Disney CEO defends use of 3-D in movies

Jun 02, 2011 By RYAN NAKASHIMA , AP Business Writer

(AP) -- Disney CEO Bob Iger defended the company's production of 3-D films Thursday after 3-D ticket sales for several recent movies lagged their predecessors.

It's "way too early to write 3-D's epitaph," Iger said at the D: All Things Digital conference. "I think a lot of conclusions are being reached about a business that's still relatively new."

Industry experts point out that The Co.'s fourth "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie and the second installment of "Kung Fu Panda," from DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., generated around 40 percent of their revenue from 3-D screenings, compared with about 60 percent from earlier films such as "Shrek Forever After" and "How to Train Your Dragon."

Some analysts trimmed estimates on DreamWorks and 3-D technology company RealD Inc. as a result. Shares of RealD are down about 14 percent since the weekend, DreamWorks shares are down 7 percent and Disney shares are off about 3 percent.

Higher and a sense among consumers that 3-D is a gimmick are hurting attendance domestically, an effect that may carry over overseas, where 3-D is still booming.

"We suspect 3-D demand will slow over the coming year overseas as the `novelty' begins to wear off,' BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield wrote in a research note Tuesday.

Iger said that 3-D technology must be used in the right way or studios risk annoying moviegoers who are asked to pay a few dollars more for tickets.

"(If) people go to a film on the first weekend and pay the premium that they pay for 3-D and come out either not liking film or thinking it wasn't worth it in 3-D - you can't hide that any more. Everybody knows it," he said. "So I think it has to be used carefully. When it's used it has to be used on the right film and in the right way technologically and creatively. You can't just `If you build it they will come.' You can't do that."

Hollywood has been hurt by a slow start this year with revenues from U.S. and Canadian theaters down 8 percent at $4.02 billion through the Memorial Day long weekend, according to Hollywood.com.

Last weekend, Warner Bros. "The Hangover: Part II" in 2-D debuted at No. 1, hauling in $105.8 million over the long weekend, compared to "Kung Fu Panda 2" in 3-D opening with $62.2 million.

Explore further: US judge rejects Apple bid to ban Samsung smartphones

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'Clash' of 3-D movies to hit underprepared cinemas

Feb 22, 2010

(AP) -- Movies in 3-D are becoming such big moneymakers that Hollywood studios are cramming them into the nation's theaters, even though there aren't enough screens available to give each film its fullest ...

DreamWorks beats 3Q estimates with `MvA' on video

Oct 27, 2009

(AP) -- DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. shot past analyst estimates in releasing third-quarter earnings Tuesday, saying its only release this year, "Monsters vs. Aliens," is off to a strong start in the home ...

Disney CEO seduced by iPad

Feb 10, 2010

Walt Disney Co. president and chief executive Robert Iger said Tuesday that Apple's new iPad tablet computer may prove to be a "game changer" for the entertainment and media industry.

Slew of 3-D TV movies for the home? Not so fast

Sep 15, 2010

(AP) -- If you're thinking of buying a 3-D television set this year based on the belief that you'll be able to purchase a lot of the 3-D movies that have hit theaters in the past few years, think again.

'Shrek' producer joins Zynga board

Apr 04, 2011

Zynga on Monday said the film producer behind "Shrek" and other DreamWorks Animation hits has joined the board of directors at the hot online social games startup.

Recommended for you

Hackerspaces used to turn ideas turn into reality

17 hours ago

At HeatSync Labs, the tables are littered with computer chips, pens, pads and tools while the room is abuzz with the chatter of would-be inventors hoping to change the world—or just make cool things. They are part of a ...

China Telecom profit rises as mobile data grows

17 hours ago

China Telecom Ltd., one of the country's three main state-owned carriers, said Wednesday its profit rose 11.8 percent in the first half of the year as its Internet and mobile data businesses grew.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

ThanderMAX
not rated yet Jun 02, 2011
Why ? Why ? Why ?

I DO love 3D version of those two movies more.
33Nick
not rated yet Jun 02, 2011
I wonder what they are still not getting about why people go less and less to see movies. Let's recap. An incessant focus on visuals to the detriment of a good story. Add to it, expensive movie tickets, seats that are not really comfortable with extremely unhealthy food of poor quality. And they want me to pay 50% more for 3D which I forget I'm watching after the first 5mn? Hum, what do they not get? For $10 a month, Netflix has become a bargain.