Since the film is entirely computer generated, it makes sense that Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within would be a perfect fit for the state-of-the-art digital cinema format. That logical step was announced today by Rory Bruer, executive vice president and general sales manager for Sony Pictures Releasing. This does not mean, however, that every theatre will have the special digital format; in fact, only 7 of the more than 2500 theatres in which the movie will appear will utilize the format. Nonetheless, this marks a departure from normal filmmaking; very few movies (notable titles with the technology include 1999's Star Wars- Episode 1 and Toy Story 2) have ever done so since the inception of the digital format two years ago.
The seven theatres that will release "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" digitally are: AMC Empire, New York City; Edwards Irvine Spectrum, Irvine, Calif.; AMC Media 6, Burbank, Calif.; Cinemark Legacy, Dallas; Famous Players Paramount, Toronto; AMC Barrington, Chicago; and the AMC Van Ness, San Francisco.
"These screens will be using a Texas Instruments DLP projector, operating from a server called a QuBit," explained Bill Hausch, a senior executive from Sony. "The sensation you get with digital cinema is a picture without a flicker, scratches, dirt or focus flutter. We're providing the moviegoing patron a glimpse of the future of theatrical exhibition." In addition to the digital technology, moviegoers will also be treated to the first release of an 8-Channel SDDS motion picture in an electronic format, which offers five full-range screen channels instead of the usual three.
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within will certainly be all the more impressive with these added effects. The film is set for release across North America tomorrow.