Cinedigm has signed its first full international deployment deal with Caribbean Cinemas for upgrade of up to 290 screens to digital. Caribbean Cinemas, which operates across the Caribbean islands including Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Aruba, operates a total of 437 screens, as one of the top 30 global exhibitors ranked by total screen count, according to IHS Screen Digest research. The agreement will enable the circuit to achieve full conversion with VPF support from all major studios as well as some independents with which Cinedigm also has shorter term deals. The conversion, which will be self-financed by Caribbean Cinemas, is expected to be completed fairly rapidly before the end of this year.
In other recent developments for the company, Cinedigm has also signed further deals for its software licensing business for both exhibition and distribution, including furthering an existing deal with US circuit Goodrich Theatres for its Exhibitor Management System (EMS) across all of its 274 screens. On the theatrical distribution side, LD Entertainment has licensed the company's Theatrical Distribution System (TDS) to serve as a platform to facilitate its first wide domestic release.
Cinedigm has for some time been looking to capitalise on the growing momentum for d-cinema internationally outside of its core markets of US and Canada. Its initial efforts have included involvement in a consortium in Brazil dealing with negotiation of VPF deals and technical services as well as selection as the deployment integrator for the ICAA, the independent cinema association of Australia and New Zealand. However, latest deal marks its first full deployment deal internationally, according to the company itself.
While Cinedigm's strategic focus has more recently shifted to include acquisition and distribution of independent films and alternative content to service its existing screen network, the latest deal shows the company is still active in its original core business of deployment where opportunities still exist. Cinedigm has now signed a total of 12,200 screens under its deployment programme comprising 3,724 screens under Phase 1 and 8,519 under Phase 2. In fact, the majority or 55 per cent of its Phase 2 screens have been signed in the last 18 months. Of total signatures, 10,875 screens are already installed.
The global screen base is now over 63% converted to digital as at Q3 2012, according to IHS Screen Digest, and several US and international companies (such as Cinedigm) have re-focused their efforts on capturing remaining market share in currently underdeveloped zones of Latin America and Asia Pacific. The latest deal therefore provides deployment backing for one of the largest remaining global chains not to have been already signed as well as solidifying a newer area of international d-cinema deployment management for Cinedigm.