Monday, February 4, 2008

More than Super, it was a 3D weekend.

There's a lot of news coming in from over the weekend. Let's see, if you're from my neck of the woods in the North East (which today is a world away from New England) the New York football Giants have definitely made some headlines. Something very super about brothers winning back to back Superbowl MVPs. (I've met some of the Giants and can't congratulate them enough. Well done.) There will be a parade on Tuesday down New York City's "Canyon of Heroes", making for a very Super Tuesday in New York. Speaking of, there's also some kind of political thing happening Tuesday as well. But in showbiz, the only biz we know, there was another very clear and very loud signal that's reverberating through the movie business. So forget the Manning brothers (just for now) and  forget Hilary and Barack. The name emblazoned in 3D on this past weekends box-office is Hannah Montana.

The Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus : Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour sold 29 million in box-office taking the number one slot for it's 3 day opening weekend and making the estimated 7 million production cost seem like a flat out bargain. Now Disney's blowing out it's original plan of a one week release to at least two, and pushing the film into Valentines Day, effectively pushing back the previously planned debut of U2's 3D concert flick, which has already been generating positive buzz of it's own. And there's the rub for 3D at this very early stage of it's widening acceptance. It's quickly becoming apparent that there just aren't enough theaters.

To put this into the language all movie studio marketers understand, a typical big budget, big name release, opens in some 3,000 theaters and can generate a daily per screen average of some $7,000. According to press releases from Reuters yesterday, Hannah Montana, which bowed in only a little over 680 theaters, brought in a whopping $42,500 per screen. Trust me, there's no one in Hollywood that didn't set their latte cups down when they heard that number.

Bob Tourtellotte, in his article for Reuters, went on to report "... elevating the importance of the "Hannah Montana" movie is the idea that the new digital 3D movies are seen as a growing industry trend because theater owners want to put new types of entertainment in their venues... The format also allows live concerts like the Hannah Montana shows, or sporting events like football or basketball games, to be shown in theaters in 3D."

I could not possibly agree more. If you think Giant fans enjoyed watching their Superbowl victory on brand new HD flatscreens, imagine their reaction to reliving every glory filled moment in full-theater size 3D. Think all of those advertisers who produced expensive commercials and dropped an extra few mil for Superbowl airtime. Wouldn't they love to add 3D screenings to their production justifications? What about the Olympics? What about political rallies? What about Cirque Du Soleil productions and Vegas shows? Isn't it great (and exciting) to discover a whole new way to let your imagination run wild?

At Moviedozer.com and here on Moviedozer Dailies, we've been touting the resurrection of 3D in it's new digital iteration as a true milestone for cinema based entertainment. We are truly coming into an era where movies are only one color on a palette of entertainment that runs from sporting events, concerts, theatrical productions, documentaries and live events. The tip of the iceberg bobbed just a bit higher thanks to the talents and energy of a new teen singing sensation but I assure you, the decision to augment The Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds Tour live appearances, with a digital 3D concert film, has taken another enormous step in signaling that there is a whole new world peeking out over movie theater horizons in our very near future. Watch this trend, I promise the results are going to be jumping right off the screen.

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