The Wolf of Wall Street becomes first major movie to be released in a purely digital format

Paramount Studios bids adieu to 35mm film with the release of the Martin Scorsese movie

In a few years, traditional 35mm film might only be found in an exhibit at a history museum.


After quietly releasing the Oscar-nominated film The Wolf of Wall Street in a completely digital format, Paramount Studios has become the first major studio to stop distributing their wide-release movies on 35mm film.

Last month’s Anchorman 2: The Legend Returns was the last movie the studio offered in a 35mm format.

The switch to digital has been a fast-growing trend as 3D films – which can only be shown on digital copies of film – have been rising in popularity for action and animated movies.

Of course, this decision seems to boil down to money saving. Film printed on 35mm costs about £1200 to produce, and a digital copy of the same movie costs less than £60.

The majority of cinemas in the UK have made the move to digital film as the industry has evolved. However, some smaller art house cinemas might have to dish out loads of money to be able to show digital films as other major studios are expecting to follow Paramount’s lead.

The complete death of film hasn’t arrived just yet though. Paramount will still distribute 35mm film prints to cinemas in Latin America and Asia, areas of the world that have not adapted to digital formats of film as fast the UK and US. Directors who prefer to shoot on 35mm film can continue to do so as well, but the finished product would be digitally converted for release. 

Read our review of The Wolf of Wall Street