Business Week has posted an article examining DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg’s strategy to push for 3D as the future of Hollywood film-making. Before the current back-to-back blockbuster success of AVATAR and ALICE IN WONDERLAND, Katzenberg had long been advocating for wider acceptance of 3D and pushing for more theatres to install the latest technology necessary to project films in the format. According to Katzenberg, every DreamWorks film will now be made in 3D; their current slate of releases includes a trio of computer-animated fantasy/science fiction tales: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (this Friday), SHREK FOREVER AFTER (May 21), and MEGAMIND (November 5).
Part of the reason for adopting 3D (especially IMAX 3D) is that it offers viewers an immersive experience that cannot yet be replicated even on high-def televisions, let alone iPods. Also, theatres can charge more for tickets, boosting the box office results.
The tricky part is that, as more and more films are made in 3D competition grows more stiff, not only for viewer attention but also for available screens. One week after its debut, DreamWorks’ HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON will have to fend off the mythical monsters of Warner Brothers CLASH OF THE TITANS. Two weeks after SHREK FOREVER AFTER, Disney will launch TOY STORY 3 in 3D.
The article fails to note the commonality between all these films, which fall comfortably into either the fantasy or science fiction genre. Although not all 3D movies are cinefantastique, there has been a close connection between the eye-popping technology and genre entertainment. It is relatively easy to imagine how 3D could improve the experience of visiting an alien world in AVATAR or a fantasy land in ALICE IN WONDERLAND. It is a bit more difficult to imagine that PRECIOUS or UP IN THE AIR would be much enhanced by 3D.
Hollywood Reporter informs us that DreamWorks is in the process of acquiring remake rights for FRIGHT NIGHT, which will be produced by Alison Rosenweig and Michael DeLuca. DeLuca has a long line of horror movie credits dating from his time at New Line Cinema during the era of Freddy Kruger; he also wrote the script for the John Carpenter-directed IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS. The 1985 version of FRIGHT NIGHT, written and directed by Tom Holland, is about a teen-aged boy who enlists the aid of a horror movie host when a real-life vampire moves in enxt door.
DreamWorks, whose previous horror remakes include the lockbuster THE RING and the under perperforming THE UNINVITED, also are developing new versions of THE REINCARNATION OF PETER PROUD and ANGEL HEART.
Rosenweig’s other credits include NONSTOP, a science fiction thriller from director Patrick Tatopoulos and producer Len Wiseman, the team behind the latest UNDERWORLD film, RISE OF THE LYCANS, which came out on home video this week after a brief run in theatres earlier this year.
Hollyywood Reporter informs us that Joby Harold is in negotiations to adapt the comic book Atlantis Risinginto a big-budget science fiction film for DreamsWorks, with Len Wiseman attached to direct. Film will be produced by Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci, along with Scott MItchell Rosenberg, the creator of the five-part comic series.
“As a writer, Joby has an amazingly strong understanding of how to take genre seriously, which is prerequisite No. 1 for us when it comes to these kinds of movies,” said Kurtzman, who with Orci produced “Eagle Eye” and scripted “Transformers” and the forthcoming “Star Trek.”
In “Atlantis,” an underworld civilization is discovered after seismic rumbles announce its presence. Hostilities with Earth’s land-dwellers ensue.
“In all the classic versions of this kind of movie, the threat is always from the stars,” Orci said. “The idea that it’s somehow our cousins who went off in a different path of evolution who have been here, literally, underneath our oceans. … That’s fascinating, the idea of secrets right under your nose.”
DreamWorks is planning to have the action-packed blockbuster – in the vein of James Cameron’s ALIENS – in theatres for summer 2011.
In the final weekend of summer box office, SHREK THE THIRD was the top film in the overseas market, thanks to a strong opening in Italy. The film earned $17.2-million, raising its international B.O. to $474-million. The SHREK sequel was one of three “thre-quel” movies to do big business that turned this season into a strong one for Hollywood; the other two were SPIDER-MAN 3 and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END:
The frame capped a sizzling summer offshore as the … three-quels turned in solid numbers — far above the same frame a year ago when “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” led with $11.6 million. And it was a performance exemplifying the entire summer, which saw sturdy grosses from new iterations of “Shrek,” “Spider-Man,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Harry Potter,” “Die Hard,” “Fantastic Four” and “Ocean’s Thirteen” along with impressive contributions from “Transformers,” “The Simpsons Movie” and “Ratatouille.”