Access Integrated Technologies, Inc., the global leader in digital cinema,announced today that Lionsgate will provide movies to digital cinema equipped theatres in the Phase 1 digital cinema program and will pay virtual print fees (VPFs) under a long-term agreement similar to those signed by all the other major studios. Lionsgate is already a long-time customer of AccessIT's Software Division, employing its industry-leading Theatrical Distribution System (TDS) which enables theatre bookings for screens in the U.S. and Canada. AccessIT and Lionsgate have begun negotiations on a Phase 2 agreement.

Since October of 2006, Lionsgate has provided such movies as The Forbidden Kingdom, Rambo, 3:10 to Yuma, and the Saw franchise to AccessIT's Phase 1 network of exhibitors and paid VPFs. This agreement serves to formalize the distributor's intent to supply movies in the future, and to pay VPFs according to a set schedule.

"Having worked with AccessIT on both the software side and the digital cinema side, we are very pleased to formalize our commitment for their Phase 1 customers," said Steve Rothenberg, President of Domestic Distribution at Lionsgate. "Our experiences with them to date have been extremely positive and we are confident that their highly professional teams will continue to provide an excellent level of service. We look forward to finalizing our agreement with them for their Phase 2 deployment customers as well."

"Lionsgate has been a strong proponent of digital cinema having released 23 digital titles starting back in October, 2006, with Employee of the Month" said Chuck Goldwater, President of AccessIT's Media Service Division. "With a full schedule of movies right up there with the other major studios we look forward to more digital releases from Lionsgate to continue to support exhibitors' digital cinema installations and the industry demand for more digital screens. We are proud to build upon our long relationship with Steve Rothenberg, Mike Polydoros and the entire Lionsgate team."

AccessIT's Digital Cinema division is the industry-leading deployment program for Digital Cinema that provides the funding, installation support and administration for the company's studio-supported Digital Cinema rollout plans. Its Phase 2 plan for up to an additional 10,000 screens will provide networked, turnkey, Digital Cinema systems in conformance with DCI specifications, including AccessIT's unique Library Management ServerR and Theatre Command CenterR software. The system will also include digital projectors and JPEG 2000 media servers from a variety of vendors whose equipment is designed to meet the DCI specifications as well as a demanding set of performance and reliability requirements AccessIT developed through its success with the Phase 1 plan. To date, AccessIT has contracted for and completed the rollout of more than 3,700 systems in forty-one states with exhibitors including Atlas Theatres, Allen Theatres, Carmike Cinemas, Celebration! Cinema, Cinema West, Cinetopia, Emagine, Galaxy Cinema, Marquee Cinemas, MJR Theatres, Neighborhood Cinema Group, Rave Motion Picture Theatres, Showplace Cinemas, UltraStar, and AccessIT's own Pavilion Digital Showcase Theatre.


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According to The Canadian Press, IMAX Corp. has announced that the Douglas family, its largest shareholder, is adding to its stake by buying 2.7 million shares for $18 million in a private placement. As a result of the move, the Douglas family now owns 19.9 per cent of the company.

In addition, IMAX also said Wachovia Capital Finance Corp. has agreed to expand and ease the terms of its credit facility.

Both transactions will help fund this summer's roll-out of the IMAX digital projection system.

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Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Paramount Pictures Corporation, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and The Walt Disney Studios will support XDC, acting as a Deploying Entity, in order to roll out and fund digital systems for theatrical presentations in several countries in Europe. Under the terms of the agreements, Warners, Paramount, Fox and Disney have independently agreed to supply European exhibitors with their feature films in digital form for projection on the digital screens, as well as temporarily contribute to the financing of XDC’s DCI-compliant digital cinema projection systems.

The agreements with Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures are in a very advanced stage and are expected to close shortly.

Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, President, International Distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures commented: “Warner Bros. has established a strong working relationship with XDC over the last few years, supplying more digital releases in Europe than any other studio. This is the first digital cinema deployment agreement for Warner Bros. Pictures International, and I’m pleased to be crossing this milestone with a company as experienced and committed as XDC.”

Andrew Cripps, President for Paramount said: “Paramount is delighted to have reached this agreement with XDC to deploy DCI-compliant digital projection systems across Europe. We look forward to working together to bring digital cinema to exhibitors and consumers alike, which we believe will help to expand and improve the experience of going to the cinema.”

Paul Hanneman and Tomas Jegeus, Co-Presidents of Twentieth Century Fox International, jointly commented: “This agreement with XDC represents another significant plan to finance and roll out DCI-compliant digital projection systems across Europe. Fox remains committed to the transition to a digital cinema platform and looks forward to supplying its movies to DCI-compliant digital projection systems installed by XDC. We are delighted to collaborate with XDC staff, which has the experience and technical expertise to manage this process.”

Anthony Marcoly, President of Sales and Distribution for Disney, stated, "Digital cinema represents the absolute best and most enjoyable way to experience motion pictures, and we're excited to be working with XDC as they expand the number of theaters capable of exhibiting films digitally. XDC's commitment to install DCI-Compliant digital cinema systems throughout Europe is great news for moviegoers, and provides Disney and the other Studios the ability to release films in the highest quality digital format possible. These XDC D-Cinema installations are also 3D-ready, which means more great 3D experiences for European moviegoers. With our latest 3D animated feature, 'Bolt,' due to arrive at the end of this year, and more than 10 other Disney 3D titles already in the pipeline, audiences are in for some amazing new entertainment in the very near future.”

Serge Plasch, Chief Executive Officer for XDC said: “We are very happy to announce these milestone agreements which offer European exhibitors a viable business model to convert their screens to digital cinema. The support of Warners, Paramount, Fox and Disney is a key factor for XDC and will allow us to keep our momentum in Europe, where XDC, along with over 120 staunch pioneer customers have shown that commercial digital cinema works.”

“Successes like this are the result of great team efforts. XDC thanks and recognizes its team members for their unflagging business, technical and legal support during the negotiations. John Birchell Hughes, our Senior Vice President, has guided us on the exciting and challenging journey that produced these four agreements. We are now working intensively on enhancing our products and services in order to offer the best solutions to our first customers who will start their deployment plans within the next 12 months," concluded Bernard Collard, Executive Vice President for XDC.


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The Justice Dept. has moved to block a proposed merger between Regal Cinemas and Consolidated Theaters according to Variety. Both companies will need to divest their movie theater assets in three North Carolina cities before the $210 million deal can go through.

The Justice Dept. announcement read that "The transaction, as originally proposed, would substantially lessen competition among firstrun commercial movie theaters in areas of Charlotte, Raleigh and Asheville, N.C., resulting in higher ticket prices and a decreased quality viewing experience for moviegoers."


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IMAX Corporation and Warner Bros. Pictures today announced that they have crossed the $400 million mark at the IMAX box office with films released through the partnership between the two companies. Since June 2003, Warner Bros. Pictures has released 16 titles in IMAX’s format, five of which were in IMAX® 3D, including two live action pictures that were partially converted into 3D with IMAX’s proprietary 2D to 3D conversion technology. All titles were digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® using IMAX’s proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-Mastering) technology. Also included in the tally are the studio’s two original IMAX 3D co-productions.

“Our successful partnership with IMAX has helped to shape an entirely new distribution window and a completely new form of premium cinematic entertainment,” said Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution at Warner Bros. Pictures. “The IMAX® theatre network has enabled us to generate incremental box office returns, and we are very enthusiastic about our upcoming film slate, which will include both original IMAX 3D programming and our tent-pole releases.”

“The IMAX release adds a layer of excitement to major titles, and with more audiences looking for something special at the movies, we anticipate continued strong box office returns from these theatres internationally,” said Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The studio’s Hollywood IMAX releases that contributed to the $400 million milestone and helped shape the IMAX network as a new distribution platform include The Matrix Revolutions, The Matrix Reloaded, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Polar Express (in IMAX 3D), Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, V for Vendetta, Poseidon, Superman Returns (in IMAX 3D), The Ant Bully (in IMAX 3D), Happy Feet, 300, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (in IMAX 3D), Beowulf (international ) and I Am Legend.

The 2008, 2009 and 2010 lineup for Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX currently include Speed Racer (May 9), The Dark Night (July 18), Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (November 21), Under the Sea 3D (February 2009) and Hubble 3D (February 2010).

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