San Francisco Chronicle

China theaters add Dolby tech

- By Benny Evangelist­a

The first theater in China equipped to show Hollywood blockbuste­rs like “Finding Dory” with Dolby Cinema technology opens Thursday, with three more opening within the next week.

The Dalian theater, which opens with the movie “Warcraft,” is the first of its kind for San Francisco’s Dolby Laboratori­es in the rapidly growing Chinese movie market.

Others will be in Changchun, Chongqing and Jinan, part of a deal Dolby signed with the theater chain Wanda Cinema Line to open 100 Dolby-equipped locations in China during the next five years. Another six should be open by the end of 2016, said Stuart Bowling, Dolby’s director of content and creative relations.

The cinemas can show movies enhanced with the company’s newest technology, including Dolby Vision, a laser projection system, and Dolby Atmos, an immersive audio system. There are now 20 Dolby Cinemas in the United States and four in Europe. The only Bay Area location is at the AMC NewPark 12 in Newark.

China’s movie market is projected to pass North American box office revenue by the end of 2017, according to the trade publicatio­n Hollywood Reporter.

One measure of the market’s growing power comes from Box Office Mojo, which reported that more than half of “Warcraft’s” $377.6 million in worldwide revenue has come from from China. Benny Evangelist­a is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: bevangelis­ta@ sfchronicl­ Twitter: @ChronicleB­enny

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