Guess what quandrant of Moore’s model movie theatres are in ;p. In an effort to keep customers coming to theatres, 4 movie studios are ponying up the money to convert 10K theater screens to digital. With software updates and a few physical tweaks, these digital screens could also be used for 3-D projection. Sigh … little does Hollywood understand that the same companies providing this technology for theaters, also provide it for televions. There is already 3-D available in rear projection TV’s and Ultra-High Definition TV is coming down the pipe (beautiful image quality from Samsung).
The other thing … if the position the Wired magazine article holds true, that is everything digital goes to free, then this digital conversion, eventually will have to find a way to subsidize free movies. Digital bring with it no film which gets rid of ground transportation, physical storage, and the need for analog copies. With this you would think ticket prices could come down. It sounds like, though, this is not the way movies work. My understanding is that theatre has to pay a flat fee plus a large percentage of revenue for the first few weeks that a new movie comes out. The theatre is SOL when the auditoriums aren’t full so they rely on concessions. It looks like there is no way to disrupt this fee scheme without breaking up the unions and destroying the studio system in general. However … there are film makers that work outside the system — George Lucas for one — who could start putting chinks in the armour. I imagine, too, that independent film makers could take advantage, that is unless the sponsoring studio systems has put features into the technology that block access (ooo, that’s evil). But balancing that, there is the opportunity for independent film makers to use direct digital distribution to your home theatre. Bwa-hahahaha!!! So, eventually it will go to free or very cheap due to competition for eyeballs.