Lights…camera…action! Smell the popcorn, watch the lights dim and get ready for the movie. We all love to go to see the latest blockbuster film and admire the cutting edge cinematic achievements that bring us so much pleasure. The days of film are finally ending though. Well, not really ending, just sort of.
It has been reported that Paramount Studios has distributed the new Leonardo Di Caprio movie, The Wolf of Wall Street, in digital-only. This is believed to be the first time ever that a major movie studio has completely avoided 35mm film for a cinematic release.
The LA Times has reported that theatre executives in the United States have been recently informed that all new releases from the major studio will now only be available digitally; there will be no option to receive the traditional 35mm film canisters anymore. Apparently, the last 35mm release from the studio was The Will Ferrell comedy, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which was released in December 2013.
Paramount has reportedly briefed theatres not to speak publicly about this decision; aware that becoming the first studio to entirely abandon 35mm film may prompt a hostile response from purist cinne-manics and hardcore film lovers.
The director of the UCLA Film & Television Archive, Jan-Christopher Horak, had informed the LA Times; “It’s of huge significance because Paramount is the first studio to make this policy known…For 120 years, film and 35 mm has been the format of choice for theatrical presentations. Now we’re seeing the end of that. I’m not shocked that it’s happened, but how quickly it has happened.”
It is estimated that only 8 per cent of theatres in the United States don’t currently have digital projection equipment. It appears as though now they must make some expensive upgrades or suffer the risk missing out on the biggest new movies from the hottest movie studios, as no doubt other movie production houses will follow along in this course.