March 20, 2009
| by Jason Unger
Everywhere you turn, there seems to be a promotion for a new 3D movie: Monsters vs. Aliens, My Bloody Valentine, even the Jonas Brothers.
As Hollywood tries to compete with the number of people staying home to watch movies, they need a new reason to get people out and into the movie theater.
It used to be the movie itself. Then the big-screen. Now, it’s 3D.
The Wall Street Journal has a great look at the impact Hollywood hopes 3D has on its business, from big names like James Cameron and Steven Spielberg.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive of DreamWorks Animation, is betting heavily on the technology, which he bills as a much-needed boost for Hollywood. Even with an upswing in the past few months, movie admissions have declined more than 9% over the past decade, and were down by almost 5% last year, according to box-office tracker Media By Numbers.
“The theater owners have not done anything to change the theatrical experience in many years,” says Mr. Katzenberg, who likens the latest 3-D technology to past quantum leaps in the industry such as the first talkies or the introduction of Technicolor. “This is going to bring moviegoers back to the theaters,” he says. He hopes that the technology, which will raise ticket prices by $2 to $5, will transform the box office into “a growth business for the first time in many years.”
In kind of an odd twist, Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily is reporting that some of the government bailout of Bank of America is actually going to promote a 3D movie.
It took respected media analyst Rich Greenfield of Pali Research to uncover this staggering scheme (registration required). He found out that Bank of America was helping families to see Monsters vs Aliens in 3-D rather than 2-D at no additional cost when it starts playing in theaters on Friday, March 27th. (The promotion is here.) And at the same time helping out the box office grosses of Katzenberg’s DreamWorks Animation, a publicly traded company.
Obviously, Hollywood is betting big on 3D. But we want to know what you think: is 3D a gimmick or will it be the movie industry’s savior?
Answer the poll below, then let us know why in a comment.