Paramount moves to digital-only format for Hollywood releases

By on January 20, 2014, 1:30 PM
hollywood, paramount, movies, film, digital, movie format

Paramount Pictures is reportedly the first major film studio in the US to abandon the 35-millimeter film format in exchange for digital-only releases. The Oscar nominated movie The Wolf of Wall Street was the studio’s first digital-only release while Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues will be the last on 35mm according to the Los Angeles Times.

More than 90 percent of movie theaters in the US now support digital formats but there are still some holdouts. Those aging theaters will need to get with the times here soon as Paramount is only the first of many other major film studios expected to make the jump by the end of the year.

But at a price of nearly $70,000 for a digital projector, it might not be possible for all theater owners at this point.

The move to digital has been a long time coming for Hollywood. Nearly 10 years ago during my first journalism class in college, the instructor talked about movie theaters moving to digital formats. Although he may have been several years off in his prediction, he correctly pointed out the shift and benefits it brings with it.

It’s worth pointing out that Paramount has yet to officially confirm the news as they likely don’t want to be seen as the first to make the move. What’s more, the studio will continue to ship film to Latin America and other foreign markets for the foreseeable future.

User Comments: 6

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9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Now we'll get to see a "Buffering" progress bar during the films instead of the 15 minute change reel marker! Yay!

Just joking! =)

MilwaukeeMike said:

Good thinking, I've heard digital stuff is a lot harder to copy.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This is actually sad, 35mm medium format film has the equivalent of 39-80 Megapixels, vs digital projects barely pushing 4K and most being just 2K or just 2 Megapixels. Yet another situation where better technology gets replaced by cheaper technology which gets touted as the better way forward, when clearly it is not. Also love going to these new "Digital" theaters and laughing at the big claims of 7.1 Dolby Surround, a technology I have in my house, at the over driven sub-woofers, and most of all the ceiling tiles rattling about while they try to impress you with crappy bass.

tonylukac said:

The new Hobbit movie by mgm/time warner was all digital. It looks better than film. Sort of like when shows were taped on old color tv instead of being on film.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I was quite happy with the way Charlie Chaplin and Laurel & Hardy movies were filmed.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Until there is a solution that allows long-term cold storage for digital data, digital archiving remains problematic.

On top of that ....In Sundance 2014, cameras used were

2 35 mm (one Arri and one Panavision)

3 Arri Alexa

3 Super 16mm

1 Sony F3

1 RED epic

Why is Paramount so late regarding this? -_-

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