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Wanda to buy more Dolby hardware

By Lia Zhu in San Francisco | China Daily USA | Updated: 2016-08-22 10:49

Wanda Cinema Line, China's largest cinema chain, will buy 1,500 units of digital cinema servers from Dolby Laboratories for its new and existing cinema screens in China by 2018.

The deal includes the Dolby ShowVault/IMB, a widely used integrated media block in the cinema industry, and the Dolby Integrated Media Server IMS2000, a next-generation product in the Dolby line.

"Dolby is Wanda's long-term partner in the cinema industry, and together we've delivered so many amazing experiences to consumers in China," said John Zeng, president of Wanda Cinema Line.

"By continuously leveraging the high reliability and great performance of Dolby's cinema products, we look forward to sustaining the high-quality cinema experience for our patrons," Zeng added.

Dolby's media blocks incorporate all the capabilities an exhibitor may need and some unique features that minimize potential dark screens as well as optimize the box office, according to Jed Harmsen, senior director of cinema products at Dolby.

The Dolby Integrated Media Server IMS2000 is a single board that simplifies operations to save time and money and also allows access from anywhere on the theater's network, said the company.

It's Wanda's second major purchase this year from Dolby.

In April, Wanda announced it would buy 800 Dolby digital cinema processors to use in all of its new cinema screens in China by the end of this year.

Dolby's footprint in China is expanding rapidly through its partnership with Wanda, which operates 330 theaters in more than 110 cities in China and accounts for approximately 14 percent of China's market share in terms of box office revenue, ranking it No 1 in China.

Despite the recent drop in China's box office - the first in five years - making it harder for China to overtake the US as the world's largest cinema market next year as previously predicted, Dolby views China as a key market for its growth.

"There are many factors that may influence a territory's box office performance over a specified period of time, but China has been and continues to be a key market for Dolby's cinema business," said Harmsen.

"We continue to gain good momentum here for both our cinema products and Dolby Cinema businesses with support from our Chinese partners like Wanda Cinema Line and Jackie Chan Cinemas."

In June, Wanda opened four Dolby Cinema sites in China, and plans to open a total of 100 over the next two years.

Dolby has also partnered with Jackie Chan Cinemas to open the first Dolby Cinema in Beijing. This location is the highest grossing complex in China and Chan plans ten more sites in the next two years.

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