International Edition No. 19 - year 2 - 29 March 2007


How many years will it be before digital projectors are in a majority on the world’s screens? In 2013, according to the forecast published by MEDIA Salles in the new issue (no. 1/2007) of the “European Cinema Journal”. To download it, please click here.
This Newsletter, which has just been presented to the participants in the course “DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for European Cinemas”, now being held in Belgium, contains the results of a study which provides a forecast of the spread of digital projectors worldwide. Underpinning the elaboration by a young marketing expert, Marco Del Mancino, are the latest figures published by MEDIA Salles in the “European Cinema Yearbook – 2006 final edition”, which show that the number of digital screens on the five continents had risen to 2,866 by the end of the year, growing by an average 382% in twelve months. The leap forward on the North American market was crucial for this development, recording a growth rate of 1,031%, far superior to that in territories such as Europe (+168%) or Asia (+70%).
Del Mancino elaborated this data by using a well-established forecasting tool, borrowed from scientific management, as is the “epidemiological” growth model, which makes it possible, on the basis of quantitative data and strict mathematical logic, to show what will happen if the market continues to grow according to the pattern followed up to today. This analysis estimates that, after reaching the mark of 50% of the potential market in 2013, with a peak of 20,000 new installations in that same year alone, in 2019 saturation point will be reached, covering 99% of the 105,000 screens operating throughout the world. This was the background to the second day of the course for European cinema exhibitors, which includes in its programme talks by Ad Weststrate, President of Unic (the international exhibitors’ union) and Michael Thomas representing Cicae (the international confederation of art-house cinemas). After presenting the expectations and questions from the professional organisations towards the new technologies, the focus has shifted to the field of content. This includes films from the archives, which will be able to reacquire commercial value thanks to digital distribution, and 3-D productions. As emerged in the words of Matt Cowan, Chief Technology Officer of Real D: “3-D is one of the main catalysts in the development of digital cinema. Over 700 of the 2,866 digital screens at present open to the public are equipped for 3-D projection”. That 3-D is also amongst the main issues of interest to the course participants is confirmed by the words of the Finnish Riitta Haapiainen, Cinema Manager of SES Auditorium in Helsinki: “I had the opportunity to attend a digital 3-D test screening, which clearly indicated that this innovation opens a completely new field of possibilities outside the range of the traditional techniques. The old 35mm 3-D horror and action movies gave us merely a vague idea of what kind of an experience a digitally made 3-D can offer”.
To download Marco Del Mancino’s article, please click here.

MEDIA Salles, a project operating within the framework of the European Union's MEDIA Programme, with the support of the Italian Government, fosters theatrical distribution of European audiovisual products, both by high profile campaigns involving Europe's cinema exhibitors and by initiatives to raise the visibility of European productions with industry players and potential audiences, creating specialized information channels on a global scale. Thus the current initiatives from MEDIA Salles dovetail in a program with a triple focus – training, promotion and information – and maximum combined effect.

MEDIA Salles
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