Imax`s Status In 2D/3D Conversion Challenged By Competitors
by Andy Georgiades
TORONTO (Dow Jones)–While Imax Corp. (IMAX) remains a leader in showing 3D movies, its place in converting films to 3D is being challenged by cheaper competitors eager to satisfy Hollywood`s thirst for stereoscopic product.
The success of James Cameron`s "Avatar," which was filmed with 3D cameras, is spurring studios to get more 3D content out the door quickly, making conversion a logical alternative.
Take Time Warner Inc.`s (TWX) Warner Bros. Pictures, which recently announced that "Clash of the Titans" would be released in 3D. It pushed back the release date one week to allow for conversion time.
Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros., which is finalizing a multi-film release deal with Imax, said the cost of conversion can be as low as $5 million today – depending on length and complexity – down from $25-$30 million previously.
He said Warner Bros. plans to release about five 3D films this year and nine in 2011. While he praised Imax`s conversion process, which was used in films like "Superman Returns," and said the studio is talking to Imax about other conversion projects, the "Titans" contract went to Prime Focus Ltd. (532748.BY), an India-based company that worked on "Avatar."
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