Universal Pictures International and Ymagis Ink European Digital Deal

Universal Pictures International, Universal's overseas releasing arm, became the latest studio to seal a deal with Ymagis, the European digital cinema services provider based in Paris for digital rollout in theaters in Europe. Universal Pictures will provide movies to theaters equipped by Ymagis and will pay digital print fees under a long-term agreement similar to those signed by Paramount, Disney and Fox, UPI said Tuesday.

Ymagis started its rollout activity in July this year and has so far signed contracts with exhibitors for a total of 29 screens in France. Ymagis expects to announce agreements with other studios and European distributors in the coming weeks, as well as agreements with several exhibitors.

UPI exec vp Duncan Clark said Universal is "committed to the growth of digital cinema, the future of our industry. Our audiences will reap the rewards of the continued enhancement of the theatrical experience."

Ymagis CEO Jean Mizrahi said he is "delighted to conclude this agreement with Universal Pictures," and described the deal as "another step in our effort to help all kinds of exhibitors in Europe convert to digital."

Ymagis intends to deploy up to 5,500 systems throughout several European countries, including France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

By Stuart Kemp, The Hollywood Reporter