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Sunday, January 02, 2011

The Top Ten Most Anticipated 3D Movies Of 2011

We have come a long way haven't we? From educating the masses that modern 3D is not about red / blue cardboard glasses and headaches to raving about the number 1 movie of all time!

Let's not forget 2010 just yet - It was a standout year for a number of reasons:
- We learned the hard way that not all 3D conversions will be well done (CLASH OF THE TITANS), yet it was still successful ($493m).
- We learned that some 3D conversions can be spectacular.
- We also learned that native 3D is still the best way to achieve stereoscopic goals.
- AVATAR achieved outrageous box office success, outdistancing the nearest non-Cameron competitor (THE RETURN OF THE KING) by almost three times. Then its subsequent DVD release broke records again!
- TOY STORY 3 broke $1 billion ($1,063,000,000).
- ALICE IN WONDERLAND broke $1 billion ($1,024,000,000).
- 3D screens have exploded everywhere. Of the 39,380 screens in the US in March, 2010 - 3,378 are 3D. 10% and growing!
- Even today, 5 of the top 7 movies are 3D. Impressive because not all screens are 3D capable yet! Indeed, two weekends ago the top three movies were 3D: TRON:LEGACY, YOGI BEAR and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWNTREADER.
- More and more directors are coming aboard! Martin Scorsese, Werner Herzog, Michael Bay to name a few. It is a better question to ask which directors are NOT shooting in 3D these days. Like Christopher Nolan.
- Huge announcements that THE HOBBIT movies, STAR WARS movies, SPIDER-MAN reboot and Marvel's upcoming slate will be all in 3D.
- We learn that AVATAR 2 and 3 are a go with Cameron attached for his next directing projects.
- Not only has 3D movies become a part of our culture, but so has 3D gaming! The stereoscopic 3D game CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS sets records worldwide (Over $1b).
- 3DTV truly was born in 2010. Multiple 3D channels have been launched including Next3DTV, ESPN 3D, DirecTV with 3 new 3D channels and Discovery / IMAX / Sony teamed up to give us new 3D content for history, space, exploration, adventure, children's programming, science and technology. Don't forget that the 3D movies that were once in theaters and select classics are available in Blu-ray 3D too.

So with that, let's move on to 2011! The sheer number of top quality 3D projects for this year is astounding and I had a hard time selecting the bottom five. Top five were relatively easy though! Looking forward to your debate...

MARKETSAW'S TOP TEN MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIES OF 2011:

10. KUNG FU PANDA: THE KABOOM OF DOOM (May 27, 2011)
The first of this franchise did very well at the box office despite the fact this was the second to last 2D effort from DWA. I am expecting a huge opening here, rivaling CARS 2. It was a toss up between these two animations for the 10th spot, but I am looking more towards seeing the panda again. Hopefully any CARS 2 story issues have been resolved!

9. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES (May 20, 2011)
On a somewhat tighter budget leash this time around, Bruckheimer has is ace up his sleeve with Johnny Depp as Captain Jack. The 3D installment for the franchise should reinvigorate the energy.

8. HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2 (July 15, 2011)
I am anxious to see what is possible with a Potter movie that is totally 3D! We missed seeing the first one as time ran out on them, but this final installment should be done right. We'll see!

7. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (July 22, 2011)
The more appealing Marvel choice for me this summer is CAPTAIN AMERICA over THOR. I think the project has quality written all over it and it needs to be successful to set up a run for THE AVENGERS. I say Chris Evans nails it.

6. SANCTUM (Feb 4, 2011)
What can I say? SANCTUM is a James Cameron production which means incredible attention to detail and craftsmanship. 3D is ideal for underwater adventure so I have a great deal of anticipation for this one.

5. GREEN LANTERN (June 17, 2011)
Ryan Reynolds looks perfect for the role and despite what some say about how the trailer looks, I am 100% for it. I think this is the top super hero movie of the year. Go see it.

4. CONTAGION (Oct 21, 2011)
Steven Soderbergh has been hard at work on this thing for quite some time now. Starring Matt Damon, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow and Lawrence Fishburne I am expecting nothing less than a summer, edge of your seat yet cranial blockbuster.

3. HUGO CABRET (Dec 9, 2011)
Martin Scorsese's first 3D movie! What more do I need to say?? Can't wait.

2. TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON (July 1, 2011)
I have been somewhat hard on Bay in the past but I have come full circle. I think he has matured in his career and quite possibly this will be the first of many critically embraced movies. Certainly far better than TF2. The fact that Bay is merging his style of shooting with native 3D is enough for me. But promises of a better story is so enticing. The trailer looks awesome!

1. THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN (Dec 28, 2011)
A no-brainer. Steven Spielberg. Peter Jackson. Working together with AVATAR technology with one of the world's most adored animation characters of all time. You can COUNT on this one being the cinematic event of the year. Without reservation.

Honorable Mention: CARS 2, THE GREEN HORNET, THOR, PRIEST, DRIVE ANGRY, HALLOWEEN 3D, THE THREE MUSKETEERS, RISE OF THE APES

My hardest decision was not including CARS 2 in my top ten.
There were rumors of story issues which I am sure John Lasseter has worked out, but still personally, I am looking forward to KUNG FU PANDA slightly more at this point.


THE GREEN HORNET may surprise me!
It has certainly gained some appeal with me over the past few weeks with their marketing so we will see. Not on my top ten list though.


I love the tandem of director Patrick Lussier / writer Todd Farmer
and they have two top quality movies coming out in 2011: DRIVE ANGRY and HALLOWEEN 3D. I am definitely looking forward to seeing both of these but unfortunately the competition on my list this year is fierce.


THOR and RISE OF THE APES may surprise as well.


Let me know what you think!
What changes would YOU make?


Sources: Variety | Box Office Mojo


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