johnbelushi.pngSource: THR

Director Todd Phillips (The Hangover) is developing a biopic about comedic actor John Belushi from a script by Steven Conrad (The Pursuit of Happyness). Warner Bros. holds the rights to the late actor's story.

Let the casting speculation begin. Zach Galifianakis could emerge as an early candidate due to his established relationship with Phillips.

Phillips has Due Date set to open in November.

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Morristown, NJ & Los Angeles, CA -- Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. (Cinedigm) (NASDAQ; CIDM), the global leader in digital cinema, announced today that the Telluride Film Festival has named Cinedigm as its official Digital Cinema Advisor. The Telluride Film Festival is an annual gathering of cinema enthusiasts, filmmakers, critics and industry insiders. It ranks among the world's most prestigious film festivals. This year's Festival will take place from September 3-6 in Telluride, Colorado.

In its role as Digital Cinema Advisor, Cinedigm will help the Telluride Film Festival implement digital cinema systems for its theaters, including the Palm Theater, the Chuck Jones Cinema and the Galaxy Theater. Cinedigm will contribute strategic and technical advice relative to digital cinema, and will help the Festival identify the appropriate vendors necessary to transform the Festival into a digital venue.

"We are thrilled to have Cinedigm join us in our commitment to excellence in film presentation," said Julie Huntsinger, Tom Luddy and Gary Meyer, co-directors of the Telluride Film Festival. "We strive to provide an environment that showcases the most creative minds in film. Digital Cinema is a growing aspect of the industry's future and Cinedigm's unparalleled expertise in Digital Cinema is a huge asset for the Festival."

There are more than ten thousand digital cinema screens in the United States today, representing approximately 27 percent of all U.S. screens. Cinedigm estimates that by the end of 2012 at least 70 percent of U.S. screens will be digital. Digital cinema conversion has been underway for several years, but the past 12 months witnessed a spike that outpaced the previous five years combined. In part, this was driven by the success of digital filmmaking and the wave of successful 3D movies; James Cameron's Avatar set multiple world records, and helped to show how seamlessly and beautifully digital technology could be incorporated into movies.

The year saw other global firsts that demonstrated the versatility of digital cinema. These include the distribution by Cinedigm of the NCAA Final Four®, as well as the FIFA World CupTM Finals in live 3D to theatres. Numerous concerts were filmed and released theatrically in 3D, including Phish and The Dave Matthews Band, giving fans a vivid front-row seat and an unparalleled "you are there" experience. Cinedigm enabled James Cameron to appear in live 3D to an Earth Day summit in Seoul, Korea. The stars of the independent film Opa! conducted a live Q&A and virtual red carpet premiere with audiences nationwide; fans texted questions to the movie's stars, who answered them live. Digital cinema enables a real-time interplay between entertainers and fans at a level that was previously impossible.

Digital conversion now gives producers and directors a direct avenue into theaters that was otherwise closed to them, affording them a guaranteed way to reach their audience. Cinedigm serves as a marketer and distributor as well as a technology integrator and consultant. Cinedigm delivers content directly onto thousands of theatrical screens nationwide in economic alignment with producers and directors. In this sense, digital cinema is driving a paradigm shift in content creation and distribution. Cinedigm is central to that process.

"2010 has been a watershed year in the evolution of digital cinema," said Adam M. Mizel, Interim co-CEO of Cinedigm. "Cinedigm has been one of digital cinema's primary architects and as such, we've developed a network of theatres across the country that can bring new and exciting options to theatre audiences, independent producers and movie exhibitors alike. The Telluride Film Festival is a leading independent film event and one of the most respected gatherings of film visionaries each year. We are excited to support the Festival and introduce digital cinema and its opportunities to its attendees."


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Paris, France & Hollywood, Calif. -- Further supporting the successful launch of Technicolor 3D, the 35mm 3D solution, Technicolor (Euronext Paris 18453; NYSE: TCH) today announced it has installed its Technicolor 3D system on more than 250 screens in North America just four months after its initial debut in theatres. This milestone demonstrates the continued industry demand for 3D and exhibitor confidence in the Technicolor 3D format as a high-quality, affordable 3D solution.

Technicolor 3D was launched in theatres on March 26 with How to Train Your Dragon, followed by Clash of the Titans, Shrek Forever After, The Last Airbender, Despicable Me, and Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. Next up for the format will be Piranha 3D from The Weinstein Company on August 20.

"We're thrilled to have surpassed 250 screens in just a few months," said Joe Berchtold, president of Technicolor's Creative Services division. "Exhibitor feedback has been great from both a theatre operations and audience satisfaction perspective. We're glad to be able to provide a technology solution that helps to bridge the gap to solve the current shortage of digital 3D screens, and bring 3D to audiences in markets of all sizes."

"Technicolor 3D allows us to deliver high quality 3D to a greater number of theatres and a wider audience," said Clyde Cornell, chief operating officer for Portland-based Hollywood Theaters. "The technology gives our patrons the opportunity to view motion pictures as never before, combining the highest levels of resolution, contrast and image quality to produce precise, life-like images in vibrant colors."

"We have installed Technicolor 3D on 14 screens to date, and plan to add another six," said Tom Hutchinson, president of Edmonton, Alberta-based Magic Lantern Theatres. "Operation has been trouble-free, our customers are happy, and since the first picture, every installation has made money for us."

"Technicolor 3D has provided us with an excellent, cost-effective 3D solution, allowing us to remain competitive in our markets while we wait for an accessible digital plan to develop," said Bill Banowsky, owner of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Carolina Cinemas. "We now have at least one Technicolor 3D system at each of our locations, and will likely add more before the end of the year."

"We are pleased with our decision to utilize Technicolor 3D," said Paul Wenger, vice president, Flagship Cinemas. "It's is a high quality, cost-effective product, which provides a superior 3D presentation for our audiences. Its affordability allows us the power to enhance the movie-going experience at our theatres and remain competitive in this digital age".

Technicolor 3D recently launched in international territories with Shrek Forever After from DreamWorks Animation. Other studios indicating support for the format internationally include: Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, The Weinstein Company and Warner Bros. Countries included in the international launch are the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Germany and Japan.


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London -- In what is the largest digital cinema deal to date in Spain, Arts Alliance Media (AAM) and Yelmo Cines have reached an agreement to digitise Yelmo's 31-strong chain of cinemas, in a move which is set to dramatically increase the number of digital and 3D screens in the country. The arrangement includes all the financing to procure the equipment, allowing the rollout to begin immediately.

Yelmo, Spain's leading local exhibitor, will install digital systems in 370 screens under this deal. In Phase One of the rollout, at least half of Yelmo's screens at each location will be converted to digital, with the remainder to be installed over the following months. Today's announcement follows the deals struck between AAM and Yelmo over the past two years under which several screens have already been installed. AAM has recently announced the opening of an office in Barcelona to represent AAM's business in the Spanish and Portuguese markets.

The installation and maintenance will be carried out by AAM in conjunction with local Spanish integrator Grupo Kelonik. All screens will be 3D capable and will receive AAM's Theatre Management System software and library management server. Sites will also be equipped with satellite receivers in cooperation with AAM's partner Arqiva for the receipt of digital prints and live events.

The rollout will be achieved with financing provided by AAM through a €50m investment from funds advised by Sankaty Advisors, LLC, the credit affiliate of Bain Capital, LLC, for digital cinema conversion, announced earlier this year. The deployment with Yelmo in Spain is AAM's seventh announced territory following deals in the UK (Cineworld and Reel), France (CGR), Italy (The Space), Holland (ABC), Denmark (Denmark Digital) and in Norway via its JV Nordic Digital Alliance.

Fernando Evole, CEO of Yelmo Cines, said "The results we have had from digital cinema over the last 2 years, particularly in terms of bringing 3D to customers and also in the opportunities brought to us from alternative content, have convinced us to digitise our entire circuit. Our experience with Arts Alliance Media has also proven to us that they are the right long term partner."

Howard Kiedaisch, CEO of Arts Alliance Media, commented, "Yelmo has been a leader in digital not only in Spain, but also in Europe and has always provided the best experience to their customers. We have enjoyed a great working relationship with Fernando and his team, and are thrilled to be selected to work with them going forward."

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Source: Reuters

Hollywood's major studios are reportedly ready to experiment with releasing films via "premium video on demand" as little as 30 to 60 days after they hit theaters. Consumers would pay $24.99 for a movie that has been released theatrically for 60 days and $50 for one that's been in theaters for 30 days. Sources tell Reuters that one studio may do a trial run as early as this fall.

The topic of release windows is a sensitive one. With underwhelming DVD/Blu-ray sales, studios are scrambling to find new ways to bring in revenue. Meanwhile, the exhibition industry remains healthy. 2010's domestic take is outpacing 2009's at the same point in the year, and 2009 ended up posting a record-setting $10.6 billion haul.

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