China-made giant screen system deployed

China-made giant screen system deployed

By Patrick Frater

Fri, 18 May 2012, 13:59 PM (HKT)

Exhibition News

China Film Group Corporation 中國電影集團公司 yesterday announced deployment of its controversial giant screen film exhibition technology into a number of theatres around China.

The technology, now known as China Film Giant Screen (CFGS, 中國巨幕) having previously been called DMAX, has had a trial run in a single Beijing theatre and has now been permanently installed in a cinema in Hefei, Anhui Province. it was developed by state-owned production, distribution and exhibition giant, CFG and China Research Institute of Film Science and Technology.

CFG announced plans to install the CFGS system in 15 sites – including theatres in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu – this year. It said that installations may rise to 50 by the end of 2013.

It said that the 20m x 12m screens and high quality audio systems have met with the approval of rights owners and that films including Universal Pictures' Battleship (2012) and 20th Century Fox's Titanic (1997) have been offered to exhibitors.

Despite such endorsements, CFGS remains controversial. It is not clear how much the system involves proprietary technology or whether it will be adopted by private sector theatre operators and exhibitors outside China. The earliest DMAX technology-related patents herald from 2004, decades after IMAX Corporation was founded in 1968.

The announcement yesterday in Cannes made it clear that CFGS is intended to "break the IMAX big screen monopoly". After North America, China is the most successful marketplace in the world for IMAX representing more than one third of box office revenue in 2011.

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