No 3D magic for new Harry Potter movie

October 8, 2010

The new Harry Potter film will only be released in standard 2D next month, after the US studio making it said Friday it had abandoned efforts to convert the movie into a 3D version in time.

Warner Brothers Entertainment had hoped to be able to transform the film into 3D format, which has taken off this year as an ever-growing number of blockbusters are produced using the eye-popping technology.

But "despite everyone's best efforts, we were unable to convert the film in its entirety and meet the highest standards of quality," the studio said in a statement about the latest big-screen installment of J.K. Rowling's saga.

"We do not want to disappoint fans who have long anticipated the conclusion of this extraordinary journey, and to that end, we are releasing our film day-and-date on November 19, 2010, as planned.

"We, in alignment with our filmmakers, believe this is the best course to take in order to ensure that our audiences enjoy the consummate 'Harry Potter' experience," Warner added.

The final chapter of the Harry Potter saga will be released in two parts: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" in November, followed by Part 2 which is scheduled for release next July, in both 2D and 3D formats.

Plans to convert 2D films to 3D -- as opposed to made from scratch in 3D -- have come under heavy criticism in Hollywood after the 3D release of "Clash of the Titans" was critically scathed on the technical front.

Although it did well at the box office, critics lashed the 3D conversion.

Dreamworks animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg said "Titans" use of the technology was so poor it would put movie-goers off of 3D.

"You cannot do anything that is of a lower grade and a lower quality than what has just been done on "Clash of the Titans." It literally is 'OK, congratulations! You just snookered the movie audience,'" he said at the time.

"The act of doing it was disingenuous. We may get away with it a few times but in the long run, (filmgoers) will wake up. And the day they wake up is the day they walk away from us and we blew it.

The new film about the boy wizard will be the seventh -- after "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" in 2001, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" in 2002, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" in 2004, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" in 2005, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" in 2007, and 2009's "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

After Friday's announcement, producer David Heyman said the studio's "priority has always been to preserve the integrity of Jo Rowling's books as we have adapted them to the screen, and this decision reflects that commitment."

Last week the industry press reported that James Cameron's blockbuster "Titanic," the second-biggest earner in film history, will be released in 3D in 2012. Cameron's "Avatar" was seen as a breakthrough for 3D last year.

Next year will also see a 3D re-release of "Star Wars," The Hollywood Reporter said.

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