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