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Katzenberg says, sorry, 3D's here

Posted by Ty Burr  March 29, 2007 02:58 PM

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On the eve of the release of Disney's "Meet the Robinsons" to nearly 700 3D-equipped theaters, Jeffrey Katzenberg met yesterday with Wall Street analysts to talk up the immediate future of the format. The Hollywood Reporter has the story right here, but its worth calling out some of the Dreamworks Animation CEO's blue-sky prognostications:

Katzenberg says that moviegoers will eventually bring their own custom 3D glasses to theaters rather than rely on the freebie handouts. Sounds good; I've already got my pair picked out.

We'll also be willing to pay up to 50% more to see a film in 3D than in the old flat format. This dovetails with my theory that all tentpole blockbusters will be available in both 3D and 2D within five years, and that most audiences will go for the former.

In a neat bit of cross-corporate tattling, Katzenberg revealed that Disney-Pixar will make "Toy Story 3" in 3D. A Disney spokesperson, clearly caught with his or her pants down, replied "Homina-homina-homina."

If enough theaters are equipped for the format by 2009, Katzenberg says he'll send the upcoming "Monsters Vs. Aliens" to theaters in 3D only, saving 2D for the DVD release. That, friends, is a paradigm shift.

Of course, Jeffrey's evil side did surface when he suggested that 3D rereleases of classics like "The Godfather," "Lawrence of Arabia," and "The Bridge on the River Kwai" would be profitable. I'm sure they would. I'm sure a heavy metal version of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony would sell a lot of tickets. But it would suck. Didn't anyone learn from the colorization fiasco? Don't mess with the classics. You don't bring in enough new audiences and you enrage the purists.

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.

Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.

Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.

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