At the outset of CinemaCon this past Monday Steve Perrin gave an interesting presentation titled “Harnessing The Power of the VPF”. As the Chief Executive of Digital Funding Partnership (DFP) Perrin is in a position to know a thing or two about virtual print fees. He’ll have some help in this department now that DFP has entered into an agreement with XDC for the deployment of digital cinema in theatres throughout the United Kingdom.
The Cinema Exhibitors’ Association created DFP in 2009 to help small and mid-sized theatre owners in the UK secure funding for digital cinema conversions. The group is a legal entity consisting of approximately 400 screens at 130 mainstream and specialized cinemas operated by more than 100 theatre owners.
Perrin spent more than a year studying the country’s booking patterns, box office receipts and endless market data in an attempt to determine whether VPF deals would work for independent cinemas in the UK. In doing so he confirmed that VPFs work best for large theatre circuits which play mostly mainstream content. Smaller cinemas showing less mainstream content at varying turn rates are not as attractive to local or international distributors, making it difficult, if not impossible, for theatre owners to gain access to VPF deals.