I’ve mentioned several times that I view James Cameron’s blockbuster “Avatar” as a key factor in determining the fate of 3DTV in the home. It could help launch stereoscopic technology as a central part of the maintstream media, or it could leave the effect in the pile of “gimmicks” used to attract audiences.
It’s still too early to weigh its impact on 3DTV, but it’s clear that all the trailers and extended previews did the job of revving up consumer interest in the movie. According to Variety, it took in more than $236 million worldwide in its premiere weekend. Of that, about $77 million came in from cinemas in the U.S. And keep in mind that the weekend also featured a significant blizzard throughout the northeast, which undoubtedly put a damper on attendence in that area, so the numbers could have been even higher. The movie debuted in 3,452 theaters in the U.S., of which 2,032 showed it in stereoscopic 3D.
So the bottom line at this point is that “Avatar” has been well-received by the audiences. And if it proves out that skillful use of the 3D technology enhanced the experience, then I expect a boost for the 3DTV products we will be seeing at CES in two weeks.