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Christie Surpasses 12,000 Digital Cinema Installation Milestone

Christie announced that it has shipped and installed more than 12,000 digital cinema projectors worldwide, achieving a new industry milestone and strengthening its leadership with a 65% share of the total global market. The accomplishment includes the installation of more than 2,000 DCI-compliant Christie Solaria Series 4K-ready projectors. Christie was also the first manufacturer to surpass the 5,000 digital cinema milestone in the Fall of 2008 and the 7,500 installation mark early in 2009.

With 3D movies supercharging ticket sales and spurring demand for digital systems around the world, Christie has ramped up production of the Solaria Series projectors. These include the Christie CP2220 and Christie CP2230, which feature Texas Instruments’ (TI) (NYSE: TXN) next generation Series 2 DLP Cinema technology and are based on the 1.2″ DLP Cinema chip platform. This is the only chip upgradeable to 4K resolution – a simple, 15 minute process on Christie projectors.

“The world is going digital and Christie is committed to leading the charge,” said Jack Kline, President and COO, Christie USA. “From our first, ground-breaking roll-out of 4,000 digital cinema projectors that jump-started the digital cinema revolution, Christie has been a major force in every corner of the world, developing innovative strategies, products and services that are guiding the industry into the digital age.”

To address growing demands, Christie announced a new manufacturing facility in China, increased R&D, expanded its base of skilled staff, stocked up on long lead components to ensure sufficient parts in the months ahead, and strengthened its technical training initiatives. At the same time, it has boosted its Christie Managed Services programs in North America to provide the widest range of technical support for resellers and exhibitors making the switch to digital.

“We are in high gear, working with resellers and exhibitors to quickly digitize screens and take advantage of the new crop of 3D movies arriving in theaters,” commented Craig Sholder, Christie’s Vice-President of Entertainment Solutions. “We are also pleased to report that Christie’s phenomenal success in North America, where it holds more than 70% of the market, is now being echoed in Central and South America, where orders for digital projectors have jumped appreciably. Christie is the overwhelming projector of choice because exhibitors recognize our Series 2 projectors offer the best light efficiency and lowest cost of operation.”

In Europe, Christie continues to hold a commanding 54% market share. Over the last five years, the leading European, Middle Eastern and African exhibitors have selected and installed Christie digital cinema projectors – including Arts Alliance Digital Cinema (AADC) through the roll-out of the digital screen network for the UK Film Council. This marked the world’s first digital cinema deployment on a large scale.

“In 2005, the digital era was relatively new and there were only a handful of digital cinema installations in the entire world,” comments Dale Miller, Vice-President, Christie EMEA. “Since then, we have seen exciting growth opportunities globally and notably in the EMEA region. Close to 3,000 Christie digital cinema projectors are now in the European market place, with thousands more contracted to be installed in the near future. Our success is a direct reflection of the loyalty and support of our customers who believe in Christie and the viability of this exciting industry.”

A recent triumph for Christie was its framework purchasing agreement for 300 Christie Solaria Series projectors with FTT, its German integration and service partner. Christie’s partnership with FTT dates back to more than six years, when the two companies launched one of the first major digital cinema roll-outs in Europe. Such long-term relationships are a hallmark of Christie’s market leadership, reflecting the company’s full commitment to helping industry partners succeed.

Christie’s explosive growth in the Asia Pacific region, where sales have climbed by more than 400% in the past year, has also contributed significantly to its record number of installations. A major development was its agreement with DCK, the joint-venture company of CJ CGV and Lotte Cinema in South Korea, which selected Christie as the primary digital cinema projector provider for DCK’s Virtual Print Fee (VPF) deal with major Hollywood studios. The partnership launched South Korea’s largest digital cinema deployment to date and introduced a new era in content distribution for the country. The first phase of the agreement utilized 500 Christie CP2000 Series projectors; the current and second phase features at least 500 of the new Christie Solaria 4K-ready DLP Cinema projectors, of which nearly 100 have already been shipped and installed.

Christie’s recent success with China Film Group garnered a further 375 Solaria series projectors solidifying its position as the projector of choice for China’s power players China Film Group, Shanghai Film Group, Time Antaeus, Wanda Cinemas and Lianzhong Cinemas.

Lin Yu, Vice-President, Christie Asia Pacific, commented, “Christie’s accomplishments in the Asia Pacific region are a testament to the company’s global vision. It reflects the company’s unique ability to respond quickly to the needs of a changing market. In addition to our dominance in the Asia Pacific region, Christie’s new manufacturing facility in China will further strengthen our presence in this region and enhance our manufacturing capabilities globally.” She added: “This summer, Christie Solaria Series digital cinema projectors will be coming off the assembly line to meet continued, worldwide demand.”

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