Digital cinema can be defined as the digital electronic distribution and display of theatrical film content or live material to the theatre. However, this simple definition does not reflect the complex mesh of balanced business relationships between the different parties involved in the worldwide cinematic distribution. Its transition from an analogue to a digital business will happen progressively, starting with only content being digitally distributed and going until an all-digital business. From these facts derive strong requirements on digital rights management (DRM) systems for digital cinema and therefore on the digital rights language supporting it. This paper explores the requirements imposed by the cinematic distribution model and by its progressive transition to digital, and the impact these have on digital rights languages. We analyze the support provided by different digital rights languages, identifying weaknesses and exploring solutions in fulfilling the requirements of the digital cinema distribution model.