This kind of pact makes me ill because it shows yet again what a cartel the major motion studios really are because they collude more than they compete. After a more than year-long negotiation, Disney, Fox, Paramount, Universal and Lionsgate are pacting with Digital Cinema Implementation Partners, the biggest exhibitor consortium previously without a studio deal for digital cinema, to fund the costs of 14,000 digital projection systems for the top theater chains. The pact with Regal Cinemas, AMC and Cinemark in the U.S. and Canada is for a three-year period beginning in 2009. The deals also should quicken the conversion to 3-D, with those costs to be absorbed solely by exhibitors. Sony and Warner Bros are still in advanced negotiations. Soon DCIP can tap a $1 billion financing package it’s arranging with JP Morgan and Blackstone to help shoulder the digital cinema pricetag.
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