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ShoWest 2007: 'Nightmare' a dream for 3-D biz

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  • ShoWest 2007: 'Nightmare' a dream for 3-D biz

    Oldie good for digital 3-D

    'Nightmare' became dream for biz

    By Nicole Sperling and Carolyn Giardina
    The Hollywood Reporter
    March 12, 2007

    "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 3-D" changed it all.

    Before that film's 3-D rerelease in October, 3-D digital cinema still was a technology people questioned. Granted, Walt Disney Pictures had quite a debut with "Chicken Little" -- the first 3-D digital-cinema release -- which bowed Nov. 4, 2005. Sony Pictures also gained traction with its 3-D release of "Monster House" in July. Plus, such famed filmmakers as James Cameron and Robert Zemeckis are committing to new 3-D projects.

    But not until Tim Burton's 1993 film was rereleased in October in 168 theaters, grossing $8.7 million, did all the naysayers admit that perhaps 3-D was here to stay. It became the catalyst needed to spur the deployment of digital cinema.

    "I'm willing to accept the fact that I was wrong because I did not believe that 3-D would be as big of a catalyst as it is now," John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theatre Owners, said in The Hollywood Reporter's ShoWest roundtable. "3-D is becoming a much bigger value add than I originally thought. 'Chicken Little' and 'Nightmare Before Christmas' blew the socks off all our members. When you can take a product that's been around for a while and bring it out and make $9 million, that's impressive."

    Since then, Sony has greenlighted Zemeckis' animated film "Beowulf" for a November release; New Line Cinema began work on "Journey 3-D," set to open Aug. 8, 2008; and Cameron has put his long-awaited project "Avatar" into preproduction for 20th Century Fox with a release date of May 22, 2009.
    full article at
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  • #2
    Re: ShoWest 2007: 'Nightmare' a dream for 3-D biz

    Paramount's "Transformers"

    Record summer sked beckons ShoWest

    By Paul Bond
    The Hollywood Reporter
    March 12, 2007

    It's been called the summer of sequels, but the next few months also is being viewed by industry insiders as a potentially record-breaking season of riches. Starting with Sony's "Spider-Man 3," set to open May 4, and ending with New Line's "Rush Hour 3," slated to open Aug. 10, the schedule is stacked with high-profile releases that are expected to fill theaters and get cash registers cranking.

    "You could call it the year of the sequel, the year of the blockbuster -- whatever you want to call it," says one studio distribution president. "It'll probably have its own name after the summer is over. It's going to be big!" It's on that buoyant note that the exhibition industry convenes in Las Vegas for the annual ShoWest convention, running through Thursday at the city's Bally's and Paris hotels.

    "May is very heavy with blockbusters," Carmike Cinemas vp film Larry Collins says. "You have 'Spider-Man,' and two weeks later comes (Paramount's 'Shrek the Third') then (Buena Vista's) 'Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.' And as great as ('Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest') did last year, it wasn't even released on a holiday weekend. This year it opens on Memorial Day weekend."

    If the summer of 2007 lives up to expectations, it could turn out to be the biggest summer-boxoffice season in history, shattering the record held by the summer of 2004, when 557.4 million admissions generated roughly $3.5 billion in revenue during the 15 week period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

    The number of screens in operation has risen since 2004, and the expanded capacity will be a boon to the business this summer, as anyone who wants to find a seat at the theater should have an easier time.

    A record summer season could lift not only boxoffice but admission numbers to new heights as well. The biggest year at the boxoffice also was 2004, with $9.5 billion collected at the turnstiles. But 2004 was helped along by slightly higher ticket prices. The admissions crown is held by 2002 at 1.6 billion -- the highest tally since 1957, when 1.7 billion admissions were reported.
    Among the films that are expected to get the record mojo going this year: Warner Bros. Pictures' "Ocean's Thirteen" and Sony's "Surf's Up," both set to open June 8, Fox's "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," slated for June 15, and Universal's "Evan Almighty," set for June 22.

    The hit parade continues with Buena Vista's "Ratatouille" on June 29, Paramount's "Transformers" on July 4, Warner Bros.' "Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix," and New Line's "Hairspray" on July 20 and Fox's "The Simpsons Movie" on July 27.

    "Lines beget lines," Buena Vista president of distribution Chuck Viane says. "You get people in there seeing the trailers for the fall movies and one thing triggers another. That's the really great thing about our business. When we're on a roll, there's a snowball effect."

    Each studio has a couple of potential summer blockbusters, but could there be too much of a good thing? In the past, there has been more "breathing room" between films, the studio exec posits, wondering if the titles will step on each other's shelf life. "It will be interesting to see if this is a summer where we open big for a week then go away quickly."
    full article at
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


    • #3
      Re: ShoWest 2007: 'Nightmare' a dream for 3-D biz

      Big films absent from ShoWest

      'Hot Fuzz,' 'Hairspray' to unspool at confab

      'Hot Fuzz'


      By Ian Mohr
      March 13, 2007

      ShoWest has become a party to celebrate hot summer pics, but this year, most of the guests of honor won't be there.

      Exhibitors at the Vegas confab, which runs through Thursday, are particularly bullish on this summer's tentpoles, with hopes of breaking all-time records.

      But there will be no screenings or events to honor the latest entries in the "Spider-Man," "Shrek," "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Harry Potter," "Bourne" or "Ocean's" franchises, or new biggies such as "Transformers."

      Pics expected to unspool in their entirety here include New Line's "Hairspray," MGM's "Mr. Brooks," Paramount's "Disturbia," Picturehouse's "El Cantante" and Rogue's "Hot Fuzz."

      The distribs are excited by these titles, which need equal amounts of exhibitor enthusiasm to protect them against the summer sequels. "There's a growing importance to tentpole films and the value of sequels," said Paramount Pictures Intl.'s Roger Pollock as he showed off a reel of upcoming pics. "Any film without a number after its title certainly has its work cut out for it this summer."
      On opening day Monday, the studios were cocky about all the films in their lineups as they showed off product reels to overseas exhibs as part of ShoWest's Intl. Day.
      But they are largely keeping top-shelf pics under wraps rather than tipping their hands and blowing momentum.
      During their Intl. Day presentations, the majors hammered home their commitment to franchises.

      Mark Zoradi, prexy of the Disney motion picture group, outlined that studio's narrowing focus on family films for the international exhibs, pointing out that the studio has guidelines specifying that pics not contain excessive sex, violence or adult language.

      "We are concentrating on building franchises," he said. "And we firmly believe that this Disney-driven strategy will put us on top in a more competitive world."
      Other studios were going in the opposite direction.
      full article at
      "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


      • #4
        Re: ShoWest 2007: 'Nightmare' a dream for 3-D biz

        Shaping up as an endless summer

        Theater owners salivate over potential hits while studios fret about the fierce competition.

        By Sheigh Crabtree
        Special to The Los Angeles Times
        March 13, 2007

        Photo op
        click to enlarge
        photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
        "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


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