CBG on the road to 3-D

Company inks deal with RealD for installations

Cinema Buying Group, which represents independent theater owners, hopes to soon begin deploying digital cinema and digital 3-D.

Of course, that deployment is contingent on installing a digital-cinema system. CBG's d-cinema systems are expected to begin deployment in October through Access Integrated Technologies, according to AccessIT CEO Bud Mayo. Separately, CBG has inked a deal with RealD to provide digital 3-D installations to its member companies.

CBG is a National Association of Theatre Owners-administered program that represents 643 members with 8,125 screens in the U.S. and Canada. The group represents nearly 20% of the screens in North America, and thus its decisions are key to advancing the d-cinema rollout.

The nonexclusive deal with RealD represents roughly 1,000 screens, which the company hopes to install in the next 24 months. RealD plans to begin on 100 CBG systems immediately. Financial terms of the 3-D licensing agreement were not disclosed.

The RealD/CBG agreement underscores lingering challenges of the d-cinema transition.

AccessIT is planning to install d-cinema systems to all CBG theaters, with a majority of the 8,000-plus theaters represented in the d-cinema provider's "Phase 2" deployment plan. AccessIT's "Phase 2" program has already established virtual print fee deals with Disney, Fox, Paramount and Universal.