From the editor
The 70mm Newsletter
by: Thomas Hauerslev
- March 1998
Since Issue 51 in December, "Titanic" has hit screens worldwide. Some
screens even in 70mm! Not just 70mm in a few select places, but a semi wide
release in DTS 70mm. DeLuxe Laboratories struck between 10 and 20 polyester
prints with DTS time code and without magnetic stripes. It is running in
USA, Denmark, England, Belgium, The Netherlands, Australia, Japan and
probably other countries too in 70mm with 6-track digital sound. "Titanic"
in DTS 70mm is an unprecedented megahit. The first commercial widely
released DTS 70mm film has been a colossal success. The film is breaking box
office records everywhere. In Copenhagen it grossed DKK 2.000.000 (USD
308.000) in 30 performances. Before the film opened most shows were sold out
a week ahead and, at the time of writing this, most evening performances are
sold out many weeks ahead.
The film itself is quite enjoyable. In three words: Fan-Tas-Tic!! The 70mm
print in Copenhagen is absolutely state of the art. No grain, no scratches
and no fuzzy images. A 70mm blow-up at its very best. The sound in DTS
6-track stereo is good in every respect. It is clear as a bell, powerful,
subtle, and it is not too loud as is commonly done with soundtracks these
days. It is not overblown, which was very nice.
The release of "Titanic" in
70mm proves there is a huge market for 70mm prints of commercial films. "The
Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard and The Village in Westwood have had
a disproportionately high attendance because of the 70mm prints", claims one
source in Hollywood. He continues "I had a brief chat with a high-up
distribution official at Fox, and he was still of the mind-set that 70mm was
"too expensive" and "too much trouble". But that was in late December,
before attendance trends could be determined. If these 70mm prints pay for
themselves within a week or two of opening, perhaps once and for all we can
debunk the common philosophy of so many distributors and exhibitors, that
the only thing that counts is "Digital Sound". It is the same [digital]
discs that are producing the sound in 35mm houses - so why are so many
people flocking to 70mm houses?".
In Oslo, "Tomorrow Never Dies" ran in DTS 70mm from December 19, 1998. The
run began at the Oslo Spektrum and continued at the Colosseum.
Hopefully these releases in DTS 70mm will inspire other movie executives to
release more and more films in 70mm with digital sound. And in the
not-too-distant future, someone will start shooting the next 65mm feature
and release it in 6-track digital sound. The added benefit of …in 70mm and
6-track digital sound on the marquee does pay back in terms of more audience
compared to 35mm. This was a fact 40 years ago and it will be again.
"Titanic" in 70mm and digital sound has proven that all over again.
in 70mm reading:
A "Titanic" Day Out
"Titanic" Gets a Record 14 OSCAR
70mm Blow Up
List 1997 - by in70mm.com
That Sinking Feeling......
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