Dolby Labs, Jackie Chan join forces

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By LIA ZHU in San Fran­cisco li­azhu@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

Dolby Lab­o­ra­to­ries is bring­ing its ad­vanced cinema tech­nol­ogy to the Jackie Chan Cinema’s Bei­jing Wukesong lo­ca­tion, a top-gross­ing movie site in China, this sum­mer, fol­low­ing its Jan­uary an­nounce­ment of launch­ing 100 Dolby Cin­e­mas at Wanda Cinema Line over the next five years.

The San Fran­cisco-based com­pany’s move to part­ner with the two cinema chains is seen as part of its drive to pro­mote its high-end prod­ucts to the world.

“China’s the­atri­cal mar­ket is grow­ing at the fastest rate in the world right now, so we are re­ally ex­cited to see the em­brace from the the­atri­cal com­mu­nity in China,” Doug Dar­row, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of the cinema busi­ness group at Dolby Lab­o­ra­to­ries, told China Daily on Tues­day, adding that Dolby’s deal with Wanda and Jackie Chan makes China the world’s most de­ployed coun­try for Dolby Cinema over the next year or two.

“We are see­ing in­cred­i­ble growth in the Chi­nese movie mar­ket and in­cred­i­ble sup­port for dif­fer­ent Dolby of­fer­ings. It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing,” he said. “We’ve been spend­ing a lot of time with Chi­nese ex­hibitors and film­mak­ers be­cause they are em­brac­ing th­ese tech­nolo­gies to take the movie ex­pe­ri­ence to an­other level.”

Dolby Cinema fea­tures Dolby Vi­sion, a vivid laser pro­jec­tion sys­tem, and Dolby At­mos sound tech­nol­ogy, which is com­bined with the cinema de­sign so­lu­tion.

Dolby Vi­sion uses ad­vanced op­tics and im­age pro­cess­ing to de­liver high dy­namic range with en­hanced color tech­nol­ogy, of­fer­ing a richer, more de­tailed view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. The At­mos uses speaker tech­nol­ogy to move au­dio around the theatre, even over­head.

“As an ac­tor, film­maker, and movie fan, I have en­joyed see­ing the value Dolby brings to the cinema in­dus­try, in par­tic­u­lar its revo­lu­tion­ary Dolby At­mos sound, which was used in my films CZ12 and Po­lice Story 2013,” said Jackie Chan, the in­ter­na­tion­ally known ac­tor, in a state­ment on Tues­day.

“Dolby Cinema with Dolby At­mos sound and the revo­lu­tion­ary vis­ual ex­pe­ri­ence with the Dolby Vi­sion laser pro­jec­tion and in­spired de­sign is some­thing I have been ea­gerly an­tic­i­pat­ing com­ing to China,” Chan added.

Dolby has been in­vest­ing in au­dio and imag­ing tech­nolo­gies for years and has been seek­ing part­ner­ships with ex­hibitors who want to present a much dif­fer­ent the­atri­cal ex­pe­ri­ence to their cus­tomers, said Dar­row.

Cur­rently there are 15 Dolby cin­e­mas at AMC Prime lo­ca­tions in the US and four oth­ers in Europe. By the end of 2016, the num­ber in the US is ex­pected to reach 50.

“They are all very suc­cess­ful and some of them are the high­est-gross­ing the­aters in the world,” Dar­row said. “We see very pos­i­tive re­sults as we have asked movie­go­ers about their ex­pe­ri­ence.”

China is ex­pected to over­take the US as the world’s largest film mar­ket in two years. Box of­fice rev­enue in the coun­try in­creased 36 per­cent in 2014 to $4.8 bil­lion. A to­tal of 1,015 cin­e­mas and 5,397 screens were added in 2014 for a to­tal of 23,600 screens, com­pared with 39,600 screens in the US.

Dar­row said Dolby is cur­rently work­ing with Wanda and Jackie Chan Cinema on spe­cific de­tails. “I’m con­fi­dent it would be this sum­mer that the first Dolby Cinema site will be open,” he said.

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