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Global Ranking of Digital Film Releases

According to Screen Digest, one of the primary obstacles to a wide scale roll-out of digital cinema has been the lack of availability of movies in digital format. That has been a natural consequence of the lack of readiness of the market, both in terms of a consensus and in technological terms.

During 2005, there were 97 digital (d-cinema) releases around the world. This compares with a reworked total of 47 in 2004. In 2005, there were 83 firstrun d-cinema releases and 14 re-releases.

China and the U.S. are somewhat ahead of most countries in the digital releasing of feature films. China has a relatively low level of releases in general, and therefore, its 29 d-releases constitute 25 percent of all releases in the territory.

The U.S. 27 d-releases represent only five percent of all first-run releases in 2005. However, they are all studio titles and represent 21 percent of all studio releases. Italy is also well advanced as a d-release territory, making up 4.6 percent of all releases (17 first-run d-releases). The Benelux territories are also relatively far advanced as are the UK and France.

In terms of films released in digital, the most widely released films come from the three most enthusiastic studios: Fox, Warner and Disney. Star Wars 3 (Twentieth Century-Fox) was released digitally in 25 territories, whilst Harry Potter Goblet of Fire (Warner) made it onto digital screens in 18 territories.

There were no digital re-releases of films in the U.S., all 27 releases being first-run studio product. In the U.S., there were 131 studio titles released in 2005, which means that 20.6 per cent of all U.S. studio titles were released in a digital format as well as 35mm. Fifteen (out of 27, therefore over half) U.S. studio titles that were released digitally in U.S. did not receive a further digital release in the world.

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