Let’s Talk 3D Movies

Published 7 years ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 3:06 pm,
3d audience Lets Talk 3D Movies

Beowulf in 3D did huge business, and with many more 3D movies on the way, this could very well be the future of entertainment.

What is most remarkable about Beowulf is the animation style: Nearly photorealistic. But what is also interesting is director Robert Zemeckis’ decision to make the movie 3D. The primary goal of Zemeckis, the producers and the studio was to make a 3D movie first, and a traditional 2D movie second.

According to the Denver Post, only 20% of theaters screening Beowulf were 3D, yet they accounted for 40% of the opening weekend gross of $28.1 million. And in it’s second weekend, IMAX theaters accounted for 17% of total box office grosses although they accounted for only 2% of total screens! Of course, theaters screening in 3D charged extra, but the attendance numbers were huge. With that kind of success, what’s next for 3D film entertainment?

There are a few movies in the pipeline that are going to be 3D, including some animated films. All release dates are tentative, especially since some of them aren’t opening until 2009. Here is a partial list:

Avatar: James Cameron’s return to feature filmmaking tells the story of an injured soldier (played by Sam Worthington) whose mind travels across space and time, and becomes part of a large alien body (an avatar which he can control). The film will be live action with photorealistic CGI motion capture from WETA Digital. The movie opens May 2009, and will be shot on the Pace/Cameron Fusion 3D System, a 3D Hi-Def camera that I saw footage from an NBA game recently. It was incredible!

planet51 Lets Talk 3D MoviesPlanet 51: An independently financed animated film, from Ilion, which was recently picked up by Fox for a March 2009 release. It tells the tale of an astronaut who lands on an alien world. It’s like a comedic ET, except we go to the aliens and they freak out.

Journey 3D: Starring Brendan Fraser, this is a 3D adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic Journey to the Center of the Earth. The movie is being shot on the Pace/Cameron camera, and opens July 2008.

Monsters vs. Aliens: Another animated film, this one from DreamWorks Animation. Opens March 2009, and I think the title sums up the movie’s plot. Actually, DreamWorks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg says there could be up to 18 3D movies released per year in the future, which makes me think CGI-animated movies like Shrek will go the way of traditional animation as 3D takes over.

Alice in Wonderland and Frankenweenie: 3D movies from Tim Burton, the latter which is an adaptation of an early Burton film. They will likely utilize the same mo-cap/performance capture technology as Beowulf. These were just announced, but I’m thinking a 2010 release, at the earliest. The strike is keeping scripts from being written at the moment.

The Dark Country: Directed by and starring Thomas Jane, this lower budget comic book adaptation is being shot with dual SI-2K and dual RED cameras, which are beyond high definition cameras. In post, they’ll combine the dual images into 3D. The movie opens in 2008.

This is just a sampling of what’s to come in the world of 3D. For a bigger list, check out /Film, which also talks about Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s TinTin adaptations.

I watched Beowulf in IMAX 3D and enjoyed it, though a friend of mine had a headache. I also noticed if I moved my head around too much, the 3D image got blurry, as if I took off the glasses. I’m sure the technology will improve, especially digitally. One more thing, ComingSoon.net is reporting Beowulf’s second weekend in IMAX 3D was the highest in their history!

When I saw the NBA game in 3D, it was projected from a Sony digital system, which is likely going to start popping up in theaters over the next couple of years. Digital projection has around for years, but hasn’t quite made its way into more movie theaters because the technology keeps changing.

I truly think 3D is the future of entertainment, and really, studios need something to get people back into the theater vs. renting or buying DVDs to watch at home.

Sources: Denver Post and ComingSoon.net.

TAGS: Avatar, Beowulf
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  1. I definitely think 3D is “the next big thing” and I’m looking forward to it big time. It might even get my butt back in he movie theater more often.


  2. Ditto. I’ll watch more movies in IMAX, too, even if they aren’t 3D. But I’ll get there early enough to not get the bottom seat, where I’m looking up and seeing giant chins!


  3. Although I kno that the technology has vastly improved, I still love hearing the phrase “3-D is the future of entertainment.” Isn’t that what they were saying in the ’50’s? I’m not saying that the 3-d ride will fall short this time around, but everybody acting as though 3-D films are something never before concieved just strikes me as funny.

  4. I didn’t feel like talking about such visionary films like Friday the 13th 3D, or Jaws 3D (shudder).


  5. Chase,

    Have you seen the latest generation of 3D? And think about it: Look at how moviemakers continually try to top each other in regards to visual effects, stunts and CGI. I think 3D is a natural extension in the current technological arena of movie making.

    Plus with the advent of DVD, HD-DVD, Blue Ray, Hi-Def 60″ TVs and surround sound, movie theaters need something to differentiate themselves from the home theater experience besides sticky floors, too loud audio and annoying people talking while I’m trying to watch a movie.


  6. Vic,

    James Cameron, in an interview with Ain’t It Cool News, said they’re making 3-D TVs.

    Plus, at some point, all six Star Wars films will be in 3-D, too. I thought it was supposed to be this year, but I haven’t heard anything.


  7. Call me old fashion and lame but,,,HD, Digital, 3D, CGI, Dolby
    Surround ,BluRay, etc….coundnt give a crap….maybe if I was super rich and the time to dwell on tvs then maybe…? But I have a decent system and I’m happy with it.
    Im not about to stand in line or credit card a plasma HD. and then get suckered into buying the HD dvds. I’m not brainwashed with this love of technology. I’m happy with dvds and a average digital tv.
    This new technology
    Addiction is making me sick…its bad enough with all the computer/internet improvements but now its become all about the clarity and sound on my tv and 3D in movie theatres????
    3D is something that turns me away from films. I know is come along way but I prefer the original 2D experince. Its worked for decades and I’m happy with it…
    I remember 4 years ago when dvds were it! As far as I care they still are. They look fine
    I just don’t dwell on the aspects of clarity or seek some sort of interaction with the film with todays quality…
    Ok here comes the outrage.. Bring it..

  8. Steve, you’re funny. :-)

    Heath, the next generation (already!!) of HDTV is supposed to be “Laser TV.” It was supposed to be out in time for Christmas but is now due to come out early 2008. It’s supposed to have much more intense color reproduction than Plasma or LCD plus it’s supposed to be thinner, lighter and cost LESS than those.

    I’ve got a rear projection Mitsu that’s about 7(?) years old? The HD connections aren’t even compatible with current satellite boxes. :-)


  9. All I can say is remeber virtual reality lead to the Matrix…….films yes even 2 and 3. You know the ones you hate…
    This is where its going folks.
    Borg implants at Bestbuy within 10 years…sale prices are irrelivant.

  10. Vic and Heath,

    I wasn’t saying that the new 3D films weren’t any good, I know that they are better. The point I was trying to make was that I find it enterataining that the world of film is somewhat cyclical like everything else, and we are nopw at a point where we can achieve great 3D movies as they were concepted to be 50 years ago. I wasn’t saying that those old films were better or worse than what is being made today, just that a lot of people are acting like this is a new phenomenon.

  11. I have to agree with Steve on this. Until 3D movies are actually holographic projections, they’re not worth the extra cost. Every 3D movie I’ve been to have had those special glasses that have to be worn. Given the difficulty of fitting them over my regular glasses, and the discomfort that causes, not to mention the headaches I get from the distortion if I try to twist my head to relieve discomfort in my neck or look at anything with those glasses on, it’s just not worth it.

    For every one of those 3D movies that comes out, that’s just one less movie that I’m going to be interested in seeing.

  12. Chase, you’re right. Actually it seems that EVERYTHING in pop culture is cyclical, LOL. :-)

    FS, I’m sorry you get headaches, dude. I wear glasses as well but they’re pretty small so it doesn’t bother me.


  13. I see nothing wrong with doing films in 3D. I can’t wait to see what they can do now.

    But some people just have to find something to whine and complain about and make it seem that they know what’s best and what’s not.

  14. I don’t mind dissenting opinions as long as they are reasoned instead of something like “3D sucks!”


  15. I think 3D would be cool if i could see it. I was born Blind in one eye. I get the whole lets make everything more realistic and in your face, But i worry that in the future if that is the only option, I wont be able to watch movies anymore, and i love movies. I was wondering if someone could help me with what i would see when watching a 3D movie, Will i miss a lot or would i see the 2D version just like we are watching now?