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Logic is Paramount as a Studio Buys-In Directly

(a) Exhibitor shall install at least fifty percent (50%) of the number of screens in each Exhibitor’s Complex(es), …, no later than six (6) months from the Effective Date of this Agreement.
(b) Exhibitor shall install one hundred percent (100%) of the screens in each Exhibitor’s Complex(es), …, within three (3) years from the Effective Date of this Agreement.

Now we are talking. No more lingering around. And what about 3D?

(c) Notwithstanding … Exhibitor is allowed to install as few as one (1) 3D screen in each Complex(es) as listed on Exhibit “B”.

The legalese is enough to melt the pixels from your computer screen. But given what they are trying to do, and the realities of money, it seems like a good document to launch a conversation from. There are a few twists about DCI Specification that are noteworthy should any exhibitor decide to stick their neck out and buy equipment before a spec is formalized or compliant product is available…Which. Is. Everyone., since, as we remember, the companies who will test for compliance were only recently announced and have not completed one test yet.

Exhibitor shall ensure all equipment … required by the DCI Spec will be compliant with the DCI Spec.

To the extent a hardware or software component necessary for such equipment to fully comply with the DCI Spec is not commercially available at the time of installation Exhibitor will not be obligated to develop any such components and may complete installation of such equipment as is. When the technology necessary to make Digital Systems compliant with the DCI Spec becomes commercially available from any manufacturer and whether or not any such equipment is available from the manufacturer from whom Exhibitor originally obtained the equipment,

You can smell that there is a kicker coming, can’t you? Fortunately, the streets are not as likely to be littered, as they were after the JPEG transition, with equipment that didn’t make the spec before their business model failed. It is still a risk, because…

…, Exhibitor will by the later of six (6) months after such availability upgrade or the next available window in which upgrades are permitted after such availability upgrade (it being agreed and understood that such windows generally occur between January 15 and March 31 and between September 1 and October 31, or as otherwise generally accepted in the industry), upgrade all Digital Systems to bring such Digital Systems into compliance with the DCI Spec, the costs of which shall be paid for by Exhibitor.

Well, we know that an Exhibitor is going to pound the manufacturer for some kind of guarantee that the equipment they purchase is going to get through the certifying process. And, any manufacturer is going to have to jump through those hoops. There is one hopeless TI hoop that is being allowed for, but that is the topic of another post…the good news is that (at least from Paramount’s viewpoint) there is no reason to string a pointless technical exercise on the back of this contract. 

As we digest this contract, we’ll make some more comments. Enjoy reading it yourself and mention your favorite parts…for example, I’ll close with this one, important only because we see that the parties of the first part are learning as they experience frustrations from the parties of the second part.

In the event a key fails because Exhibitor failed to provide current information (e.g., a “server swap”), Distributor will charge a fee of one hundred dollars ($100.00) for each and every time Distributor is not informed.

Labels: Paramount DCI Contract  VPF

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