Katzenberg Keynotes 3D Entertainment Summit

By Carolyn Giardina | September 17, 2009 3:06 pm PDT

Jeffery Katzenberg suggested that if exhibition doesn’t grab the 3D opportunity, “it will go down as one of the real great misses of our time.”

He shared his thoughts about 3D, both for the theater and the home, Thursday at the 3D Entertainment Summit in Los Angeles, during a keynote discussion with Bob Dowling, Summit co-producer and conference chair.

On theater pricing, he said: “Exhibition has been incredibly timid about (pricing). Every piece of research we did showed the consumers felt they got a valuable experience at a $5 premium and almost no one adopted (the premium).”

The Dreamworks Animation CEO commented: “I find it amazingly curious how slow the live action business has been at jumping on this opportunity.” And the 3D champion also admitted that he perhaps went too far in predicting that all content would go 3D, adding that it “dampened his credibility.”

Commenting on Technicolor’s 3D approach, he said: “I’ve seen it in a controlled environment. I’ve yet to see it in a large theater, but the early demonstrations looked pretty good. It’s not ideal but we are in an economy unlike anything we faced in our lifetime. So to me, that’s an interim step.”

Katzenberg noted that theater owners have had a few years head start, but “rollout into the home is going to pick up serious momentum next year.”

During the well attended event, he predicted that sports and games would drive 3D to the home faster than other types of entertainment. As to broadcast, Katzenberg noted that with Disney’s work in the 3D arena, he expects “real leadership” from ESPN.

The two-day event at the Hilton in University City featured a conference program and exhibits from companies including 3Ality Digital, Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Sensio and NVidia.