June 24, 2013 11:59am PT by Carolyn Giardina
CineEurope: RealD Reveals Details of New LUXE Format
BARCELONA -- RealD announced plans to launch a premium large format brand dubbed “LUXE: A RealD Experience,” Monday at CineEurope. The company intends to start in Europe before expanding to other territories.
At first look, it appears to be aimed at competing with another large format brand, Imax. But the announced goal is to “unify the exhibition community under a single brand” and so it also effectively asks exhibitors with their own premium large format branding—such as Cinemark’s Cinemark XD or Regals’ RPF (Regal Premium Experience)—to abandon those brand and replace it with “LUXE.”
“With an alphabet soup of brands and differing amenities in each auditorium, moviegoers have been left unable to truly equate their PLF experience with a single offering,” said Joseph Peixoto, president, worldwide cinema at RealD. “ ‘LUXE: A RealD Experience’ intends to solve this puzzle by unifying the exhibition community under one brand.”
RealD reported that studios have helped drive the effort, and the company got an important endorsement from DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, who said in a statement: “We are wholly supportive of their new ‘LUXE: A RealD Experience’ premium large format brand.”
A LUXE branded auditorium would need to meet technical requirements set by RealD. The details are light at this stage, though a RealD spokesperson confirmed these requirements could be met with technology that is available today and the content would be delivered on a standard Digital Cinema Package (the digital equivalent of a film print).
The requirements that RealD announced include: The RealD system for 3D (shutting out competing 3D systems from companies such as Dolby); “Floor-to-ceiling screens of at least 16 meters in width” (while RealD didn’t specify a screen type, presumably this would involve its recently launched ‘Precision White Screen,’ which the company is demoing this week at CineEurope and claims it can increase brightness by up to 40 percent); “the industry’s brightest 3D projection technology” (RealD didn’t specify brands or models); 3D sound (one could assume that means Dolby Atmos and/or Barco Auro 11.1 though nothing further was announced.)
RealD plans to launch Luxe this winter beginning in Europe and will include the rebranding of existing premium large format locations as well as new auditoriums. A company spokesperson said RealD would make Luxe available in other territories at a later date, but didn’t provide details.
In Monday’s announcement Bulgaria’s Arena Cinema revealed plans to use LUXE initially in seven auditoriums and grow that number to 13 in the next year or so. Karo Film in Russia “anticipates installing multiple” LUXE auditoriums, according to the RealD announcement.