2009 represents a crucial year for 3D cinema. With a strong slate of films scheduled to land in theatres this year, it's certainly reassuring that moviegoers are beginning to respond positively to films such as My Bloody Valentine 3D and Coraline.
Since opening on February 6, Coraline has grossed nearly $55 million, and it's holding its audience very well. While most films plummet as much as 50% percent during their second weekend of release, the Focus release fell only 12% during its second frame and it dropped only 23% this past weekend. Comparatively, Hotel for Dogs, another recent family film, fell 24% its second weekend and 33% during its third. The Pink Panther 2 dropped 27% during its second weekend and 55% in its third frame.
With such positive results, it's no wonder that cinema advertising is also going to make the transition into the 3D format.
Cinema advertising giant Screenvision is now working with organizations such as Legend Films and 3ality in order to help its advertisers make the leap to 3D. According to Mike Chico, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Screenvision, 3D ads won't fully take hold until the third or fourth quarter of 2009. Still, the company has put an incredible amount of faith behind in the potential of the spots considering that they'll run immediately before the 3D trailers and the 3D films. So far, they've tested 15-second 3D spots overseas for such products as Fiat, Vodafone and Red Bull.
Currently, Screenvision reaches 941 3D screens at 493 theatres. With each new 3D release, the screen count across the country is growing.
3ality and Legend Films specialize in helping advertisers enhance their cinema ads. In the case of 3ality, they shot the first 3D commercial broadcast during the Super Bowl for DreamWorks and SoBe Lifewater as well as the first 3D episode of a scripted television series, which was NBC's Chuck. As for Legend Films, they've worked with everyone from MTV and ESPN to major studios such as Paramount, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox to convert exisiting 2D ads into 3D.
While converting a successful 2D ad into a 3D one is something that takes Legend Films only a week to complete, the process of shooting in 3D isn't much more complicated than the one for 2D.
"When you shoot 3D, you get a perfectly fine 2D version out of it," Steve Schklair, Founder and CEO of 3ality Digital Systems told B OXOFFICE. "On live action it doesn't add a phenomenal amount of costs, and it ads nothing to the schedule. It requires one or two extra crew members and a little bit of extra equipment."
David Martin, CEO of Legend Films, emphasizes the point that audiences have even been responding positively to production company logos being shown in 3D, which means that moviegoers almost expect the entire experience of going to see a 3D movie to be consistently presented in that format.
Schklair agrees that 3D commercials are an important part of the overall moviegoing experience.
"If you're going to the theatre to watch a 3D movie, there's going to be so little impact to a 2D ad in front of it when you're about to be shown amazing, spectacular images. It'll just get lost as noise," said Schklair.