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The Return of 3-D Movies

Dreamworks is leading the charge back into the world of 3-D. Today the studio announced that all their 2009 releases will be geared for the digital 3-D format for release in theaters. The technology, still in its infancy, works only in theaters that host digital projection, which in itself presents a giant leap from traditional screen projection in terms of clarity and resolution. It's estimated that only 500-odd theaters (mainly larger chains, of course) currently have digital screens, but that number will expand into the thousands within the next couple of years--making digital 3-D releases more feasible.

Traditional 2-D prints (revealingly called "standard versions" in today's Variety article) will still be mastered and struck, for reel projection and eventual home releases. While the new technology is most easily applied to computer animation, live action films will also get the treatment, which works best when applied while production is ongoing. "Beowulf" (starring Angelina Jolie as Grendel's mother--and no, I'm not making that up) will test the live-action 3-D waters this fall.

Distributors and theater owners see this new approach as a way to separate the age-old moviegoing experience from that of simply staying at home with a DVD and a superior home-theater system--something that increasingly appeals in an era of high ticket and concession prices, as well as dunderheaded yahoos who talk on their cell phones during the feature.

If only Universal will get on the stick and start production on their remake of "Creature from the Black Lagoon," they'll have a perfect vehicle for reentry into this format (which was originally released in 1954, during the first heyday of 3-D).

Source: Variety.

Posted by on March 13, 2007 4:49 PM
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