There was more news on the digital rollout Thursday as Sony Corp. inked pacts with 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures to promote Sony digital cinema equipment.
Sony Pictures Entertainment also is part of the deal.
Fox, Par and Sony would pay “virtual” print fees to exhibs who are using the equipment supplied by Sony Digital Systems Solutions and Services group (DCSS).
Ultimately, DCSS hopes to outfit as many as 9,000 screens world.
With a dozen 3-D titles set for release this year, the race is on to convert conventional screens to digital as quickly as possible.
On Wednesday, after months of talks, the country’s three largest circuits — AMC Entertainment, Cinemark and Regal Entertainment — announced they have signed virtual print fee deals with Fox, Disney, Par, Lionsgate and Universal.
However, the three circuits still have to raise $1 billion in financing to pay for the conversion to digital.
Sony’s DCSS group has an advantage in that it is ready to go out into the market.
“As digital cinema programming becomes more prevalent in the marketplace, consumers will experience entertainment in bold and exciting new ways with superior state-of-the-art sound and picture quality, as well as the deployment of alternative forms of content,” Sony’s prexy of worldwide marketing and distribution Jeff Blake said.
Fox’s deal is non-exclusive and covers theaters worldwide, while Par’s pact only applies to North America. Sony Pictures’ includes North America and Europe.
Also on Thursday, Sony demonstrated an adapter for converting their 4K projectors to 3-D. Sony’s solution shows two 2K images at once, eliminating many motion-blur problems now plaguing 3-D. System is to be demoed at ShowEast and rolls out in March. It works with RealD now and is expected to be compatible with Dolby 3-D but not Xpand.