Before Hollywood went all-digital, the movie-making industry was spending an arm and a leg on producing film prints. According to data from the Motion Picture Association of America that was reported by Wired, film studios “spent more than $631 million in 2003 on film prints for the North American market alone.”
Today, it’s digital or bust. One studio, 20th Century Fox, is leading the charge. In 2012, the studio made the bold claim that it would cease producing films in the 35 mm format by the end of 2013 and instead distribute its films in a digital format domestically, according to a report from the Hollywood Reporter.
Part of what’s driving this shift to digital is our appetite for more high-definition (HD) footage, projectors and displays. When the television was invented, its resolution maxed out at 640x480 pixels, according to data compiled in an infographic from Fusion-io. Since then, displays have made significant progress, with 2K displays maxing out at 2048x1152 pixels.
In addition to the ballooning screen resolutions, the data produced by HD film also has grown steadily. James Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar was a defining moment for Hollywood because it required more than one petabyte of storage. It was a worthwhile expense though, since Avatar holds the record as the highest grossing film ever — for now.
To learn more about the evolution of screen resolution and display technology, check out Fusion-io’s infographic below.