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Summer arthouse movies would have been mainstream 5 years ago

By Scott Mendelson

HollywoodNews.com: These two paragraphs originally ended the Summer Movie Preview: Box Office Review article, but after some prodding, I’ve decided to highlight them in their own post, as they deal with two specific issues worthy of note.

With all the babbling about 3D vs. 2D, at the end of the day it was still the movie. Sure The Last Airbender was helped by 3D ticket prices, and Shrek Forever After had a leggier run than Shrek the Third due to its ability to hold onto premium 3D auditoriums, but at the end of the day, it’s all about the movie. Oh, and that would-be flop Shrek Forever After? Yeah, while it ‘only’ made $237 million in domestic sales, it grossed $720 million worldwide and is the second-biggest global grosser of the summer and topped the $480 million worldwide gross of the first Shrek by 50%. Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore still tanked in 3D ($42 million domestic), because no one cared about the film. Piranha 3D was probably hurt by its 3D, since 2D screens were hard to find, audiences were asked to pay $15 a ticket for admitted schlock. Step Up 3D didn’t break any new franchise ground despite being the first live-action film since Avatar to actually be shot in 3D rather than converted after the fact (no flop, the $40 million picture has amassed $113 million worldwide). As long as studios can pay $5-10 million for a conversion that allows them to charge $5+ more a ticket, the 3D gimmick isn’t going away. But unless the technology improves, it will soon just be ‘that thing that makes it too expensive to take my family to the movies’.

To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos.

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