The lack of 3D movies and Internet content movies is set to impact the release of new 3D TVs in Australia, a survey of TV vendors has revealed.
Conducted by ChannelNews this week, the survey found 90 per cent of vendors think the lack of 3D movies or 3D broadcasts by TV stations will have an effect on 3D TV sales between the second quarter of 2010, when several vendors will roll out new models in time for the Soccer World Cup, and late 2011, when up to 20 new 3D movies will be made available for home viewing.
According to the National Association of Theatre Owners in the US, Hollywood studios are now scrambling to release 3D movies, with 20 scheduled to hit cinema screens by the end of 2010.
In Australia, cinema groups are concerned that there are not enough 3D projectors to accommodate the scheduled 3D movie releases, with some distributors now pushing for an early release of movies to stores, according to a JB Hi-Fi source.
Patrick Corcoran, director of media and research for the National Association of Theatre Owners, said. “It’s an unfortunate situation to have more 3D films coming out than the market can currently accommodate. It puts theatres and studios in a really difficult position.”
Next week Sony will kick off a 3D TV war with the release of two new 3D TVs along with a 3D Blu-ray player.
Panasonic, which has the rights to the 3D blockbuster movie Avatar, is now showing retailers a new 3D TV commercial. Retailers claim that the Japanese plasma manufacturer will bundle the movie with a Blu-ray player.
Early next month, Walt Disney will release Alice in Wonderland in 3D. In April, Warner will release Clash of the Titans, which is currently being digitally mastered to 3D. This will be followed by the DreamWorks movie How to Train Your Dragon.
Globally, Samsung has cemented a close relationship with both DreamWorks and Technicolour to further develop 3D display technology.
In July, Universal Pictures will release Despicable Me, followed by another Disney movie, Toy Story 3. In the run up to Christmas, Warner will release a new Harry Potter movie in 3D, while DreamWorks will release Megamind. Disney will also release Tangled in time for the Christmas-New Year holidays.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Hollywood is now tipping billions into the development of 3D movies in an effort to take advantage of demand for the new technology.
Globally, DVD sales, which in the past had been Hollywood’s biggest source of profits, fell 13 per cent last year.
The rollout of new-generation 3-D technology will see cinema ticket prices jump by around $4 in Australia, with consumers offered discounts if they have retained their 3D glasses.
For big-budget movies that come with a global audience, a 3D version may increase a film’s profits by about 25 per cent. Avatar, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd, consistently sold out its higher-priced 3D and IMAX screenings before its 2D ones; 75 per cent of its revenue came from 3D screenings. The film has already topped $2.2 billion at the box office globally. Several studios have said that they are currently converting 2D movies to 3D in an effort to take advantage of demand for 3D movies.