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Dolby hoping 'Star Trek Into Darkness' will take it to a new galaxy

May 18, 2013|By Richard Verrier
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, left, and Chris Pine in "Star Trek Into Darkness," which enjoyed a solid opening Thursday.
Benedict Cumberbatch, left, and Chris Pine in "Star Trek Into Darkness,"… (Zade Rosenthal, MCT. Paramount…)

Paramount Pictures isn't the only company that stands to get a lift from "Star Trek's" anticipated box office success this weekend.

San Francisco-based Dolby Laboratories is hoping "Star Trek into Darkness" will propel its newest sound system, Dolby Atmos, to a new frontier. 

Introduced a year ago, Dolby Atmos is billed as the next generation in sound in cinema, giving sound experts the ability to easily place or move specific sounds, such as a rain drop or a gust of wind, anywhere in the theater.

More than 40 titles have been mixed with Dolby Atmos, which has been used by such filmmakers as Peter Jackson, Ang Lee and J.J. Abrams, director of "Star Trek into Darkness."

The systems aren't cheap. They cost between $30,000 and $60,000, depending on the size of the auditorium. And the high cost has slowed the roll out of the Dolby Atmos, which is only available in about 120 screens worldwide, half of them in North America.

But Dolby expects the number of theaters using Dolby Atmos to nearly double by this summer, helped in part by the success of Marvel Studios' "Iron Man 3," which also was released in Dolby, and the latest "Star Trek" movie, which held its Hollywood premiere at the Dolby Theatre on Tuesday.

The film, which already has collected more than $32 million in international markets, debuted in North America this week and is expected to gross about $100 million by Sunday.

"It's had tremendous box office success,'' said Joshua Gershman, spokesman for Dolby Laboratories. "It shows that Dolby Atmos is a powerful story-telling feature."

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