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The Future of 3-D

By January 19, 2010March 24th, 2020Newswires

The Future of 3-D
by Peter Osnos

In case you haven`t heard, James Cameron`s Avatar is a huge success. By now, global revenues have surpassed $1.5 billion, with its backers projected to earn a $1 billion or more over time. The film`s technical artistry has dazzled critics (the script and acting much less so, despite taking top honors at the Golden Globes). But the most significant lasting impact of the film is the anointing of 3-D as the next big thing in movies and television.

Avatar comes in 2-D formats, but the 3-D version on huge IMAX screens at $15 per ticket has shown the potential for raising the upper limit of what consumers will pay for a movie. I saw it that way in a crowded theater with stadium seating and buckets of popcorn on most laps. IMAX is booming, although it still represents a small number of total screens. According to BusinessWeek, nine of the top ten movies with the best opening weekend box office in 2009 were shown in IMAX venues as well as regular theaters. In the next twelve months, the magazine reported, IMAX will boost its theater capacity by 50 percent. Right after New Year`s Day, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas featured 3-D televisions to be released soon at prices around $10,000 and Discovery and ESPN said they will launch programming that can be aired on those sets. Clearly, the combination of videography, computer animation, and projection has rendered stereoscopic presentation possible on a scale to make filmmakers delirious and moguls giddy.

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