3D box office doubles in 2010


Our friends at media consultancy IHS Screen Digest  did the math: Global box office for 3D grew from $2.5 billion in 2009 to $6.1 billion last year, which made for a 19.3% share of overall theatrical collections (2009: 8.6%). Of that total, international territories accounted for 64.6% (2009: 53.8%), with nine territories grossing more than $200 million each and 14 others more than $100 million.

In terms of regional distribution, cinema analyst Charlotte Jones noted the largest share in Europe (24%) in comparison to North America (20.5%). 3D accounted for more than one-quarter of total box-office revenues in six territories, including Poland, Russia (33.1% share) and the Czech Republic. Following Japan’s largest individual gross ($471 million), the United Kingdom was the strongest 3D theatrical market in Western Europe ($427 mil. and 27.5% share). Of the countries profiled by IHS Screen Digest, Norway reported the lowest 3D box-office ratio (15.8%), followed by Turkey (15.9%). Norway also recorded the highest average 3D ticket price, but “this was relative to its blended ticket price.”

Global 3D Box Office in 2010:
The Top Five Territories

(in millions of U.S. dollars)
1.    USA: 1,979.5
2.    Japan: 471.0
3.    U.K: 427.6
4.    France: 364.7
5.    Russia: 336.5

Norway Is All Digital
In July 2011, after a yearlong rollout, Norway became the first country in the world to have been fully digitized. “It has been a challenge due to [its] elongated shape with sparsely populated areas, but the process took one year less than anticipated,” and “VPF [virtual print fee] income is a bit higher than predicted,” with payments ending in 2017. Cinema association Film & Kino further noted that all 420 screens are equipped with mainly Christie projectors and Doremi servers, but 65 Sony 4Ks have also been installed and about 80% of the cinema locations are 3D-capable. Whereas the western region exclusively installed some 50 Dolby 3D units, the rest of the country deployed another 35 from Dolby along with XpanD (35), RealD (66) and MasterImage (31).

“This is a great achievement for Norway,” noted Jorgen Stensland, head of consultants at Film & Kino, who thanked all U.S. studios and local distributors such as SF-Norway and Nordisk Film “for working with us in this scheme.” In addition to the previously mentioned technology providers, additional shout-outs went to Unique Cinema Systems, Nordic Digital Alliance and DNB-NOR Finance.

Katuaq Bio Goes 4K

Greenland’s premier cultural venue, Katuaq Bio, installed Sony 4K projection and RealD 3D in its 500-seat theatre. Sony technology was chosen for the location in the capital of Nuuk “because it offers our audience the best possible picture and cinema experience,” said Ove Heilmann, cinematic and banqueting manager at Katuaq.

Portugal Enters IMAX Zon
ZON Lusomundo Cinemas entered a joint revenue-sharing agreement for the very first digital IMAX theatre systems in Portugal. The three large-format screens will be retrofitted into existing locations, with the first expected to be ready by year’s end. “We have been impressed by the growth and success of IMAX in Europe,” noted Luis Mota, general manager of ZON Lusomundo Cinemas. “Our joint revenue-sharing model has proven to be successful in Europe,” confirmed Larry T. O'Reilly, IMAX's executive VP, theatre development. “We look forward to building on this segment of our business in one of our most important growth markets.”

Kosslick Gets Carte Blanche at MoMA
Celebrating his tenth anniversary as director of the Berlin International Film Festival, Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art invited Dieter Kosslick (“The Culinary Cineaste”) to program some of his favorite food films. Eleven from the museum collection, including German (co-)productions Mostly Martha and Le quattro volte, as well as Babette’s Feast, Ratatouille and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, screened August 22-30.

“Kosslick has long been engaged in issues related to food, pleasure and ecology, as well as their cultural significance and cinematic presentation,” MoMA noted. In 2007, the Berlinale launched Culinary Cinema to call attention to that very relationship, Kosslick confirmed. “Food brings people together and connects them with their surroundings. A country’s cuisine is a yardstick of its culture. I kindly thank MoMA and especially [chief curator] Rajendra Roy for this wonderful invitation.” In addition to a film food-inspired podium discussion, Gabriel Kreuther, Michelin-starred chef of The Modern, conceived dishes inspired by the films in the series. Thankfully, Super-Size Me was not on Kosslick’s menu.

Paddy Powers Potter
After getting the odds right, or not, on The Tree of Life winning this year’s Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, the Irish bookies at Paddy Power pondered the fate of the latest and last Harry Potter adventure.

Here are some spells that have (not yet) been broken (with odds effective before opening weekend): Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 to be the highest-grossing film worldwide in 2011 (4/6), in the series (5/2 and already done!) and to be the highest grossing film of all time, beating Avatar’s 2.7 billion (10/1). The winning global box-office take on opening weekend of more than $400 million worldwide was originally set at 10/1. Pessimists who estimated below $300 million had it coming at 7/2.

Still wild about Harry? The odds of Prince Harry becoming J-Lo’s next boyfriend are 200/1.

BFI Appoints Stewart
After five years of programming the Sydney Film Festival, and 16 in programming overall, Clare Stewart joined the British Film Institute at the end of August. In her newly created position as head of exhibition, Stewart is responsible for “the cultural and commercial performance” of BFI Southbank, BFI Festivals including the BFI London Film Festival, and BFI IMAX. Heather Stewart, BFI’s creative director, said this is an opportunity to “think about how we reach audiences for both historical and contemporary filmmaking in our festivals and all year round.”

E-mail news and comments for Andreas Fuchs to kevin.lally@filmjournal.com.