Farewell to Film Stock: Weinstein Co., Paramount Emphasize Digital-Only Releases

TWC won't strike a film print for upcoming release 'Vampire Academy'

"Vampire Academy"

The Weinstein Co. recently informed theater owners that its upcoming young adult fantasy “Vampire Academy” will be released only in a digital format.

The move by Weinstein Co. and other distributors to alert theater owners to the change signals the long-awaited fade out for film stock, as the majors shift to digital formats for most releases.

“Vampire Academy,” which opens Feb. 14, is not the first Weinstein film to go digital-only. “Dark Skies” which the mini-major released last February was released solely on digital.

Weinstein Co.’s notice to exhibs comes on the heels of Paramount confirming to Variety that “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is the last movie it will release on 35 mm film.

The move solely to digital was expected. Variety first reported in April that Paramount had run out of print stock.

That did not stop the studio from striking 35 mm prints for Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska.”  As for Martin Scorsese’s Paramount-distributed “The Wolf of Wall Street,” it was shot digitally, with the exception of a few exterior shots, and will be distributed digitally only.

Weinstein Co. said that it will not adhere to a digital-only policy going forward, but instead will strike prints when it is commercially viable. It’s worth noting however, that there are fewer than 1,000 locations still playing 35 mm prints — most of which are smaller locations.

The Los Angeles Times was the first to report that Paramount had stopped releasing movies on film.