×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

DreamWorks Animation pacts for Auro-3D sound

With Barco alliance, Jeffrey Katzenberg touts quality, affordability

While the biz has been buzzing about plans for a new “Star Wars” trilogy, the usually sleepy world of theatrical movie sound has been ramping up for a format war.

Just a day after Dolby announced growing support for its Atmos format (Daily Variety, Oct. 31), DreamWorks Animation announced it has struck a strategic alliance with Barco and will release its next 15 pics in Barco’s Auro-3D sound format.

Auro-3D, which has up to 12 channels, adds a second set of surround speakers higher on the walls and more speakers directly above the audience to create a greater sense of depth in the audio mix.

First pic to be released in the format will be DWA’s “Rise of the Guardians” on Nov. 21. Only about 50 screens worldwide will be ready for the Auro format at the release of “Guardians,” but DWA will promote the format to the public on this and future pics.

In a Thursday presser at Pacific Theaters the Grove in Los Angeles — one of two locations in the L.A. area with Auro already installed — DWA topper Jeffrey Katzenberg said DWA chose Auro over Atmos for a simple reason: “It’s better. What else do you want?” He added, “This is the highest quality at the best affordability. You can’t separate those.”

“We believe they are going to be leaders in the market,” said Katzenberg.

Despite its monicker, Auro-3D can be used with any movie, be it 2D or 3D.

Asked whether there would be an upcharge for the format, Wim Buyens, CEO of Barco’s entertainment division, said, “We’ve seen there’s an upcharge for the immersive experience,” meaning enhanced sound and picture together. He said some theaters in some territories may choose to add an upcharge for Auro-3D only.

Comparing the launch of the new sound format with the launch of 3D, Katzenberg said, “Here we go again. I’m sure there will be those who use this as a gimmick, and overuse it, but I’m hoping the shortsightedness will be less than last time.”

As for additional studio support for Auro-3D, Buyens said, “Stay tuned. It’s clear this is not stopping here. This is not going to happen overnight, but people are getting used to the idea that the immersive experience is what drives moviegoing.”

More Film

  • Woolsey Fire Malibu

    Many Malibu Areas Still Off-Limits for Filming After Fire

    The California Film Commission has maintained its ban on filming in several Malibu areas hit by the massive Woolsey fire in Southern California last month. The commission announced Tuesday that due to continued clean-up and repair work along Pacific Coast Highway, permits for filming on the highway are not being issued at this time. PCH [...]

  • Against the Clock

    Film News Roundup: Andy Garcia's Spy Thriller 'Against the Clock' Bought by Gravitas

    In today’s film news roundup, Andy Garcia’s spy thriller is sold, “Battlestar Galactica” gets a screenwriter, and Brooklyn Decker gets an award. ACQUISITION Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to spy thriller “Against the Clock,” starring Andy Garcia, Dianna Agron (“Glee”), and Justin Bartha, Variety has learned exclusively. The film, formerly titled “Headlock,” is [...]

  • 'Pacific Rim Uprising' film premiere

    John Boyega in Talks to Star in Legal Drama 'A Naked Singularity'

    “Star Wars” actor John Boyega is in talks to star in the legal drama “A Naked Singularity” with Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions on board to produce. The movie is based on Sergio De La Pava’s debut novel, which centers on a successful New York public defender whose life begins to unravel after he loses [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    'Aquaman' Outpacing 'Wonder Woman' in Fandango Pre-Sales

    Pre-sales of “Aquaman,” which opens on Thursday night, are outpacing “Wonder Woman” at the same point in the advance ticket sales cycle on online ticketer Fandango. “Wonder Woman” opened with $103 million domestically during the June 2 to June 4, 2017, weekend on its way to a $412 million North American total for Warner Bros. “Aquaman,” [...]

  • European Union Placeholder

    Europe, Hollywood Hail Landmark E.U. Territorial Licensing Agreement

    Industry organizations and major companies in Europe and Hollywood welcomed Tuesday a high-level European Union agreement that in large part preserves producers’ ability to sell movies and TV shows on an exclusive territory-by-territory basis. Territorial licensing is a financial backbone of the film and TV business in Europe. Recognition of such licensing came last Thursday in [...]

  • Box Office: 'Aquaman,' 'Mary Poppins Returns'

    Box Office: 'Aquaman' Battles 'Mary Poppins Returns' in Crowded Holiday Weekend

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the most competitive time at the multiplexes. This weekend sees two very different heroes vying for the box office crown with “Aquaman” and “Mary Poppins Returns” both eyeing sizable debuts. “Mary Poppins Returns” is getting a head start by opening on Wednesday, though estimates show “Aquaman” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content