I do not see AIX's name mentioned in this Christie's/Cinemark contract announced today.
If Christie's does the hardware, then who is doing the software and digital delivery? Didn't Christie & AIX partner in a new subsidiary. Can Christie do advertising, trailers and alternative content without AIX. Whipperone are you still here? I need your input.
Christie announced today that it has entered into an exclusive contract with Cinemark USA, Inc., one of North America�s largest exhibitors, to outfit the majority of its nearly 2,400 screens with Christie LCD projectors. The Christie projectors will be used for a digital pre-show that will be shown prior to the �coming soon� trailers and feature presentation beginning January 1, 2006 in Cinemark Theatres across the United States. The pre-show content will be provided by National CineMedia L.L.C., owned jointly by AMC Entertainment, Inc., Regal Entertainment Group and Cinemark. Installation of the projectors is scheduled to begin in mid-August 2005.
The contract between Christe and Cinemark also calls for Cinemark to purchase Christie�s projector networking technology, ChristieNET�, with every projector. ChristieNET, a hardware and software solution, enables each projector to be IP addressable via a WAN and remotely monitored and controlled from a network operations center. Cinemark chose Christie�s highest performing wide-screen projectors, the LW25 and the LW40, considered among the world's brightest native 16:9 projectors.
According to the Cinema Advertising Council, pre-show entertainment continues to be the cinema category growth leader, posting record revenues of nearly half a billion dollars in 2004. With the deal, Christie further solidifies its success in the exhibition industry, providing projection systems to some of the largest in-theater networks in the world.
"We chose Christie projection solutions because of their power, reliability and versatility that have made them the industry performance standard,� said Cinemark president, Alan Stock. �Christie also brings an exceptionally strong relationship with exhibitors that spans over 75 years. As a result, we know they offer value for today, but also for tomorrow, an important consideration as exhibitors convert to new technologies."
"Christie is pleased to be the exclusive provider of pre-show projection systems and services to Cinemark in this major industry initiative,� remarked Vice President of Christie�s Entertainment Solutions group, Craig Sholder. �Exhibitors have come to trust Christie as the most experienced provider of projection technology, often standardizing on Christie projection and networking solutions to guarantee the utmost compatibility and upgrade-ability. Through Cinemark, Christie is pleased to help exhibitors tap into a rapidly expanding market that offers them another important source of revenue."
Good find and very interesting news. I think you raise a good point with your concerns. Despite comments on this board that say that pre-show is different than digital cinema, there is an important question to be asked. Especially as some have posted on this board and speculated (probably rightfully so) that given that Cinemark�s screen count of 2,400 seems to match with AIX�s planned roll out to 2,500 screens and that the company hoped to sign up one of the major national exhibitors under its new financing plan. So, why would Cinemark be making a major investment in buying and installing low end pre-show digital projectors, if they are about to do a major roll-out of full digital projectors under the Christie/AIX financing plan, especially since they could just use the same digital projector to show the pre-show ads? It doesn�t make sense! So it suggests that either Cinemark is not the major exhibitor that AIX was hoping to sign on, or something has changed in AIX�s plans? Also, given the comments on this board about the land grab that AIX was hoping to gain in owning the satellite dishes on the roofs of the major theaters; this seems to make things a little more challenging. I would hope that on today�s conference call not only would we get an update on the previously stated goals to finalize plans with the studios & exhibitors, but also the significance of this latest news is discussed. Wouldn�t you agree?
Rationalobserver2003, how about this.
I think Cinemark is the circuit. Right number of screens. Maybe Christie cannot deliver enough digital cinema projectors in the amount of time needed to start up with the NCM program so they put LCD projectors in as a stop gap. Christie could easily be offseting the lower cost of the LCD with the major digital cinema deployment.
<<I would hope that on today�s conference call not only would we get an update on the previously stated goals to finalize plans with the studios & exhibitors, but also the significance of this latest news is discussed>>
Unfortunately, no one asked the latter question. Imo, this article is relevent to AIX's future. I just haven't figure out yet how it is relevent. Call it paranoia. My greatest concern is now that Cinemark is one of the three shareholders of National Cinemedia, that Regal Entertainment, the major shareholder of National Cinemedia, will pressure Cinemark to do as they do...which means if Regal didn't plan to use AIX, then they will tell Cinemark what to do. In case no one noticed, this pre-show deal is upgradeable to Digital Cinema showings. Christie's projectors are upgradeable, and as a good vendoe (tail wagging the dog concept) I'm sure they would take them back as trade-ins if Cinemark or National Cinemedia wanted to upgrade to a more powerful projector. As crazy as this sounds, I think the Fair Trade Commission should investigate where this Nation Cinemedia joint venture is going. The JV now controls over 12,000 screens possibly more (out of 36,000 screens in the US) and I would not be surprised if this oligopoly begins to act in a collusive manner. Not sure if AIX is outside looking in, or if they will become part of National Cinemedia joint venture. The latter would surely be better, but I would expect AIX would need to yield on price, in exchange for huge "screen" volume.
The above article is about 3 years old, but it offers valuable insight into Regal Entertainments (& National Cinemedia) vision for digital cinema.
I will be away for the next 3 days. Tell AIX not to issue any PR until I get back. LOL.
Those are LCD pre-show crap. Not Digital-Cinema grade 2K projectors.
This has little to do with the partnership (Christie/AIX). I do think that if I were Bud, I would call up Chrisite and make sure I got formally introduced to Cinemark (if not already introduced).
Not sure why Cinemark would waste money with LCD when you could just buy 2K and use them for both pre-show and features.
This is basically a hardware sale for preshow with CineMedia doing the content and delivery. Doesn't have anything to do with digital cinema for movies. Eventually all the content could come down the same satellite delivery method so it looks like with Regal, AMC and Cinemark dishes will already be on the roofs.