Movie studios and theaters are trying to get people to show up, and in 2017 that was a pretty tough task. Box office revenues are way down so far this year, thanks mostly to the Hollywood studios releasing a bunch of bad summer films that most moviegoers stayed away from. Now it looks like some of these companies think that adding virtual reality experiences to theaters might be a good idea to bring in new customers.
Today, one such VR company, Dreamscape Immersive, announced a new $20 million investment that was lead by AMC Theaters. The investment round also included many film studios, along with one of the biggest filmmakers of all time, Steven Spielberg.
Dreamscape Immersive was founded just recently, in January 2017. It claims to have developed some advanced VR technology that allows for users to have their entire body digitally mapped. This is supposed to allow them to enter and interact in virtual worlds in a new and different way. It sounds on the surface to be much more advanced than the current VR headsets that are available for the home. Dreamscape claims that up to six people will be able to interact with each other in these VR centers, all without being tethered to a PC.
The company says this new investment will allow it to place six of its VR centers in AMC theaters, and other stand alone locations, in the US and the UK in the next 18 months. Its own flagship location at the Westfield Century City Mall in Los Angeles is supposed to open sometime in the first quarter of 2018, so we shouldn’t have to wait too long to see and use this technology.
Dreamscape says it is currently in talks with a number of studios for the VR rights to major licensed movie properties that can be used in its centers. Other companies that have put in investment money include studios like Warner Bros., 21st Century Fox and MGM, along with theaters like IMAX and Westfield.