LOS ANGELES, Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Universal Pictures today announced it will make its future feature films available to the DCI-compliant digital projection systems deployed by Christie/AIX, the subsidiary of Access Integrated Technologies, Inc. (AccessIT) (AMEX:AIX) which is launching a nation-wide rollout of 4,000 systems.
Under a non-exclusive arrangement, Universal Pictures will provide exhibitors with a steadily increasing number of feature films in digital format. Universal has also agreed to pay virtual print fees to Christie/AIX for each movie projected on deployed systems offsetting exhibition's cost to transition to digital. The studio added that films produced by its Focus Features and Rogue Pictures units also may be made available in digital format in the future under similar terms.
"This is a big step forward in the transition to Digital Cinema," said Nikki Rocco, Universal's President of Distribution. "Universal is pleased to be making its first digital distribution deal. We look forward to working with exhibitors, Christie and AccessIT to provide the superior experience for moviegoers that this new technology offers."
Bud Mayo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AccessIT, commented: "Gaining Universal's support for our Christie/AIX effort is another significant development in the evolution of digital cinema. Universal has long been a leader in filmed entertainment, providing audiences around the world with a truly diverse range of content. We are pleased to be working together to bring the excitement and potential of digital cinema to exhibitors and audiences nationwide."
Christie/AIX acts as the financing intermediary between content-owners -- including major studios and independent distributors -- and exhibitors, utilizing the DCI-compliant digital cinema systems comprised of Christie DLP Cinema(R) projectors, JPEG 2000 servers and related hardware and software including AccessIT's unique Theatre Command Center. The Universal agreement comes on the heels of similar commitments from The Walt Disney Company's Buena Vista Pictures Distribution arm and from Twentieth Century Fox. Christie/AIX expects to install the first 150 systems in multiple exhibitor locations by December 31, 2005.
Jack Kline, President and COO, Christie, noted: "Universal is a global powerhouse in film creation and distribution. Its commitment to delivering films digitally means an even wider choice of digital films for exhibitors to screen and for audiences to view. With Universal Pictures' commitment to this rollout, digital cinema is poised to meet the promise of delivering the highest quality visual experience for moviegoers, something this industry has always strived to deliver."
Chuck Goldwater, President and Chief Operating Officer of Christie/AIX, added: "Universal is the latest to lend its support for our unique business plan that will jump-start the adoption of digital cinema. The studio's participation in our rollout effort adds to the considerable momentum now building for digital cinema from both distributors and exhibitors."
About Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is part of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80%-owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal.
Christie is a leader in visual solutions for world-class organizations, offering diverse applications for business, entertainment, and industry. A leading innovator in film projection since 1929 and a pioneer in digital projection systems since 1979, Christie has established a global reputation as a total service provider and the world's single source manufacturer of a variety of display technologies and solutions. Christie offers comprehensive solutions for cinema, large audience venues, control rooms, business presentations, training facilities, 3D and Virtual Reality, simulation and education as well as industrial and government environments. For more information, visit www.christiedigital.com.
Access Integrated Technologies Inc. (AccessIT) is an industry leader in offering a fully managed storage and electronic delivery service for owners and distributors of digital content to movie theatres and other venues. Supported by its robust platform of fail-safe Internet data centers, AccessIT is able to leverage the market-leading role of its Theatrical Distribution System (TDS) with its innovative digital delivery capabilities and in-theatre software systems to provide the highest level of technology available to enable the emerging digital cinema industry to transition from film with changing workflows. For more information on AccessIT, visit www.accessitx.com.
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Investors and readers are cautioned that certain statements contained in this document, as well as some statements in periodic press releases and some oral statements of AccessIT officials during presentations about AccessIT, along with AccessIT's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including AccessIT's registration statements, quarterly reports on Form 10-QSB and annual report on Form 10-KSB, are "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act"). Forward-looking statements include statements that are predictive in nature, which depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, which include words such as "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "could," "might," "believes," "seeks," "estimates" or similar expressions. In addition, any statements concerning future financial performance (including future revenues, earnings or growth rates), ongoing business strategies or prospects, and possible future actions, which may be provided by AccessIT's management, are also forward-looking statements as defined by the Act. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and projections about future events and are subject to various risks, uncertainties and assumptions about AccessIT, its technology, economic and market factors and the industries in which AccessIT does business, among other things. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and AccessIT undertakes no specific obligation or intention to update these statements after the date of this release.
DLP Cinema (R) is a registered trademark of Texas Instruments.
Source: Universal Pictures
Web site: http://www.universalstudios.com/