Film-free first

Para­mount Pic­tures first ma­jor stu­dio to stop re­leas­ing movies on film in the united States.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES -

IN A his­toric step for Hol­ly­wood, Para­mount Pic­tures re­cently no­ti­fied the­atre own­ers that the Will Fer­rell com­edy An­chor­man 2: The Leg­end Con­tin­ues, which opened in De­cem­ber, would be the last movie that would it would re­lease on 35mm film.

The stu­dio’s Os­car-nom­i­nated film The Wolf Of Wall Street from di­rec­tor Martin Scors­ese is the first ma­jor stu­dio film that was re­leased all dig­i­tally, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives who were briefed on the plans but not au­tho­rised to speak about them.

The de­ci­sion is sig­nif­i­cant be­cause it is likely to en­cour­age other stu­dios to fol­low suit, ac­cel­er­at­ing the com­plete phase-out of film, pos­si­bly by the end of the year.

That would mark the end of an era: cel­lu­loid has been the medium for the mo­tion pic­ture in­dus­try for more than a cen­tury.

“It’s of huge sig­nif­i­cance,” said Jan-Christo­pher Ho­rak, di­rec­tor of the UCLA Film and Tele­vi­sion Ar­chive.

“For 120 years, film and 35mm has been the for­mat of choice for the­atri­cal pre­sen­ta­tions. Now we’re see­ing the end of that. I’m not shocked that it’s hap­pened, but how quickly it has hap­pened.”

A spokesman for Para­mount was not avail­able for com­ment.

Para­mount has kept its de­ci­sion un­der wraps, at least in Hol­ly­wood.

The ret­i­cence re­flects that no stu­dio wants to be seen as the first to aban­don film, which re­tains a ca­chet among some film­mak­ers.

Some stu­dios may also be re­luc­tant to give up box-of­fice rev­enue by by­pass­ing the­atres that can show only film. About 8% of US movie the­atres are equipped to show movies only on film.

Other stu­dios were ex­pected to jump on the dig­i­tal band­wagon first. 20th Cen­tury Fox sent a let­ter to ex­hibitors in 2011 say­ing it would stop dis­tribut­ing film “within the next year or two”.

Dis­ney is­sued a sim­i­lar warn­ing to the­atre op­er­a­tors that year.

Last year, many in­dus­try watch­ers ex­pected Lion­s­Gate would make his­tory with an all-dig­i­tal Novem­ber re­lease of The Hunger Games: Catch­ing Fire.

Para­mount’s move comes nearly a decade af­ter stu­dios be­gan work­ing with ex­hibitors to help fi­nance the re­place­ment of film pro­jec­tors with dig­i­tal sys­tems, which sub­stan­tially re­duce the cost of de­liv-

Dig­i­tal band­wagon: Lion­s­Gate made an all-dig­i­tal re­lease of the hugely pop­u­lar TheHungerGames:Catch­ingFire last year. — Filepics

Para­mount’s TheWolfOfWal­lStreet seemed like a cu­ri­ous choice for an all-dig­i­tal re­lease con­sid­er­ing how strongly its di­rec­tor Martin Scors­ese ad­vo­cates film preser­va­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.