After a century of being the format of choice for cinema exhibition, Paramount Pictures has officially become the first major studio to stop releasing movies on film in the United States.
Their comedy “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” was the last movie they officially distributed partly via 35mm prints. Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” was chosen to become the first major studio film to be released all digitally.
It has been a decade since the studios began working with exhibitors to help finance the replacement of film projectors with digital systems. The result is a substantial cost reduction in delivering movie prints to theaters.
A 35mm film print cost in the range of $2,000 to make and deliver. A cinema-ready digital hard drive copy on the other hand comes in at less than $100. The next stage will be the installation of satellite systems to digitally beam movies into cinemas – reducing the cost even further.
Other studios are expected to follow suit soon, potentially before the end of the year. At present, 92% of the United States’ 40,045 cinema screens have been converted to digitally project films.
Source: The Los Angeles Times