Dolby Labs, Jackie Chan join forces
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.