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Analyst: In-Home 3D Evolving Quickly


By : Erik Gruenwedel | Posted: 02 Feb 2010

With 3D theatrical revenue topping $1 billion, or more than 9% of the 2009 total domestic box office, the renaissance of a former 1950s optical gimmick into the next great studio evolution could generate $1 billion in home entertainment revenue, according to a new report.

Ralph Schackart, digital media analyst with William Blair & Co. in Chicago, in his report The Future in Digital Media, said growing consumer interest in 3D movies, coupled with consumer electronics manufacturers establishing uniform standards and cable/satellite operators bowing 3D channels this year, underscore a burgeoning home market.

“We believe the in-home 3D market is developing faster than is widely known,” Schackart wrote in the report.

Indeed, no less than 17 major studio movies will be released theatrically in 3D this year, including Disney’s Alice in Wonderland March 5; How to Train Your Dragon (March 26), from DreamWorks Animation; Piranha 3D, from The Weinstein Co. (April 16); Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 (June 18); Despicable Me, from Universal Studios July 9; Warner Bros.’ Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore (July 30); Step Up 3D Aug. 6 (Disney); Friday the 13th: Part 2 Aug. 13, from Paramount; Guardians of Ga’Hoole (Sept. 24), from Warner; Lionsgate’s Alpha and Omega (Oct. 1) and Saw VII 3D (Oct. 22); Megamind Nov. 5, from DreamWorks Animation; Disney’s Rapunzel (Nov. 24); Yogi Bear, from Warner Dec. 17; Disney’s Tron Legacy (Dec. 17) and James Cameron’s Sanctum.

Schackart believes the 3D domestic box office will range from $5.7 billion to $15 billion by 2015, with the optical format accounting for 28% growth in theatrical revenue.

“We believe 3D ticket premiums can continue to trend up over time and reach at least $4 [above regular ticket price], potentially growing to $5 over the longer term,” he wrote.

Eventually all titles should be released on Blu-ray Disc pending consumer reaction/CE readiness for this year’s inaugural 3D Blu-ray releases, including Monsters vs. Aliens (DreamWorks Animation), Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) and Disney’s A Christmas Carol, he wrote.

Indeed, he wrote Blu-ray will be a key driver of 3D movies in the home, underscored by television manufacturers increasing the in-home install base from 3 million homes to 4 million homes.

“Blu-ray is positioned to be the leading in-home device for playing 3D content,” he wrote.

The report said that by 2017, there would be 100 million Blu-ray players installed with 100% compatibility for 3D content and generating $125 million in incremental license revenue.


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