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Saving Movie Theaters

3D Films to Become Mainstream?

— March 14, 2008 — Pop Culture
Internet piracy has made it possible not only to access to free movies, but to access films even before they hit theaters. In order to preserve the business of "going to the movies", cinemas may have to considering offering all movies in 3D to continue to get patrons to the box office.

"A consortium of the largest Hollywood studios announced plans Wednesday to convert 10,000 US theatres into 3D movie houses while leading animation studio Dreamworks said that from now on it would make all its films in the 3D format," according to the Earth Times.

"It is nothing less than the greatest innovation that has happened to all of us in the movie business since the advent of colour 70 years ago," Dreamworks chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said at ShoWest.

"Our customers are more than willing to pay a premium price when we have got a premium experience for them," he added.

Concert movies like Disney's Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert proved very successful. The film generated $31 million in its opening weekend, aiding as proof that this type of film has potential to save the industry.

While that film had to be watched with 3D glasses, the new films won't require the the nerdy paper frames with one red filmed lens and one blue. The new films will still need glasses, but they won't be as flimsy as they'll be made of plastic and have polarized lenses. They will probably be hideous, but this could spark a new demand for fashionable 3D glasses.

When I left for China last spring, Shrek 3 hadn't even hit theaters in Canada. On one of my first days in Beijing, I was already being pushed to buy black market DVD copies of the film for the equivalent of 50 cents.

Often, the quality of these pirated films, whether downloaded or purchased on the black market, can be top notch. Sure there are honest people who will continue supporting the film industry, but the truth of the matter is that most people aren't concerned with ethics and are willing to download illegally. The industry relies on box office sales from people actually going to the theaters.

Could making 3D a mainstream practice save the industry? I certainly hope so. Watching movies at home, whether on the computer or TV just isn't as exciting for me as actually going to the theater. Some argue that it's ridiculous to pay upwards of $10, but for people like me, the experience is worth it. A lot of people won't like this, but the 3D films are projected to cost around $13.
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