Digital cinema leader Barco has completed the previously announced purchase agreement with Digital Cinema Implementation Partners (DCIP) for the supply and installation of more than 3000 digital cinema projectors to Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNK).
The deal, which was closed on 10 March, is the direct result of a recent 660 million USD funding led by J.P. Morgan and Blackstone Advisory Partners L.P. to finance the digital conversion of thousands of screens across the USA and Canada. With this agreement signed, Barco has the green light to roll out its brand-new 'Series II' digital cinema projectors to more than 3000 Cinemark theaters at nearly 250 sites throughout North America.
For Cinemark, this agreement is the catalyst for a rapid deployment of digital projection systems in the years to come. Alan Stock, CEO of Cinemark Holdings, Inc., commented on their projector choice: “Our goal at Cinemark is to provide our customers with the best 2D and 3D viewing environments available. After carefully evaluating our options, it became clear that Barco was the best choice. This decision was prompted not only by the high quality of Barco's projectors, but also Barco's ability to partner with our team throughout the entire conversion process from 35mm to digital. Barco's new DP2K series will give us the best of two worlds: Barco will continue to deliver the proven performance, reliability and user-friendliness of their renowned DP projectors, and they will prepare us for the future with DLP Cinema® Enhanced 4K.”
For this project, Cinemark is partnering with the DLP Cinema product group from Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE: TXN), media server provider Doremi, and Barco Digital Cinema. In its various locations, Cinemark will deploy a full spectrum of Barco's novel family of 4K-ready DP2K projectors.
The completion of this funding plan marks a major breakthrough for DCIP. “We are excited to have completed our initial financing, which will enable us to begin a large-scale deployment of digital projection systems across the United States and Canada,” said Travis Reid, Chief Executive Officer at DCIP. “Our completed purchase agreement with Barco ensures that we are able to secure high-quality projectors and services for our exhibitor partners.”
DCIP was established in 2007 as a collaboration between Regal Entertainment Group, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and Cinemark Holdings Inc. The company's main objective is to fund the digital conversion of more than 14,000 movie screens in North-America, which will also pave the way for 3D cinema in the wake of the overwhelming success of 'Avatar'.
“Barco is honored to be the exclusive provider of digital cinema projectors for Cinemark. It is a testament to the quality of Barco projectors and our mutually beneficial collaboration with Cinemark,” commented Wim Buyens, Vice-President Digital Cinema at Barco. “As these new Series-II projectors find their way into Cinemark's projector rooms, audiences will immediately enjoy the benefits of the DP2K-series' intensely bright projection and ultimate 3D performance, while Cinemark will have full DCI compliance, the brightest pictures in town and the lowest operating cost in the industry.”
The new Barco DP2K-series includes six different models, representing the most complete cinema projector family in the industry. For small and mid-size movie theaters, Barco offers a dedicated family of compact DP2K 'C' projectors, based on the 0.98” DLP Cinema® chip from Texas Instruments. For larger venues, Barco's offering includes a complete family of ultra-bright DP2K B-series projectors, based on TI's 1.2” DLP Cinema® chip. Barco's flagship projector for the large chip family is the DP2K-32B projector, which earns the title 'brightest digital cinema projector on the planet'.