Katzenberg sees rosy 3-D view
DreamWorks Animation stumps for format at ShowEast
By Carl DiOrio
The Hollywood Reporter
Oct 17, 2007
ORLANDO -- DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg was positively animated Tuesday in tub-thumping 3-D animation to ShowEast 2008's assembled exhibitors.
"If a picture is worth a thousand words, a 3-D picture is worth 3,000," grinned the energetic Katzenberg, whose personal and executive zeal for the technology has made him the industry's 3-D poster boy during the past couple of years.
But as head of the world's biggest pure animation studio, he said, the proselytizing is traceable to a need to make DWA stand out in a suddenly crowded marketplace.
"A couple of years ago, there was something of an onslaught of animated films," Katzenberg said. "Suddenly, our films were a little less special."
But if his 3-D fervor was borne of business necessity, the advent of 3-D filmmaking and exhibition also is "an opportunity for a game-changer for your business," he told exhibitors filling a large ballroom at the Orlando Marriott World Center.http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/...32ccae265293a4As for exhibitors, they still are waiting to see a truly big 3-D title and how consumers embrace such a release. Previous dabbling has included Disney's using some 3-D screens for its release of the animated feature "Chicken Little" and Warner Bros. going 3-D with the animated "The Polar Express" -- neither a real paradigm shifter but notable as early mover efforts.
But there already are some true believers in the exhibition community, including a theater executive sharing the stage with Katzenberg.
"It certainly delivers an audience and can invigorate the exhibition industry," said Chris Johnson, vp at suburban Chicago-based Classic Cinemas.
Classic, which operates 88 screens in 12 theaters, has three 3-D screens. With "Chicken Little," the chain enjoyed grosses more than one-third higher than would have been true without 3-D availability, Johnson said.
"Literally, with one picture, you will have paid for the cost of the installation of one screen," Katzenberg said.