LOS ANGELES, Sept. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — AMC Entertainment (NYSE: AMC) the largest theatrical motion picture exhibitor in the world, and Dreamscape Immersive, the location-based VR startup backed by some of Hollywood’s biggest players, today announced a wide ranging strategic partnership that will rapidly scale the development and expansion of Dreamscape Immersive. The announcement was made jointly by Walter Parkes and Kevin Wall, co-chairmen of Dreamscape Immersive and Adam Aron, CEO and President of AMC.
“Dreamscape Immersive ushers in an exciting new world in virtual reality and reminds us through its trailblazing all-enveloping technology that we really are living in the 21st century. A dazzling future is now at hand,” said Adam Aron, CEO and President of AMC Entertainment. “What makes Dreamscape Immersive and AMC Theatres a perfect fit together is the vast and impressive experience of Dreamscape’s founders in cinematic storytelling that is sure to resonate with AMC’s moviegoers.”
As part of the three-pronged partnership, AMC will be the lead investor in a $20M Series B financing round. AMC will commit $10M in equity investment into Dreamscape Immersive and will finance up to six Dreamscape Immersive VR centers within AMC cinemas and standalone locations in North America and the U.K. over the next 18 months. These locations are in addition to Dreamscape Immersive’s flagship location at Westfield Century City Mall in Los Angeles, slated to open to the public in Q1 2018. In addition to the round, AMC will also invest $10M into a content fund.
Walter Parkes, Dreamscape Immersive co-chairman notes, “While Dreamscape’s immersive technologies represent the cutting edge of the digital world, its heart and soul rests firmly in the shared language of film – so it’s tremendously exciting that our first major commercial partnership is with the world’s largest cinema exhibitor.” Dreamscape Immersive CEO Bruce Vaughn adds, “We look forward to working with AMC to offer audiences the opportunity to actually step into and experience imaginative worlds previously only available through watching movies.”
The company, spearheaded by Parkes, Wall, CEO and former Disney Imagineering chief Bruce Vaughn, and COO Aaron Grosky, utilizes unique body-mapping technologies, developed by the Swiss research foundation Artanim, which give participants full body presence as rendered avatars inside of extraordinary virtual worlds. Unlike other VR platforms, Dreamscape Immersive offers a social experience in which participants explore and interact with up to six people simultaneously, untethered from a computer, with full use of their senses – just as they would in the real world.
Dreamscape Immersive has green-lit its first piece of original content and is currently in licensing conversations with several major studios and IP-holders. The company completed its Series A funding in January 2017, with a roster of initial investors including Bold Capital Partners, Warner Bros., 21st Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), IMAX Corporation, Westfield Corporation, and Steven Spielberg. It has also attracted an A-list group of advisors including Yves Behar, renowned industrial designer, as Brand and Design Advisor; Hans Zimmer, Music Advisor; Dan Fellman, Past President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, as Distribution Advisor; Rick Carter, Academy Award winning production designer, as Production Advisor; Tom Staggs, former COO of the Walt Disney Company, as Corporate Strategy Advisor; and Gore Verbinski, Academy Award winning filmmaker, as Creative Advisor.