Walt Disney Studios is the latest studio to come on board with a digital cinema deployment agreement with Europe's Arts Alliance Media.

The non-exclusive, long-term deal is for digital cinema rollout across Europe.

Under the terms, Disney will supply European exhibitors with its features in digital formats and will contribute towards the funding of AAM's digital deployment of hardware.

AAM has already signed similar pacts with 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures International, Paramount Pictures International and Sony Pictures Releasing International. Warner Bros is the last remaining studio that needs to be recruited.

These 'virtual print fee' deals are expected to fund the conversion of up to 7,000 screens in the next few years. The VPF model is a means to finance digital cinema conversion with both distributors and exhibitors funding costs over time, funded up front by AAM.

French exhibitor CGR Cinemas has signed up AAM to covert all of its 400 screens. AAM also installed the UK's Digital Screen Network.

'We are pleased to join forces with AAM in the rollout of digital cinema throughout the European marketplace. Not only do we release all our films in the digital format, Disney is also the number one provider of digital 3D motion pictures,' said Anthony Marcoly, president of sales and distribution for WDSMPI.

AAM CEO Howard Kiedaisch added: 'We are very excited to add Disney to our group of studios as they continue to demonstrate their leadership role in the digital field. This is great news for European exhibitors and we look forward to more innovative cinema circuits joining up to our distributor-supported rollout plan.'

AAM said that it is actively negotiated deals with other major distributors and exhibitors.