Who would’ve thought that Anchorman 2, of all movies, would signal the demise of film releases?
Yes, you read that right. Film is coming to an end, though not in the literal sense. We’ll still have new movies to look forward to of course, but things will never be quite the same again. Over the weekend, it was reported in the LA Times that Paramount Pictures has become the first major studio to go all-digital, finally bringing to an end its distribution of physical film prints.
The studio didn’t make any such announcement at the time, but it turns out that its ridiculous comedy hit Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, is the last movie produced by Paramount that’ll be shipped in the 35mm print format. Meanwhile, The Wolf of Wall Street henceforth becomes its first ‘all-digital’ title.
Okay so the majority of film-goers won’t really notice it so much, but for the more nostalgic cinemaphiles out there it’s a very sad day. From a financial point of view, Paramount’s decision makes perfect sense – after all, digital copies cost around $100, compared to as much as $2,000 for a film print – but serious movie buffs will argue that digital protection just doesn’t have quite the same quality as traditional 35mm film.
Even so, there’s no denying that digital projection has vastly improved over the years, to the point that there’s little real difference in quality. With Paramount finally taking this step, it’s surely only a matter of time before other studios follow suit, but that could also have another negative impact – the LA Times reports that there are still some 1,000+ cinemas in the US that lack the capability to project digital movies, and with new digital projectors costing thousands of dollars a piece, it could spell the end for some of the country’s smaller movie theatres.
Notably, Paramount didn’t even announce it’s decision until after the fact, which suggests that it was somewhat reluctant to do so. Even so, its move surely means that we’re nearing the end of the road for print film – indeed, the LA Times says that it could well meet its demise before the year is out.
For the few movie buffs out there who actually care, today is a sad day. All that’s left to do is to make the most of what little time film projection has left, and that means moving your arse to the cinema to see something projected in the old fashioned way, while it’s still possible to do so.
Source: LA Times