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3-D Cinema Here to Stay This Time?

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Nicole Sperling and Carolyn Giardina of The Hollywood Reporter write that "Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas 3-D" was the tipping point.

Still, many challenges on the deployment of digital cinema remain. More than 2,000 screens out of 43,000 nationwide have been deployed, with technology integrator AccessIT being the most bullish in its rollout. The public company said in February that it hit its 2,000th networked digital-cinema system. Its primary competitors, Technicolor Digital Cinema and DCIP — the technology subsidiary of top three exhibitors Regal Entertainment Group, AMC Entertainment Group and Cinemark — are in the early testing stage. Technicolor has yet to announce exhibition deals, while DCIP is putting its technology plan in place.

Converting existing theaters to digital projection was something that cinema chains were seeing as an unecessary burdern.  Now, with digital 3-D catching on, and the ability to instantly add additional showings of sold-out movies without having to wait for a physical print, they’re seeing the financial upside of going digital.

A growing number of stakeholders think there are opportunities to produce additional revenue from these installations with alternative content such as sports events and concerts.

Experimentation to gauge interest has started. Last month, the NBA teamed with Burbank-based PACE, a leader in 3-D production techniques, to offer the NBA All-Star Saturday Night and the 56th NBA All-Star Game live and in 3-D high definition. The NBA’s 3-D HD viewing events took place at three sites at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Hotel.