Clash of the 3D movie makers

  • Technology
  • Thursday, 15 Apr 2010

LOS ANGELES: Extra revenue being pulled in by 3D movies at the box office can more than make up for the money lost from falling sales of DVDs, according to the CEO of movie studio DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, one of the biggest proponents of the big-screen format, said the 3D revolution is reversing a decades-long trend that saw Hollywood studios become more reliant on home videos for their revenue and profit than on theatrical releases.

“Suddenly, the theatrical marketplace has turned in the opposite direction,” he said in an interview following his appearance at a conference held by the National Association of Broadcasters in Las Vegas.

His company’s forecast for its upcoming sequel Shrek Forever After follows the pattern.

“Whatever the decline would be for Shrek when it goes to the home video market will be more than offset by the incremental revenue we’ll see from 3D,” he said.

But he implored studios to keep up the quality of 3D movies. He has criticised Warner Bros. for converting Clash of the Titans into 3D after seeing the success of Avatar in theatres using what he called a “quick and cheap post-production process.”

Clash was shot using regular 2D cameras, while Avatar was shot with 3D cameras and had actors don special suits that allowed their movements and expressions to be recreated in 3D using computer software. All of DreamWorks’ animated movies are also created in 3D from the start.

Some critics say the conversion process leads to images that aren’t immersive, but look like they are on separate flat planes.

“I just want us all to be cautious and to err to the side of delivering more than expected, not the minimum level or less than expected,” Katzenberg said. “You can’t ask people to pay more without giving them more.”

Despite the criticism, Clash has gone on to gross US$231mil (RM785mil) worldwide since its April 2 release. DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon has grossed US$283mil (RM962mil) worldwide since its March 26 release.

A representative of Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to a request for comment. — AP

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