Monday, March 24, 2014

TRANSCENDENCE Gets 3D Release After All - In China ONLY !?!

This is ludicrous. I can understand to a certain degree why studios would not necessarily shoot or convert their productions in 3D for various reasons, but for the life of me I don't understand why they would spend the money on a 3D conversion of a tentpole and then only release it in one country! Who is actually running this show? It's ridiculous!

Take DIVERGENT for example from Lionsgate. I saw it last night and while it is a bit contrived, 3D could have served it well and I kept thinking over and over again how much money Lionsgate is leaving on the table with each and every DIVERGENT, TWILIGHT or HUNGER GAMES movie they have released. Still, and this is a big STILL, they did not spend any money on a 3D conversion so they got what they paid for.

Warner Bros. and it's producing partners DMG and Alcon Entertainment are actually forking over the money to have it converted to 3D and then, in a brilliant business movie (not), only releasing it 3D in one country - China!

The only thing I can think of is since DMG (Beijing based) is also the Chinese distributor for TRANSCENDENCE, they may have solely paid for the 3D conversion with the other producers and distributors stubbornly abstaining (probably due to the personal wims of the antiquated first time director of the movie). Since DMG potentially paid for it alone, they alone should reap the box office benefit.

Anyway you look at the distribution though, it looks ludicrous. So congratulations to the Chinese who were able to bypass the political and moronic maneuvering of the North American pencil pushers and get to see TRANSCENDENCE in 3D, all while enjoying a much better revenue stream. I wouldn't be surprised if China's box office SURPASSES the North American for the movie simply because of these decisions.

Warner Bros. had better take a strong look at the opportunity cost of hiring Wally Pfister for directing any tentpole like this. Sure, there is his justifiable salary and percentage of the gross (it is his IP after all), but I'm talking about how much money Warner is losing from NOT going 3D everywhere else. If the movie takes in $500 million, they've lost conservatively $100 million. That, my friends, is one expensive director.

Anyway it's not like I'm refusing to see the movie when it comes out in flat, it's the irony of a production's owners paying for a worthwhile endeavor and then throwing the vast majority of the benefit away. Sad really. But again, congrats to the Chinese. ENJOY!!

Source: THR

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