Movie studios may be seeing red this Christmas as they struggle to secure theaters that can show new 3D films in their multi-dimensional glory, DreamWorks Annimation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg told Wall Street analysts this afternoon.
“Right now there is a logjam,” Hollywood’s leading 3D evangelist said. And that will get worse as several potential blockbusters including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 1, MegaMind, and Tron Legacy target holiday season moviegoers.
There are about 5,500 screens in the U.S. that can show 3D. Katzenberg expects that to rise to about 6,500 by year’s end.
What’s holding the business back? Manufacturers of 3D projectors and other equipment are “trying not to balloon out production,” he says.
Consumers, though, accept the idea of paying an additional $3.50 to see a movie in 3D, he says.
As for 3D television, “it will be a number of years before you see (sales) rates that are meaningful.” He predicts as many as 4 million TV sets capable of showing 3D programming will be sold over the holidays — with sports fans and gamers leading the way.
The big breakthrough will come when people won’t need to wear special glasses to see television in 3D. That’s anywhere from six to 10 years off, Katzenberg says.
By David Lieberman