While movie theaters are quickly transitioning to digital exhibition, the distribution of those digital movie files has remained relatively archaic as studios ship hard drives around like they once did with film prints. That may soon be changing, however: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Paramount, Disney, and Lionsgate have all signed up with the Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition (DCDC) to utilize its satellite distribution network across North America.
The DCDC is a collaboration between three major US theater chains — AMC, Regal Entertainment, and Cinemark — and both Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Its system, which began testing last year, consists of a satellite and terrestrial network for distributing films, live programming, and promotional content to theaters. It allows theaters to sidestep the shipping costs associated with transporting physical drives — while also allowing them to transport their creative wares without relying solely on the whims of the internet. While DCDC's network is still in testing, it is expected to launch by the end of this year — and today's announcement gives it the support of all four major Hollywood studios.
"DCDC's new satellite service provides a seamless and secure system that will enable us to streamline and expedite access to our latest content," Disney executive vice president Dave Hollis said in a statement. "This is a crucial advancement in theatrical distribution, and we're thrilled to be on board."