29 October 2009 - ODEON & UCI CINEMAS GROUP ANNOUNCES LANDMARK PAN-EUROPEAN DIGITAL CINEMA DEALS BETWEEN DIGITAL DEPLOYMENT ASSOCIATES LIMITED, TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX, THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY UK & PARAMOUNT PICTURES

 

UK-based Digital Deployment Associates Limited (DDAL) has signed long-term deals with three of Hollywood’s leading studios to enable the roll out of digital projectors throughout ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group, Europe’s largest cinema chain operating under the Odeon, UCI and Cinesa brands in its local markets.

Digital technology delivers significant benefits to studios, distributors, exhibitors and filmgoers. There are significant savings in 35mm printing and distribution costs for the studios, as well as a range of programming benefits including 3D films, alternative content (such as opera, sports, ballet and concerts), better viewing quality and more flexible scheduling of films, trailers and advertising.

Currently ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group operate 187 digital screens across its circuit, allowing it to offer 3D and alternative content. The new deals will help enable the Group to convert the rest of its screens, which will unlock the additional benefits of full digitisation to both the Studios and ODEON & UCI cinemagoers.

The total investment being made is over £70m, and this investment is funded over time by a combination of contributions from studios and exhibitors, as well as the earnings derived from the improved programming offer.

Julian Levin, executive vice president for Digital at Twentieth Century Fox, said, “We view the ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group deal as a breakthrough for digital development in Europe. With ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group broad footprint across seven important markets, we anticipate a dramatic increase in digital projection in the years ahead. And with our total commitment to digital releases, the Fox slate, including blockbusters, such as the upcoming Avatar, digital projection will deliver an enhanced 2D and 3D image quality and viewing experience to the ultimate beneficiaries of the transition, the moviegoers. We look forward to working with our friends and colleagues at ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group during this exciting transition to a digital projection platform”

Roger Pollock, Executive Vice President International Distribution & Operations, for Paramount Pictures, said: “We are delighted to have concluded this landmark digital deal with ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group. This agreement signals yet another important step forward for the future of d-cinema and will also have a major impact on the availability of 3D projection in Europe. We at Paramount look forward to supporting our valued partner in delivering the ultimate viewing experience to the movie-going public.”

Anthony Marcoly, president, Sales and Distribution, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International, said, "Disney has long been a leader in the advancement of digital cinema, and we’re thrilled to be working with ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group, and our colleagues in the industry, to bring moviegoers the absolute best cinema experience possible.  We feel strongly that this new technology is essential to keeping the film industry vital and competitive.  With this major new commitment from Europe’s leading exhibitor, moviegoers will soon have the benefit of seeing and hearing films in new and dynamic ways, and be able to experience the latest in 3D technology.  Disney is continuing to push the 3D entertainment envelope with such highly anticipated upcoming releases as Disney’s ‘A Christmas Carol,’ Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and the third instalment in Disney-Pixar’s much-loved ‘Toy Story’ series.”

Rupert Gavin, CEO of ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group said, “These deals represent a crucial step forward in delivering full scale Digital Cinema in Europe, with all the benefits that this will deliver for the industry, and most importantly, for our customers. The strength of demand for innovations such as 3D, and for alternative content, demonstrates the benefits that will result from the Digital revolution in Cinema.”

Negotiations are on going with the remaining Hollywood majors, in anticipation of starting the full rollout in 2010.

 

Notes to editors:

For more information contact the ODEON Press Office on 0845 070 2852 or odeonteam@redconsultancy.com

 

About ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group
With over 75 years experience, ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group is the largest cinema operator in Europe.  The Group is the leading cinema operator in the UK, Spain and Italy, second largest in Ireland and third largest in Germany, Austria and Portugal.  It operates 1802 screens at 202 sites across Europe.

 

About Fox

TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a unit of Fox Entertainment Group. One of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, Fox Filmed Entertainment produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world. These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of FFE: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX, FOX 2000 PICTURES, FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES and TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX ANIMATION.

 

 

About Paramount Pictures Corporation

Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands.  The company's labels include Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies.  PPC operations also include Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., Paramount Studio Group, and Worldwide Television Distribution.  


About The Walt Disney Company UK

The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and its interactive media group.
 
TWDC UK has had a strong and enduring heritage for more than 75 years and employs more than 2,500 people in a total of seven offices. TWDC UK is a major film distributor with most recent successes including ‘The Proposal’ and ‘Up’ - which was the UK and Ireland’s biggest animated film opening in 2009. The company is also one of the top distributors of programming in the region, working with local partners to bring network series, movies and branded kids and family content to TV viewers, via shows such as ‘Desperate Housewives’, ‘Lost’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Flash Forward’. The Disney Channel launched in the UK in 1995 and has since then maintained the number one position for children’s pay-TV channels in all UK and Ireland homes. More recently, in August 2009, Disney launched Disney XD, its first boy-focused, girl-inclusive channel. In October 2009, the London production of Disney’s ‘The Lion King' celebrated its tenth Anniversary at the Lyceum Theatre, where over eight million people at over 4,200 performances have seen it. ESPN, 80% owned by TWDC, established its pay-TV sports channel, ESPN, in the UK and Ireland in August 2009 and is a major investor in UK sports’ TV rights.