Dolby Secures Global 3-D Deals

Dolby Labs has landed commitments for its 3-D systems on more than 350 screens in Europe, Asia and the Americas. It expects most of those screens to be ready when Warner's Journey to the Center of the Earth -- aka Journey 3-D -- and Belgian 3-D toon "Fly Me to the Moon" bow later this summer.

Dolby still trails far behind market leader Real D in installed screens and future commitments, but it is preferred by some exhibs, especially in Europe, because it does not require theaters to install an expensive silver screen in each 3-D auditorium, as the Real D system does. Unlike Real D, which collects a royalty on 3-D ticket sales, Dolby sells its system outright, often to aggregators who install digital projection systems in theaters. As a result, Dolby cannot track exactly where its systems have been installed.

In another announcement made in conjunction with the Cinema Expo confab in Amsterdam, Dolby also unveiled a licensing program for d-cinema server manufacturers to support Dolby 3-D Digital Cinema playback. Manufacturer XDC has already signed on for the program, which aims to let exhibitors put Dolby 3-D on their existing servers.

By David S. Cohen, Variety