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Analyst: 3D Going to the ‘Cats & Dogs’

2 Aug, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Following the lackluster $12.2 million opening box office for family-friendly Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, including about 55% from 3D screens, the bloom appears to be waning for 3D.

The result also points to the likelihood consumers believe not all movies are worth paying a premium for a 3D experience, which could affect ongoing early rollout of 3DTVs, compatible Blu-ray Disc players and 3D movies.

Indeed, Richard Greenfield, analyst with BTIG Research in New York, found that in Boise, Idaho, a $4 difference between children’s fares for Cats & Dogs ($11.25) and Ramona and Beezus in 2D ($7.25), and adult tickets for Cats & Dogs in 3D ($11.50) and Inception ($7.50).

Prices were no different in Los Angeles, where a child’s ticket for Cats & Dogs in 3D cost $13.25 ($14 for adult), $9.25 for Ramona and $10 for Inception (adult).

A recent BTIG consumer survey found respondents were willing to absorb upwards of $2 per ticket premium for 3D screenings.

It is also fortuitous Warner Bros. chose not to release the complex, mind-bending thriller Inception from director Christopher Nolan in 3D and have some viewers experience vertigo instead of price shock.

“We find it hard to fathom that its costs 55% more for a child to see Cats and Dogs than Ramona and 50% more for a child to see Cats and Dogs than an adult to see Inception, simply because you need to wear 3D glasses to see Cats and Dogs,” Greenfield wrote in post.

The analyst contends studios are force-feeding consumers 3D movies in an effort to generate higher margins from 3D tickets, and offset declining theatrical attendance due to ongoing recessionary pressures.

“We believe nearly 60% of moviegoers simply chose to see [Cats & Dogs] in 2D, [which is] not a good sign for 3D,” Greenfield wrote.

Upcoming 3D theatrical releases include Step Up 3D (Disney) Aug. 6 and Piranha 3D (Weinstein/Dimension) Aug. 20.


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