Universal Pictures has signed a deal with European digital cinema services provider Ymagis to supply films to theatres equipped by Ymagis. Universal will also pay digital print fees under a long-term agreement.

The arrangement mirrors earlier deals Ymagis has concluded with Paramount, Disney and Fox. To date Ymagis has signed contracts with exhibitors to include 29 French screens.

Universal Pictures International executive vice-president Duncan Clark said in a statement, 'At Universal, we are committed to the growth of digital cinema, the future of our industry. We therefore warmly support Ymagis and its efforts to expand the digital platform for our movies. Our audiences will reap the rewards of the continued enhancement of the theatrical experience.'

Ymagis began its rollout this summer and has said it expects to announce agreements with other studios, distributors and exhibitors in the coming weeks. It hopes eventually to deploy up to 5,500 systems in countries across Europe, including in France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

CEO Jean Mizrahi commented 'We are delighted to conclude this agreement with Universal Pictures, a major player in the distribution industry and an important provider of digital movies in Europe.'