The Return of the 3D Movie!

Jill Barshay Jul 13, 2007

The Return of the 3D Movie!

Jill Barshay Jul 13, 2007


Doug Krizner: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is expected to be the top-grossing film this weekend. The movie worked its magic at box offices Wednesday. It took in an estimated $44.25 million. There was a time when movie magic meant putting on the 3D glasses. And as Jill Barshay reports, those days are here again.

[ Film clip: (Woman screams) “Creature from the Black Lagoon, the screen’s first underwater 3D thrill.” ]

Jill Barshay: 3D is back. Jeffrey Katzenberg is chief executive of Dreamworks. He says all his studio’s movies will be in 3D by the summer of 2009.

He thinks it’s obvious why studios would gamble on 1950s fad.

Jeffrey Katzenberg: Why would go to color from black and white? 3D is better. It’s a better quality experience. If you can innovate your business and give your consumer a better experience and a better product, and they’re prepared to pay you a premium for it, why not?

The technology’s grown up a lot since the 1950s. Remember those blue and red cardboard glasses? New computer tools let filmmakers to fill the space between you and the screen with realistic interiors and landscapes.

You still have to wear nerdy glasses. These ones are plastic.

Eleven-year-old Zack Moll left his computer and video games at home to go see the latest 3D movie, Meet the Robinsons.

Zack Moll: You were able to sort of be interactive with it. Like you would have Louis come out of the screen and be with you, so it was really cool.

Zack said he felt dizzy afterwards, but he couldn’t wait to see another one.

Walt Disney made Meet the Robinsons and like many big studios, it’s investing tens of millions of dollars in the new technology.

3D movies cost about 10 percent more to make. Jason Squire is a professor of film business at the University of Southern California. He was at the same cinema as Zack. He says he’s skeptical about 3D.

Jason Squire: It’s a very risky thing and something that may take hold for just a few movies

It seems to have taken hold of Hollywood. Studio executives reckon 50 percent of Hollywood’s fare will be made in 3D in the next five years.

Moviegoers seem willing to give 3D a try. They’re already forking out $2 more a ticket to watch a 3D flick.

In Los Angeles, I’m Jill Barshay for Marketplace.

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