The Associated Press takes a look at the changing face of movie theaters, betting on 3D and IMAX formats to bring in audiences:
That’s why more theaters are focusing on movies with monster special effects that don’t show well on a computer screen or in-home theater and that are all but all but impossible for movie pirates to steal — and why major filmmakers such as Jeffrey Katzenberg and James Cameron are banking on 3-D and IMAX technology as the future of cinema. (Panasonic Corp. also announced that they’re going to start selling 3-D televisions next year.)
So far, movie-goers have been more than willing to pay more to see movies in these special formats.
Earlier this month, when IMAX Corp., maker of large-screen movie-theater technology, reported a second-quarter profit with revenues nearly doubled. The company credited its growing cinema network, which includes about 250 theaters equipped to play Hollywood feature films in IMAX format, which uses digital technology to give what some call a notably richer visual experience, including 3-D.
Those films range from “Transformers,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” to the “Harry Potter” films, all aimed at younger audiences. And when IMAX announced a special preview of the upcoming Cameron film “Avatar,” “our Web site got more traffic than you can imagine,” says Greg Foster, chairman and president of IMAX Filmed Entertainment.