3-D Films in 2009 Face Theater Shortage
Every director these days is either enamored with shooting films in 3-D or for IMAX or both. DreamWorks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg has become the 3-D Preacher, going around the country extolling its virtue.
The New York Times, this morning, noted that there’s just one problem: not every theater is equipped to show 3-D movies and its’ awfully expensive to gear up. “Like all studios experimenting with 3-D, Lionsgate is struggling with a shortage of theaters equipped to project the work. By the release date for My Bloody Valentine 3D, Lionsgate will have only 900 3-D screens available, so it will show a 2-D version of the movie on about 1,600 screens,” the Times reported.
The remake of My Bloody Valentine is the first horror film in the current revival of 3-D as a gimmick to make movie going once more a unique experience. “Advances in digital technology and more comfortable glasses — not to mention a young adult audience that doesn’t remember the 3-D horror movies of the past — have studios jumping back on the 3-D bandwagon. Family entertainment is leading the charge, with DreamWorks Animation and the Walt Disney Company set to unleash a blizzard of 3-D pictures over the next year. But the broader market is following fast,” they wrote.
The article noted horror films need something to keep the genre alive given the lackluster box office for the “torture” sub-genre exemplified by Saw and Hostel.
Joe Drake, the co-chief operating officer of Lionsgate and the president of the studio’s motion picture group, said,. “We see 3-D horror as financially lucrative and creatively exciting,” he said. “We want to break some new ground here in R-rated fare.”
“If there was ever a moment when horror needed to be reinvented, this is it,” said Jeanine Basinger, chairwoman of film studies at Wesleyan University. “You can only work one side of the horror street for so long before you have to cross to the other side and explore something new.”
The other option is to remake familiar films with new actors and directors with January 16’s release of Bloody Valentine as the tip of an iceberg. A month later comes the remake of Friday the 13th with A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween 2, and a parade of zombie releases to follow.