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Global % share of new technology installs (Scource: IHS Market)

a year of technological development… and disruption

Middle East/Africa screens








David Hancock examines technology implemented in cinemas globally, including the big news: LED screens


n a year when global box office got back into growth, rising just over 4% to shade $40bn for the first time, and when China returned to growth levels the industry has become accustomed to, there seems much to applaud in the cinema world. North America sustained an $11bn+ market for the third year in a row, driven by the impact of premium pricing on the overall box office, albeit just over the $11bn mark and with a significant drop in admissions of nearly 6%. In global terms, the North American market now accounts for 27.8% of the world’s gross box office earned at cinemas. The industry is also now set on a path of structural change that will affect our industry profoundly, both in positive and negative ways. One of the greatest areas of change, now and in the next two years, is the consolidation of cinema circuits: the leading 10 circuits now account for 30% of all screens, up from 26% a year ago — and that is set to change further if the European company Cineworld succeeds in acquiring US circuit Regal Entertainment. The past year has been an intriguing one in the world of cinema exhibition, and CINEMA TECHNOLOGY


MARCH 2018

innovation is being seen in all areas: projection and sound technology, premium technology, experiential technology and service offers, POS systems, pricing, data analytics, site management, F&B, seating, foyer design and tech, cinema design and more. Every aspect of the cinema offer is now open to change and innovation. The result is a broad-based offer to the consumer, linking the cinema experience with the experience economy (the “Premium” economy). Circuits and even individual cinemas serve up multiple experiences to cinemagoers. The cinema experience is broadening its base. On the technology front, immersive sound is still growing fast, with more than 4,400 screens equipped with one of the three systems being commercialised. Dolby is the clear leader with Atmos (3,200 systems). DTS:X (now owned by Xperi) is now installed in 576 screens globally, and committed on 822 (many of them in Asia through GDC) with Barco Auro also still challenging with more than 600 screens installed or committed. The issue of standards (or lack of them) has held up progress to some extent.

global plf


exhibitor plf


USA screens



25.1 17.6 2.6 plf

global plf

33.1 28 exhibitor plf


Profile for Cinema Technology

Cinema Technology March 2018