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RealD reaches deal to double its 3-D screen count in Russia

October 10, 2013|By Richard Verrier
  • Sandra Bullock, left, as Dr. Ryan Stone and George Clooney as Matt Kowalsky in "Gravity," which has given the 3-D format a boost.
Sandra Bullock, left, as Dr. Ryan Stone and George Clooney as Matt Kowalsky… (Associated Press )

Beverly Hills 3-D technology and licensing company RealD Inc. is further expanding its business in Russia, one of the world's leading cinema markets.

RealD announced Thursday an agreement with Cinema Park, Russia's leading national cinema chain, to equip as many as 200 cinema screens with 3-D technology.

The deal doubles RealD's screen count in Russia and follows an agreement announced in February with Russian exhibitor Kinomax to install 100 screens across the country.

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The Cinema Park installations have already begun and are expected to be completed within five years, the companies said in a statement. Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Russia was the eighth-largest movie market outside the U.S. last year, generating an estimated $1.2 billion in ticket sales, according to the Motion Picture Assn. of America.

RealD's shares, which slipped 24 cents, or 3.6%, to $6.44 on Wednesday, have fallen more than 40% this year amid weak 3-D ticket sales, although the success of the recent Warner Bros. movie "Gravity" has given the format a boost.

RealD and Cinema Park also plan to install a large-format auditorium known as Luxe: A RealD Experience, a rival to Imax theaters, at Cinema Park's Grand Canyon theater location in St. Petersburg. The luxury sceen is expected to open this winter.

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"Now, the world’s highest standard for 3-D cinema will be available not only to moviegoers in Moscow and St. Petersburg but to those living in the remote cities of our country,” said Sergey Kitin, general director for Cinema Park. “Moreover, the new ‘LUXE: A RealD Experience’ auditorium, featuring a massive screen, higher brightness and immersive sound, will let us increase the quality of the premium out of home experience to a new level.”           

RealD also announced a deal with another Russian exhibitor, Karo Cinemas, to install 10 Luxe auditoriums, including locations in Moscow and St. Petersburg, by the second quarter of next year.

Robert Mayson, managing director of RealD Europe, said,  “Russian moviegoers continue to show a real passion for premium quality cinema, and this agreement highlights our commitment to this growing audience."

The world’s most widely used 3-D cinema technology, RealD 3-D is installed in approximately 23,500 auditoriums in 74 countries worldwide.

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