3D Fails to Fly, says Stassen

nWave Pictures' Ben Stassen, who produced 3D feature Fly Me To The Moon, is warning that the 3D revolution has failed to materialize. While 3D films are being made and released in abundance, Stassen argues that the industry is now in "a much longer transition phase than anybody had hoped for."

The US, he said, remains chronically short of high-quality 3-D facilities, the financial crisis has slowed down building plans and the 3D theatres in existence are often of poor quality.

"Especially in North America but also a little bit in the UK, the vast majority of screens are totally inadequate," Stassen stated, adding that many theatres don't offer the "immersive" experience that 3-D needs to flourish.

Although 3D films often continue to post higher screen averages than conventional 2-D films, Stassen said that there is little evidence that the format has yet taken hold with exhibitors and filmmakers.

"The revolution is fizzling out a little bit. They lost the window to really make the big push in the theatres," Stassen said.

Fly Me To The Moon has made $36 million worldwide to date, although only $13m of that came from the US release through Summit Entertainment.

Stassen is screening 10 minutes of footage to buyers here from his new 3D epic, Around The World In 50 Years, about the epic journey of a sea turtle beginning from birth in 1959 to maturity in 2009. He is in talks with a number of major partners who are vying to handle the film internationally. It will be ready toward the end of the year.

Stassen has also confirmed details of further sales on Fly Me To The Moon. T-Joy will be releasing the film in Japan next month in conjunction with Sarai. Other territories still to release the film include China, where GDC will handle the film, official authorisation permitting.

Meanwhile, Tri Pictures is handling the film in Spain, Gussi has taken rights in Mexico, Venus Films in India, Golden Harvest in Hong Kong, Odeon in Greece and Nordisk in Finland.

By Geoffrey Macnab, ScreenDaily