Via the Northwest Chicago Film Society…
Kodak, newly emerged from bankruptcy, reports that the studios have contracted for raw film stock through at least 2015.
Hypothetically, all this film stock is needed to serve the international market, which is a patch-work of high compliance territories like Western Europe and slow-growth areas like Latin America. Greece has only converted 20% of its screens, says Kodak, the rare company to cite the debt-ravaged country as a good business prospect. One industry consultant acknowledged that digital equipment manufacturers should expect a major slowdown, perhaps even a “sales cliff,” because exhibitors simply cannot sustain upgrades in the midst of a global credit crunch.
In the US, at least, the hold-outs are generally independently-owned, low-capacity, low-revenue theaters. By definition, they lack the leverage and the cash flow to justify the financial outlay (anywhere between $50,000 – $100,000 per screen) required for a conversion. If they’re forced out of business, whenever the reckoning comes, the impact on Hollywood’s bottom line will be minimal.