Japan can make the jump to digital movie distribution more quickly than the U.S. because of the concentration of its media outlets, fewer theaters, and broad areas covered by its two main local telecom carriers.

With some of the highest per-screen averages in the world, however, the pressure is not as high in Japan as in the U.S. to cut costs by moving toward digital projection.

Toho and NTT West are to spend about $6 million for the tests, and the government may chip in some funds.

Rival Toei Co. has been testing a digital movie distribution system via satellite.

The digital movie market in Japan is in its early stages with one digital theater in Tokyo and a couple of major theaters having digital projection screens. Disney has been at the forefront in digital movies in Japan with three of its films — “Dinosaur,” “Mission to Mars” and “Toy Story 2” — being shown in digital format.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Beyonce Knowles'The Lion King' film premiere,

    ABC Announces Behind-the-Scenes Special for Beyoncé's 'Lion King' LP

    ABC has announced a new behind-the-scenes look into the making of Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” LP, which is set to air September 16 on ABC at 10 p.m. EST. Titled “Beyoncé Presents: Making the Gift,” the new hour-long special will allow viewers to “experience the process” behind the “Lion King” companion album, according [...]

  • Jason Lei Howden, Samara Weaving and

    Daniel Radcliffe On Acting With Weapons Nailed To Your Hands

    How did “Guns Akimbo” director and writer Jason Lei Howden convince Daniel Radcliffe to play a character with guns nailed to his hands? Easy, he sent him the script. Radcliffe joined Howden and “Ready or Not’s” breakout star Samara Weaving in the Variety’s Toronto Film Festival studio, presented by AT&T to talk the limits of [...]

  • Box Office: It Chapter Two Maintains

    Box Office: 'It: Chapter Two' Continues International Reign With $47 Million

    Pennywise’s reign of terror hasn’t wavered: Warner Bros.’ “It Chapter Two” maintained first place on box office charts, led by another strong showing overseas. The sequel, based on Stephen King’s horror novel, generated another $47 million at the international box office for a foreign tally of $169 million. After two weeks of release, “It Chapter [...]

  • First still from the set of

    Taika Waititi’s 'Jojo Rabbit' Wins Top Prize at Toronto Film Festival Awards

    Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” has won the coveted People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The honor positions the film for a potential Oscar run and bolsters its awards chances. That’s good news for Fox Searchlight, which must have been disappointed by the lackluster critical reception for the movie, a dark comedy [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Box Office: 'Hustlers' Racks Up Solid $33 Million Debut, 'Goldfinch' Bombs

    “Hustlers” rolled in the Benjamins this weekend, collecting $33.2 million when it debuted in 3,250 North American theaters. Boosted by rave reviews and stellar word of mouth, “Hustlers” beat expectations and now ranks as the best start for an STX film, along with the biggest live-action opening weekend for stars Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. [...]

  • German Cinema Is Diverse, But Is

    German Cinema Is Varied, But Is It Too Risk Averse?

    One of the strengths of German cinema is its diversity, says Simone Baumann, managing director of the national film promotion agency German Films. As well as the three films at Toronto directed by female German helmers, there was also German filmmaker Thomas Heise’s documentary film essay “Heimat Is a Space in Time.” Then there were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content