Fox processes Deluxe Labs deal


LAS VEGAS -- In a landmark deal between a Hollywood studio and digital-cinema distribution service provider, 20th Century Fox announced a worldwide print services agreement with Deluxe Laboratories, a unit of Deluxe Entertainment Services Group.

"We believe this to be the first contract of its kind," said Steve Bergman, executive vp and GM of Deluxe Digital Media. The agreement includes duplication of celluloid and digital prints, as well as worldwide secure digital-cinema delivery and key management.

"With the complexities inherent in the transition to digital cinema and 3-D, we are thrilled to be the first studio with an all-purpose worldwide agreement that encompasses not only our current business but positions us for the future," said Bruce Snyder, president of domestic distribution at Deluxe.

Added Julian Levin, Fox executive vp digital exhibition, "Deluxe has demonstrated plans to expand in line with and concurrently with digital-cinema servicing needs."

The deal marks the return of Fox's international 35mm printing at Deluxe, which began as the film and camera department of Fox in 1915.

It also might underscore where digital-cinema exhibition deals could be heading. "Today if you look at the equivalent film processing, studios cut virtually all exclusive deals," Bergman said, adding that Deluxe is working with other studios and hopes to make similar announcements. "I think the industry is generally looking at the same kind of paradigm for digital services."

Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, offers services including motion picture film processing, printing and distribution; EFILM digital intermediates; postproduction and subtitling services; titles design and digital visual effects; DVD compression, encoding and authoring; digital-cinema services; digital asset management; digital distribution; and marketing fulfillment services.

It maintains facilities in Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Rome, Florence, Italy, Madrid and Barcelona, Spain. Ken Biggins, managing director of Deluxe Europe, will oversee international delivery.