Reports: Warner Chopping Month Off ‘Ga’Hoole’ 3D Theatrical Release12 Feb, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Hollywood appears to abandoning the big screen following reports that Warner Bros. plans to shorten to 86 days the Sept. 24 theatrical 3D release of Guardians of Ga’Hoole from director Zack Snyder (Watchmen).
Warner, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is apparently following the lead taken by Walt Disney Studios, which earlier this week said it would cut 21 days from the March 5 Alice in Wonderland 3D theatrical release starring Johnny Depp.
The studios are curtailing the films’ big screen times in order to release the titles in 2D on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.
Hollywood is determined to establish a retail window for packaged media in an effort to combat sluggish disc sales and growing competition from $1 DVD rental kiosks, among other issues.
In an effort to assuage rising concerns among theater operators displeased to see potential lucrative runs for 3D movies cut short, studios have indicated they will limit the number of curtailed theatrical releases to two titles per year.
Indeed, 3D theatrical revenue accounted for 9% of the 2009 domestic box office, according analyst Ralph Schakart with William Blair & Co. in Chicago.
With Sony launching a 3D-enabled Blu-ray player, and CE manufacturers readying 3D-capable televisions, 3D editions of the movies on Blu-ray Disc are possible as well.
Representatives from Warner were not immediately available for comment.