China-made DMAX to break IMAX monopoly

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DMAX, a large film screen made with Chinese independent technology, on Monday was put into commercial use in a cinema in the eastern province of Anhui, as developers hope to break the IMAX monopoly in China's booming film market.

IMAX is currently the most widely used big screen motion picture format and was created by the Canadian company IMAX Corporation. China has nearly 60 IMAX screens, each with a size of at least 22 by 16 meters.

DMAX, with a standard screen of 20 by 12 meters, is jointly developed by China Research Institute of Film Science & Technology and China Film Co., Ltd. A DMAX screen had a trial run in a Beijing cinema last year.

According to Yang Xuepei, head of the institute, while embodying the country's independent core technology of big screen motion pictures production and image optimization, DMAX is also compatible with the most advanced technology overseas. Its 2D and 3D screening quality are as good as large screens of foreign brands.

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Universal Pictures have respectively offered the original materials of ongoing blockbusters "Titanic 3D" and "Battleship" for DMAX screening conversion, Yang revealed Monday in Hefei, capital of Anhui, where the first DMAX screen was unveiled for permanent use.

"DMAX will have as many foreign films as IMAX does, and will also get two home-made films every month," Yang said, citing a favorable stipulation by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

Insiders have also pinned high hopes on DMAX.

Fu Ruoqing, deputy general manager of China Film Group Corporation, saw the launch of DMAX as laying the foundation for the country's independent intellectual property rights in the field of film projection equipment and technology.

"With DMAX, China has entered the world stage of hi-tech film format," Fu said.

"DMAX will have abundant screening sources, and neither cinema chains nor filmgoers need to pay much considering the moderate patent fees for its technology," said Yang Buting, head of the China Film Distribution and Exhibition Association.

"It might break the monopoly of IMAX in our cinema market," Yang said.

According to Yang Xuepei, a total of 15 DMAX screens will be installed in cinemas in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and several other cities this year.

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