GDC, Studios Pact for Asian D-Cinema Rollout

GDC Technology has signed nonexclusive, separate agreements with 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures International and Universal Pictures International to facilitate the deployment of digital cinema across Asia. Under the virtual-print-fee financing deals, the three studios have committed to supply Asian exhibitors with feature film content digitally, as well as to make financial contributions toward the hardware cost of DCI-compliant digital-cinema equipment deployed by GDC.

Phase 1 of the program covers 6,000 screens throughout Asia. Along with its current rollout in China, the pacts signal GDC's ongoing commitment to Asian exhibitors. GDC is planning Phase 2 of the deployment.

The conversion of cinemas in Asia to digital technology will enable both exhibitors and distributors to reap substantial benefits of digital cinema: high quality non-degradable prints, new programming opportunities, such as premium digital 3D films, alternative content, and live satellite events, vastly reduced print production and logistics costs, and better protection against piracy.

Julian Levin, Executive Vice President, Digital Exhibition and Non-Theatrical Sales and Distribution, Twentieth Century Fox commented, “GDC’s commitment to the digital transition and roll out of DCI compliant digital projection systems across the Asian markets is very significant. Digital projection will not only provide movie goers with an enhanced theatrical viewing experience but also will provide 3D and alternative programming opportunities which are not possible with conventional analog 35mm film. We are delighted to have closed this deal and look forward to working with our friends and colleagues at GDC to bring this plan to fruition.”

"These milestone agreements finally offer Asian exhibitors a viable commercial model to finance their digital conversion and put together a sustainable rollout strategy," said Man-Nang Chong, founder and CEO of GDC Technology. "The support of Fox, Paramount and Universal is a strong endorsement of GDC and its competency in delivering a pan-Asian deployment. We are expecting more signings with other studios and independent distributors in the near future."

GDC Technology is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed company Global Digital Creations Holdings. The company has delivered and installed over 1,000 operating digital cinema servers worldwide.

By Gregg Kilday, The Hollywood Reporter