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Monsters vs. Aliens: And the winner is, STEREOSCOPIC 3D

COW Blogs : Is this thing on? Oh it's on. : Monsters vs. Aliens: And the winner is, STEREOSCOPIC 3D
Jeffry Katzenberg has been a major advocate of stereoscopic 3D for a while. The first place I saw him talk about it was ShoEast in 2007, a gathering of eastern US movie theater owners and operators. The talk was called "The Future of 3D in the Digital Age," and it was among the places that he said that all of Dreamworks' animated features would be released as stereoscopic.

On one count, he underestimated how quickly this would come to pass: he said that there would be "5, 6 or 7 'Super-A' titles" in 2009, 12 to 18 by 2010. So far this year, we've already seen My Bloody Valentine, the Jonas Brothers concert movie, Henry Selick's "Coraline," and just this weekend, "Aliens vs. Monsters," with 10 more slated for release this summer.

Here's the first trailer for Aliens vs. Monsters, which first ran in 3D during the Super Bowl:

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Here's the second trailer:


<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/qWeVoXykHGA&rel=0&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="//www.youtube.com/v/qWeVoXykHGA&rel=0&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>


Here's the third. Not sure why YouTube won't let me embed the high-quality version, but it's worth following the link to take a gander.


The next biggie is going to be Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.


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(You can see Entertainment Weekly's preview of the year's 3D releases here, but it's worth trying to track down the print issue, which includes anagplypic stills from most of those features, along with 3D glasses to view 'em. Pretty slick. It also doesn't have much to say about James Cameron's Avatar, opening in December...but I sure will later.)

So for the pace of "Super 'A'" releases, we're well ahead of schedule.

As theater owners pushed back on Katzenberg in 2007, they said that upgrading screens was going to be way, way too expensive. His reply was that they'd make more money on 3D showings, and this week's premiere of "Monsters vs. Aliens" certainly bore that out. Here's how the numbers broke down:


  • $58.2 million for the weekend, on 4104 screens
  • 28% of those screens were 3D, and accounted for 58% of the gross!
  • .03% --that's three-tenths of 1 percent -- of those 4104 screens were IMAX (143 to be exact)...and they accounted for nearly TEN PERCENT of the gross! (Again to be exact, $5.2 million, a record.)



To put it another way, 28.3% of the screens accounted for nearly 70% of the money that Av.M pulled in! That is, as the kids say, off the hizz-OOOK! (Actually, I doubt any kids say that anymore.) There's absolutely no question that Katzenberg is being proved right on feature after feature.

However, here's one area he was a little optimistic on: he predicted 6000 3D-equipped screens by March 2009. The number is more like 2000 in the US, with a smattering more overseas. Let's be generous and call it halfway there.

The good news is that there are a total of 8000 screens "committed" (see previous link)...but as far as I can tell, no particular timetable.

When I say 8000 screens, the vast majority are those offered by RealD. Dolby is late to the party, but has a few hundred screens committed, mostly in Europe. The draw is that they don't require a new screen, and sell their gear outright. RealD requires new screens and collects royalties....but c'mon, seriously now, RealD has it locked up. Although as far as overall revenues, all signs point to Katzenberg being exactly right: the real money is in 3D exhibition.

It's true now. It's going to get truer. Expect more details.

In the meantime, our stereoscopic 3D coverage is going to be a wild ride that you're not going to want to miss. If you don't already subscribe, now's a good time to start.


Posted by: Tim Wilson on Mar 31, 2009 at 8:07:06 amComments (3) stereoscopic 3d, 3d

Comments

And the Losers are...
by Jiggy Gaton
And the losers would be those of us with a Strabismus eye condition, myself included. I am a visual artist with Intermitten Exotropia, meaning my eyes are often unconverged making STEREOSCOPIC viewing a bit difficult. Fortunate for me, at an early age my brain decided to compensate and even when my eye goes astray, I think I am seeing perfectly with near 20-20 vision - except when it comes to 3D media and driver's exams. Those machines that test not sure what give me fits. So do 3D amusements at Universal Studios-type theme parks. It's estimated that 5-13% of the US population suffer from this vision complication, so I guess studio and theater beancounters should beware, there may be some amount of refunds requested at the end of the show!

jigs
Don't miss DreamWorks' CAPTAIN 3D filmed Interview in David Roth Weiss's HP article
by Ron Lindeboom
I forgot to mention that while we were at DreamWorks, David Roth Weiss interviewed DreamWorks head of Stereoscopic 3D, Phil McNally who has legally changed his name to Captain 3D. (Try explaining that one to a cop if they pull you over or to a utility company if you are signing up for new service.)

Go to the article below and you will find Captain 3D's interview clip within the review...

http://library.creativecow.net/articles/weiss_roth_david/hp_z_workstation.p...
Wow, the 3D ticket sales were off the charts, man!
by Ron Lindeboom
* $58.2 million for the weekend, on 4104 screens

* 28% of those screens were 3D, and accounted for 58% of the gross!

* .03% --that's three-tenths of 1 percent -- of those 4104 screens were IMAX (143 to be exact)...and they accounted for nearly TEN PERCENT of the gross! (Again to be exact, $5.2 million, a record.)

Now, that is very cool, Tim.

Kathlyn and I are very happy for the Dreamworks team as they were on pins and needles when we met with them over dinner and watched Monsters vs Aliens the day before the movie opened.

Ed Leonard, their CTO, told me over dinner that "...16 hours after the box-offices open, we will know pretty well what the movie is going to do over its lifetime -- including what its DVD sales will be, its merchandising, and its worldwide box-office. The formula has only ever had very few exceptions and the results have been very accurate over the years. So, we are all pretty nervous the day before a movie opens as we only do two DreamWorks Animations titles a year -- one 'franchise' release and one new release. So, it's really important that they be successful as they cost so much to make. We have a lot on the line when we release a film."

I think they can rest easy, now.

Congratulations to Jeffrey Katzenberg, Captain 3D, Ed Leonard and all of the DreamWorks team who were so kind to all of us who were guests of the HP team during our trip to Los Angeles.

Looks like you guys and gals have another franchise on your hands.

;o)


Ah, to have an attention span...


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