The next generation of three-dimensional cinematography will provide an experience for moviegoers that cannot be duplicated in home theater systems, Hollywood executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said Tuesday at ShoWest 2008.
Until now, 3-D movies have been transformed from two-dimensional film, the chief executive officer of DreamWorks Animation SKG told a packed audience at Paris Las Vegas' Theatre des Arts.
Starting with DreamWorks' 2009 release of "Monsters vs. Aliens," audiences will see and feel firsthand how the latest advancements in 3D animation technology can immerse them in a new kind of moviegoing experience, Katzenberg said.
"For me, it's nothing less than the greatest innovation in the movie-making business since the advent of color 70 years ago," he said. "It's our chance to offer something different that can't be done in the home."
Katzenberg said customers are more than willing to pay a premium for an exceptional experience at the theater and this is an opportunity to grow not only revenue, but admissions.
Movie theater box offices grossed $9.6 billion in 2007, a 2.2 percent increase from the previous year, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners.
With the audience wearing 3D glasses, Katzenberg showed a clip from "Monsters vs. Aliens," which reinvents the classic 1950s monster movie as an irreverent modern-day action comedy. In this clip, the president of the United States (Kiefer Sutherland) encounters an alien robot that lands on Earth and starts terrorizing the country.
Katzenberg has developed his reputation on animated films such as the "Shrek" trilogy, "Lion King" and "Over the Hedge."
Technological developments have created new innovations and design tools than can capture 3D images of unparalleled quality, Katzenberg said. Digital 3D has the ability to create a feeling of depth that can immerse an audience into a story, heightening the feeling of the movie for the viewer, he said.
Dan Glickman, chairman and chief executive officer of the Motion Picture Association of America, said the industry's future is bright, citing 28 films that grossed $100 million or more last year, seven that brought in $200 million and four that topped $300 million.
"Movies transcend politics," Glickman said. Some of his favorites from last year included "Charlie Wilson's War," which was a favorite in Washington, and "The Lives of Others," a foreign film that "made us stop and think about totalitarianism," he said.
Even during tough economic times, 77 percent of people said going to the movies was money well spent, Glickman said.
ShoWest 2008, which runs through Thursday, is expected to draw more than 5,000 people from the motion picture industry to Las Vegas.
Contact reporter Hubble Smith at email@example.com or (702) 383-0491.