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Is 3-D the future?
DreamWorks executives say the next generation of 3-D films will pump new life into movie theaters, said Nicole Sperling in Hollywood Insider, but we'll have to wait and see whether the dazzling first glimpse at the ShoWest trade show lives up to the hype
 

W

hat happened
The next generation of 3-D films will pump new life into movie theaters by providing an experience that home theaters won’t be able to match, DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg said at the ShoWest industry gathering in Las Vegas on Tuesday. The old method simply transformed conventional two-dimensional films into 3-D, he said, but new “Ultimate 3-D” technology DreamWorks will unveil in 2009 with the release of a remake of the 1950s classic Monsters vs. Aliens is “nothing less than the greatest innovation in the movie-making business since the advent of color 70 years ago," Katzenberg said. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

What the commentators said
The world will have to wait and see whether the return of 3-D saves the industry, said Nicole Sperling in a Hollywood Insider blog. But if the “riotous applause” footage from Monsters vs. Aliens got at a ShoWest screening was any indication, the “3-D revolution” industry insiders have been predicting for years may actually be coming—provided Katzenberg can get theater chains to invest hundreds of millions to install thousands more 3-D screens.

The new 3-D fare is dazzling, to be sure, said Toronto’s CityNews.com. And there’s evidence that 3-D can “attract two to three times as many patrons as a regular film.” But the “bells and whistles” are expensive, and theaters will have to charge as much as $3 a ticket extra to pay for the upgrades they’ll need to show the new films. And there’s no guarantee they’ll make their money back before new leaps make it possible to “duplicate” the thrill in your living room.

The first task is making a movie people want to see, said the blog Cartoon Brew. And the first images DreamWorks released from Monsters vs. Aliens were “hardly groundbreaking visually.” You always hear the “same whispers” about how every new DreamWorks feature is going to give the artists “a chance to really show themselves,” but the results are usually "watered down."
 

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