DreamWorks Bets on 3D
CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg says all new movies from his studio will be 3D
By Ronald Grover
Jeffrey Katzenberg remembers the exact day he saw the future of Hollywood filmmaking unfold before him. It was five years ago, at the screening for director Robert Zemeckis’ Polar Express, the Tom Hanks fantasy flick about a conductor who takes kids aboard a magical train to the North Pole. Katzenberg was invited to see the 3D version of the holiday film developed just for IMAX theaters. When the train flew off the tracks at one point, “my jaw dropped,” recalls Katzenberg, the CEO of DreamWorks Animation SKG (DWA). “It was the most exhilarating thing I had seen on a screen in a long time.”
Katzenberg says he then became a tireless advocate for bringing 3D movies to filmmakers and theater owners. That meant hitting every industry conference on the subject and joining forces with Zemeckis and director James Cameron to proselytize the wonders of 3D. Cameron, of course, was among the believers. He went on to create the 3D blockbuster Avatar for Fox (NWS), which Box Office Mojo says has grossed a record $2.7 billion worldwide. Director Tim Burton recently followed Cameron’s Avatar with a 3D version of Alice in Wonderland for the Walt Disney (DIS) that so far has grossed $265.4 million. In each case, higher-priced 3D tickets helped boost the box office take.
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