Hollywood, Calif.,—Sep 17, 2009
Technicolor Launches Industry’s First “Production to Projection” Solution to Deliver High-quality 3D to More Moviegoers
Moviegoers Rank 35mm 3D Identical in Quality to Digital 3D in Warner Bros.’ Final Destination 3D Exit Polls
To address the unprecedented demand for 3D, Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS), through its Technicolor Business Group, today announced a high-quality, affordable 3D solution that works with existing 35mm projectors. The Technicolor 3D Solution can be deployed immediately to bridge the gap until digital cinema can be more widely rolled out. According to exit polling interviews conducted by independent research firm OTX, moviegoers ranked Technicolor 3D as being comparable to digital 3D cinema technologies, making it the first viable celluloid complement to existing 3D efforts.
A wider platform is needed to accommodate the growing consumer demand for 3D content. With more than a dozen 3D movies and even more special 3D events (concerts, sporting events, etc.) slated for 2010, 3D engagements are a proven complement to 2D at the box office. In fact, 3D engagements outperform 2D by more than 2-to-1 in attendance and even greater in box office. Existing 3D technologies work exclusively with digital projectors, but currently only approximately 6,500 theatre screens in the U.S. have been converted to digital and roughly only 2,500 of those screens will be 3D-capable by year’s end. This means more than 90 percent of theatre screens in the U.S. are not able to provide a 3D experience to moviegoers…until now. Because there is no need for a digital cinema system, which can be costly, Technicolor’s innovation puts 3D within economic reach of all theatre circuits, allowing them to complement 2D engagements and benefit from incremental revenue generated from increased ticket sales and ticket sale surcharges.
“In today’s economic environment, it’s a harsh reality that not every exhibitor has access to the funding required to install digital 3D projection systems. It was the desire to make 3D accessible to the masses that resulted in Technicolor creating a 3D solution to fill the gap between celluloid and digital cinema,” said Frederic Rose, Chairman and CEO of Thomson/Technicolor. “Technicolor 3D equals the quality of digital 3D, and since it’s a fraction of the cost of digital 3D, it allows every exhibitor to benefit from the incremental revenue generated from 3D presentations while giving content creators the widest possible platform on which to share their movies.”
Warner Bros. and AMC, which have teamed with Technicolor for initial consumer testing, are encouraged by moviegoers’ response to the Technicolor 3D Solution. Sixty-five percent of moviegoers polled after viewing Warner Bros.’ box-office success Final Destination 4 in Technicolor 3D said the “overall image quality of the 3D” was “excellent” or “very good”—this compares identically to the results from digital 3D exit polls.
Movie Exit Poll Highlights from Technicolor’s 3D Presentation of Warner Bros.’ Final Destination 4
· Satisfaction of Overall Viewing Experience. Overall satisfaction was similar in Technicolor 3D and digital 3D and both test groups felt “satisfied” to “extremely satisfied” with this experience. The 35mm 3D group registered somewhat higher “extremely satisfied” responses that the digital 3D group.
· 3D Quality Compared to Last 3D Movie Experience. Comparing this experience to the last movie they saw in 3D, moviegoers who watched in 35mm 3D were near-identically inclined to perceive the 3D quality as “excellent” or “very good” as those who watched in digital 3D—comparisions to their last 3D experience were at parity.
· Movie Ratings & Recommendation. Moviegoers who watched in Technicolor 3D were more inclined to rate the film itself “excellent” and to “definitely” recommend it to friends versus those who watched in digital 3D.
How the Technicolor 3D Solution Works
The Technicolor 3D Solution employs a propriety “production to projection” system that leverages 35mm (film) projectors already in use by 90 percent of U.S. theatres today to deliver high-quality 3D content to moviegoers. A patented lens system assembles the left and right eye images as the film runs through the projector and delivers a 3D ready image onto a silver theatre screen. The solution works with circular polarized glasses—identical to the ones used for existing digital 3D cinema—to “translate” the film’s content into an image that is perceived by the viewer as being three dimensional. The silver screen can be used for the projection of both Technicolor 3D as well as digital 3D content. The Technicolor 3D Solution can be installed nearly immediately. No build-out or significant modifications of the projection booth are required.