EDITORIALS

Jeffrey Katzenberg Says There Will Be 12 to 18 Full 3D Movies by 2010

by
October 17, 2007

3D

Tuesday morning at ShowEast in Orlando, DreamWorks Animation's Jeffrey Katzenberg spoke at a seminar titled "The Future of 3D in the Digital Age." That seems to be the primary focus at ShowEast this year: the digital future and 3D content. On top of some rather interesting discussion from everyone at the seminar, one of the most exciting details pointed out by Katzenberg was that there is expected to be 12 to 18 full 3D movies by 2010.

The problem that has always been an issue in my mind is whether 3D is just a gimmick or something that is actually an artistic aspect of cinema. With Superman Returns last year, I really thought it was a destructive waste. At the ShowEast presentation, the idea is just the opposite: Katzenberg says that moviegoing is going to become more exhilarating in a way never-before-seen thanks to 3D technology. The idea is that the audiences will be pulled into the film, instead of reached out at, which was the "gimmick" idea that 3D originally started with.

Katzenberg went on to say that as a selling-point for movie theaters, they expect there to be "5, 6 or 7 'Super-A' titles" in full 3D, with 2 to 3 being from DreamWorks, in 2009. And in 2010 that number would increase 2 to 3 times, bumping the total up to around 12 to 18 respectively. The first question that pops into my mind is, really? Could we actually see 12 to 18 fully 3D films in theaters by 2010? However, you have to look at how much is going 3D these days, including Beowulf this November and other major features starting next year. Not to mention the eventual Star Wars Trilogy in 3D and much more.

Katzenberg is hoping to have 6,000 3D-equipped screens in movie theaters around the world by March of 2009. In addition to DreamWorks' upcoming animated 3D movie Monsters vs. Aliens hitting theaters in March 2009, I think the real tipping point is going to be James Cameron's Avatar, also slated for 2009. Not only at this seminar, but also multiple times throughout ShowEast, I've heard from industry professionals that Avatar is going to change this industry forever. It's going to be the final push for 3D and will be the determining factor on 3D and the future of cinema.

Speaking to the movie theater chains and owners, Katz boldly stated, 3D "is going to be the majority of your business" in the future. Katz strongly believes that consumers will be "excited" to pay a premium for an exceptional quality product. One of the biggest complaints at the moment is the rising cost of tickets for movies, and if you slap on premium prices for IMAX and 3D movies it just keeps going up. However, IMAX and 3D have always sold well anyway, so that obviously isn't an issue.

Either way, I'm looking forward to the future of 3D and really seeing 12 to 18 full 3D films by 2010. I'm incredibly excited for the upcoming Beowulf and I hope that delivers strongly as a 3D feature. Do you still think 3D is just a gimmick or are you ready for the future of cinema being 3D as well?

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