Blockbuster 'Avatar' to accelerate 3D revolution

Jan 06, 2010 by Rob Woollard
The 3D screening of "Avatar" at Fox Studios on December 17 in Los Angeles, California. The runaway success of science fiction blockbuster "Avatar" will accelerate the 3D movie revolution, which has already powered Hollywood to a record year at the box office, analysts say.

The runaway success of science fiction blockbuster "Avatar" will accelerate the 3D movie revolution, which has already powered Hollywood to a record year at the box office, analysts say.

James Cameron's futuristic fantasy is on course to become the highest-grossing movie of all time after smashing the one-billion-dollar barrier in only three weeks over the weekend.

The film, which has a reported budget of between 300 and 500 million dollars, has been hailed as a landmark in movie history and its impact will be felt across the industry, experts say.

"The ramifications of 'Avatar's' performance are huge," said Jeff Bock, chief analyst with box office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations. "Ripple effects are going to occur fast and furiously."

Bock said the stellar success of "Avatar," which is already the fourth highest-grossing movie in history, would persuade other studios that big budget 3D films represented an attractive investment.

"The gains far outweigh the risks right now and if you can have someone like helming your , then you're okay to spend 300 to 500 million dollars on your film because you're going to get your money back and then some," he added.

"Right now, 3D is going to be all the rage and studios are going to jump on a big bunch of 3D films."

According to organizers of a recent 3D film festival in Belgium, more than 150 3D films are currently in various stages of production.

Among them is the long-awaited movie adaptation of comic-book hero "Tintin," directed by Oscar-winner Steven Spielberg and tentatively scheduled for release in 2011.

Cameron meanwhile is reportedly mulling a 3D version of his 1997 mega-blockbuster "Titanic," which remains the top-earning film in history with 1.8 billion dollars.

The 3D boom has been made possible by technological advances, according to movie industry insiders.

"There has been a real resurgence in 3D because the technology of has allowed 3D to be sharper and brighter on screen and a much better audience experience," Mark Zoradi, former president of Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, said in a recent interview.

"It gives movie-goers just another reason to actually continue to go to the cinema. It's something you can't experience at home. It's here to stay and on many it has to be experienced."

Jason Constantine, president of acquisitions and co-productions at Lionsgate, whose properties include the "Saw" horror films, said 3D was more than just a passing fad.

"I think the experience of 3D is going to last for more than just a few years," Constantine told AFP. "I don't think it's just a moment in time."

Action, adventure, science fiction and suspense films were all prime genres for 3D to exploit, Constantine said, provided there was "something intrinsic about the story that 3D will enhance."

Lionsgate plan to unveil the seventh film in its "Saw" franchise this year with the movie designed from "day one as a 3D experience," Constantine said.

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Bob_B
1.4 / 5 (7) Jan 06, 2010
As it turned out the movie is great for 12 year olds. The 3D effects were minimally entertaining. The blurring of images to get a foreground effect sucks. If I wanted blurry I take off my prescription glasses which really are hard to wear along with the other 'glasses' you must wear. Poor design. Yucky movie.
zealous
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 06, 2010
Really? Because I saw the same movie and after my eyes got used to the 3dness of it I can say thet they were rocked right out of my sockets, yeah there was some blurryness at the edges and during close up actions scenes but most of the time it was clean and crisp. Sure blew the previews for other 3d movies they showed before the movie out of the water
DesertEagleMan
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 06, 2010
People still wear glasses? I switched to contacts over a decade ago. Avatar, from where I was sitting, rocked out loud (to borrow my 11 year olds vernacular). 3D added to the overall immersion in world of Pandora. This is the first movie in quite a while, since I saw Star Wars IV, that I want to see again in the theater.
ChipGallo
3 / 5 (1) Jan 06, 2010
Does this mean I have to buy my Blu-Ray collection again, in 3D? Boy is the wife gonna be pissed ...
otto1923
4 / 5 (2) Jan 06, 2010
I dont have depth perception- prenatal nicotine poisoning. This growing cgi tech will allow aging actors and their estates to copyright their younger personas for use as cgi. Who needs actors at all if an animator can tweek a scene ad infinitum until its right? They become the actors. And youll probably prefer them to the real thing.
CreepyD
not rated yet Jan 07, 2010
This is going to be my first ever film I'm going to go to the cinema to see twice. Because of the realistic 3d, it brought Pandora alive and almost made me believe it actually was a real place. No film has ever managed that kind of realism, especially not something as sci-fi as this!
antialias
1 / 5 (1) Jan 07, 2010
Prediction: We will see a lot more eye-candy movies with no story or memorable characters whatsoever (like Avatar).

The older members may remember when the switch was made from floppys to CDs. Suddenly there was a flurry of graphics-intensive videogames with little or no story depth. How many of these do we remember as classics? None.

The quality of a movie isn't measured by its visual impact. Especially in the CGI business things look severly dated if you look at them 5 years later. If a movie has no redeeming values other than what it looks like (and Avatar arguably does look neat) then it will not stand the test of time.

Don't expect a revolution to come of this which will make movies qualitativly better.
zealous
not rated yet Jan 07, 2010
So are you saying that even today games are all flash and no substance? Yes cdroms made people focus on looks over substance but today we not only do we have both some game that have come out in the recent years blow away games from the old days. So chill let the flashy people push the technology forward and the price will go down the technology will get even better. To brush it aside because its not perfect now will never let become better later.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jan 09, 2010
Oh there's no doubt that this technology (or something like it) is OK. But to say that 'Avatar' is a brilliant piece of moviemaking is so far off the mark as to shoot itself in the foot.

Yes, we do have games today that make USE of the technology. But note that what makes these games good is not the CGI. Same with movies. Wha makes movies good is not the eye-candy.

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