Bullish Talk of 3D Revenue Opportunities Dominates 2009 NAB Digital Cinema Summit
Las Vegas, NV - National Association of Broadcasters, April 20, 2009 - From high double-digit gains in first-week box office sales and more weekday uptime in movie theaters to enriched gaming experiences and pre-game sellouts for major sports events, industry luminaries were bullish on the revenue-generating opportunities of 3D at the 2009 NAB Digital Cinema Summit -- "From Lens to Living Room" - produced by SMPTE and ETC. The summit is the bellwether event for the now firmly established digital cinema industry.
"In the last 80 years of filmmaking, innovation is usually a fad until a few things happen," said Mark Zoradi, President of the Walt Disney Motion Picture Group and a keynote speaker at the Summit. "One, people look beyond the technology and they lose themselves in the rich stories. Two, the technology is available enough for everyone to enjoy. And, three, there's a string of proven successes to justify the cost associated with the big paradigm shift. Today is an exciting time for theatrical, because all three boxes are coming into alignment."
There currently are approximately 30 3D theatrical releases planned for distribution to digital cinema theaters globally in 2009, and their proven popularity bodes well for the financial fortunes of the filmmaking industry, according to SMPTE executive director Kimberly Maki.
"Movies released in 3D generate two to three times the revenue of the same titles in 2D - and in some cases, as much as six times revenue of traditional 2D releases. On top of that, 3D in the home represents an important secondary revenue stream for studios, which already earn a majority share of per-title revenues from DVD sales," said Maki.
The reason is the medium's ability to underpin a film's creativity, according to Patrick Lussier, director and editor of My Bloody Valentine 3D and a keynote speaker at the Summit. The 3D version of My Bloody Valentine, the widest theatrical 3D film release to date, was responsible for 71% of the total box office for the movie. Setting a new record for 3D, the 3D screens outperformed 2D screens 6:1 in the opening week.
"It was an amazing experience to make a 3D film, and I truly hope I have the opportunity to make one again. "Creatively, there's no better venue. I'd make everything in 3D. It's beautiful - intoxicating."
3D Brings Opportunity to Sports, Entertainment Industries
3D brings opportunities for growth and expanded revenue streams to industries other than the movie industry, according to Chuck Goldwater, President, Media Services Group of Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corporation, and a Summit speaker. Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corporation is currently in a phase-two plan to add 10,000 additional digital cinema screens to its existing 4,000 screen based. "3D is also about live sports and concerts. For theater owners, it improves reliability. We are encouraged," said Goldwater.
"We have not sat still - there's a lot of work going on behind the scenes," said Michael Karagosian of MKPE Consulting. "On the exhibition side, we see 3D as a nearly recession-proof business."
Larry O'Reilly, Executive Vice President/Theater Development for IMAX is similarly enthusiastic. "We are really bullish on the future of 3D - for movie goers, studios, and exhibition partners," said O'Reilly.
Summit Follows Release of Key 3D Standard
In a weekend-long event that featured a series of keynotes, panel sessions, and playout of stunning theatrical release content, leading producers, cinematographers, and technologists detailed the entire 3D path - from acquisition and post production to distribution and display.
This weekend's event followed SMPTE's announcement of the requirements for a stereoscopic 3D Home Master standard that will drive new revenue opportunities for content creators and distributors by enabling 3D feature films and other programming to be played on their home television and computer displays - regardless of delivery channels.
About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) is the leading technical society for the motion imaging industry. As an internationally recognized and accredited standards-setting body, SMPTE develops standards, recommended practices and guidelines, and spearheads educational activities to advance engineering and moving imagery. Since its founding in 1916, the Society has established close to 600 standards, including the physical dimensions of 35mm film and the SMPTE-time code. More recently, it codified the MXF file format to support the exchange of professional AV content and crafted the Digital Cinema Standards, which paved the way for digital movie theaters. Headquartered in New York, SMPTE is comprised of engineers and other technical specialists, IT, and new media professionals, filmmakers, manufacturers, educators, and consultants in more than 65 countries. They are joined at SMPTE by more than 200 sponsoring corporations, principal players in content creation, production, and delivery for all platforms and in entertainment hardware and software. http://smpte.org