Despite ticket prices of up to $25, audiences flocked to 3-D premium offerings in 2008. Several blockbusters, like "The Dark Knight," also benefited from the premium pricing associated with Imax viewing. 3-D offerings also fared well in complimentary areas; preliminary numbers indicate the "Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds" 3-D video-on-demand concert on STARZ On Demand has already garnered hundreds of thousands of views.
According to a recent study by Nielsen, gross sales increased by more than 65% for films exhibited in 3-D (versus traditional film only) -- due to premium pricing and higher attendance.
But not all theaters are created equal. According to Nielsen, the breakeven point for individual theaters depends on several factors, including the total number of screens and 3-D installation costs.
Another major factor is the total number of 3-D movies released by the industry. According to a separate study by Nielsen, that magic number is twelve -- as in, if twelve 3-D movie titles are released in 2009, all theaters -- both large and small -- will see profits.
With as many as 11 major movie releases expected to hit the screens in 2009, including Dreamworks' "Monsters vs. Aliens," there's a good chance theaters will be seeing "green" in 3-D.
Read the full study: "Nice To Have Or A Must Have: A look At 3-D films."
View a related webinar: "Pursuing 3-D, In A 2-D World."
Read Nielsen's recent 3-D payout analysis: "The Financiers Weigh In: A Go/No Go Payoff Analysis of 3-D Installation."