There's been discussions here and elsewhere about whether movies in three dimesions are just a flash on the silver screen, as in the 1950s, or will have staying power. Personally, I think the question has already been answered, what with all the 3-D features already in the pipeline and marketplace.
Until now, of course, those pictures have mainly been animation and mo cap. But I think the question is about to be answered as regards live action:
Screenings of 16 minutes of footage from "Avatar" were held across the country in 102 Imax locations and in 238 additional theaters overseas ...
The reason behind Fox's decision to mount "Avatar Day" was two-fold: To whip up a fan base among moviegoers and encourage theater owners to install more 3-D screens before "Avatar" opens Dec. 28 ...
Fox's 3-D toon "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" has grossed $615 million at the international B.O., the most of any film this year and surpassing "Titanic" in a handful of Latin American markets. On "Ice Age 3's" opening weekend, the 3-D screens repped only 18% of the total theater count, but made up more than 35% of the gross, at least ...
21st century Three Dee has already lasted way longer than the dimensional movie splurge of 55 years ago. And the box office returns are now way too pronounced for any of the conglomerates to ignore the technology.
It won't be long before 3-D features are the rule instead of the exception. (I'm not sure this is necessarily a good thing; the three dee product I've seen hasn't bothered me, but it seems a tad ... I donno ... gimmicky. Of course, it doesn't really matter what old fuds -- of which I'm a member in good standing -- think is good. It's all about what the prime movie-going audience likes, and it appears to like 3-D quite a lot.)
Last week I talked to some of the crew that is working on the dimensional reboot of Beauty and the Beast at Disney. When I mentioned semi-facetiously that I couldn't wait for the 3-D versions of Gone With the Wind, Wizard of Oz and Casablanca to roll out, one of the artists said to me:
"After working on Beauty and seeing what's being done with it, I think it would be kind of neat to work on those old pictures and make them into 3-D. The process is getting easier and more powerful all the time, and I think maybe it will happen."
If the studios sniff money to be made in reconfiguring old productions ... and the cost for doing it is low enough ... I have few doubts that at some point we'll see Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion and the rest of the Oz posse prancing down the yellow brick road in glorious Three Dee.
The quest for increasing cash flow and profit margins, after all, is eternal.