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Coming Soon: More 3D Flicks

Mike Musgrove

Looks like Hollywood is hoping that a new wave of 3D movies will help bring film-goers to the theater this coming year.

Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg came to town today to show off an early look at Monsters vs. Aliens, a kid-friendly animated feature coming out in March.

Pay an extra $5 at the 2,500 theaters that will have the right projectors in place and you'll get to see some immersive effects that make you feel like you're in the middle of the action. (The flick will also be in theaters, at a normal ticket price, in good ol' fashioned 2D.)

Katzenberg said it cost his studio an extra $15 million to make the upcoming flick 3D. He's betting heavily that the immersive experience of watching movies in this format will be the next major revolution for movies, akin to the historical transformations when film got sound and color. Famous directors such as Peter Jackson, James Cameron and George Lucas are working on projects that use 3D.

So many consumers have nice home theaters that box office traffic is not a growing business, he said. "We have lost many moviegoers to the comfort of home because what we offer isn't exceptional enough," he said. But the experience of watching a 3D film at home can't be easily replicated in the home just yet.

Katzenberg strove to differentiate today's 3D from films that incorporated 3D years ago. In those cases the technology was used as a "gimmick" he said. (Yes, by the way, you do have to wear the special pair of glasses to watch the new wave of 3D movies.)

"I do believe all films will eventually be made in 3D," he said, asserting that even non-action flicks like Juno and The Departed would be seen in 3D. But nifty technology won't change any stinkers from being stinkers, he admitted. "It won't make a bad movie good."

Katzenberg is really making the rounds to promote the technology; he'll also be showing it off during a presentation with Sony CEO Howard Stringer at CES next month.

Monsters Vs. Aliens, scheduled for a March release, will feature the voices of Kiefer Sutherland, Stephen Colbert, Seth Rogan, Wil Arnett and Hugh Laurie.

By Mike Musgrove  |  December 12, 2008; 2:36 PM ET  | Category:  Mike Musgrove
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