Jeffrey K. sells live-action 3-D.
YOU MENTIONED THE LACK OF LIVE-ACTION FILMS IN 3D. HAVE YOU TALKED TO PEOPLE AT THE OTHER STUDIOS ABOUT THAT?
Katzenberg: I talked till I was blue in the face last year and at the beginning of this year, and then I just felt the results will speak louder than anything I have to say. Hopefully, be more meaningful and more impactful on people that are in a place to make these decisions. You only have to see the results to realize what's going on. That's why I think Jim Cameron's "Avatar" will be the watershed moment; it will break the dam. It will show the live-action side of the business that it has the same value and opportunity we've seen with results on a worldwide basis for our product ...
I believe "Avatar" will be to 3-D what "The Wizard of Oz " was to color. It was a seminal moment. If you go back and look, not only did "The Wizard of Oz" use color, it used it in such an exciting and compelling way, that's where the floodgates opened.
I think that Jeffrey is doing a masterful job here pushing the cause of 3-D.
He's a little wrong in his comparison, however. The Wizard of Oz was certainly a swell color film. And it was a big presence in the national psyche when Mr. Katzenberg and I were growing up, because it was an annual event on television that drew huge ratings on those early, round-tube RCA color sets.
But it was a semi-flop when it came out in 1939. losing money for M-G-M. (Of course, years later during the television age, it became a dandy money-maker.)
So, "opening the floodgates" for color movies? Don't think so. That honor would no doubt go to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Gone With the Wind (1939) two films that had monster grosses in those long-ago times of three-strip Technicolor. (Of course, Snow White isn't much of an example for live-action color movies, is it?)
But for anybody who doesn't know the original box office history of The Wizard of Oz, it's a perfect film to tout when making a 3-D/color comparison. Because Wizard is now an icon. A wowser. A filmic touchstone.
It just isn't the movie that opened any floodgates.
(The actual floodgate opener, not to be too much of a nudge about it ...)