MUMBAI: In its first acquisition in the digital services space, ADAG’s Reliance Big Entertainment has acquired US-based DTS Inc’s Digital Images Business (DDI) for about $7.5 million.
DDI popularly known as Lowry Digital Images, is a well-known independent restoration firm in Hollywood, providing picture quality improvement services and digital restoration.
It’s body of work includes over 300 well-known feature films — Casablanca, Singing in the rain, Sunset Boulevard, Indiana Jones trilogy, Star Wars Trilogy, James Bond classics — with output to DVD, 35mm film, digital cinema and Imax.
Industry observers said that this acquisition would help Reliance Big Entertainment to cater to the rapidly growing 3D content market with technology solutions for correction in original stereoscopic footage as well as re-rendering of 2D footage into 3D.
DDI recently provided custom image processing services for New Line Cinema and Walden Media’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth 3D, the world’s first digitally captured stereoscopic live action film shot in digital 3D.
More than forty 3D digital films are expected to release internationally over the next 2 years and for Hollywood, DDI’s services would be cost-effective through a large back-end presence in India, industry sources said.
“Most Hollywood studios like Walt Disney, Paramount Pictures, MGM and 20th Century Fox are looking to digitally restore and release their films in various formats like Blu-ray, digital cinema and Imax. This acquisition will now help them do it in a cost effective manner, through a well- known presence in India,” said an industry observer.
The acquisition also compliments Reliance Big Entertainment’s digital cinema plans. It currently runs its movie exhibition business through Adlabs chain of cinemas and is planning digital screens for the same.
Sources said that the Adlabs Digital Cinemas had already placed an order for 15 digital projectors (2K) as a pilot project and some of these screens are expected to be 3D compatible.
Although no company spokesperson was available for comment, an official statement from Reliance Big Entertainment also alluded to the possibility of growing DDI and its services into a full-fledged post-production service, with opportunities in front ending work for country-specific restoration, digitisation and content services through a large back office in India.
This is ADAG’s second step in creating a firm presence in the US. Reports suggest that it will soon operate a chain of 200 cinemas under the ‘Big’ brand name, that will screen Hindi and regional films.