Disney says this movie it only going to be out for Two weeks only. Why would they even take the time to do this then?
Here is a small article on what it cost to convert a film to 3D.
From the movie industry’s perspective, much of Avatar’s value lies in the film’s ability to motivate cinema owners to convert to 3D screens. If 3D—and its accompanying $3-to-$5 bump in ticket price—becomes the norm, there will be a financial ripple effect in Hollywood. There’s also the revenue stream that would result from taking 2D hits like Star Wars and Titanic and re-releasing them in 3D. At an average cost of about $30 million to convert a film, Hollywood could have a whole new string of proven blockbusters on its hands for the cost of The Hangover. Avatar can also conceivably impact consumer electronics sales—for shoppers to pony up for one of the new, flat-screen 3D TVs making their way to your local Best Buy, there needs to be a movie worth watching on it. Even further down the line? 3D phones. How else to view the trailer for 2012’s 3D films?
I am not sure if that is how much this cost, but we can add on the marketing for the movie as well, which means they must be expecting a big tally.
Here it shows from my understanding how much it cost companies and theater chains to upgrade!
In order to install a 3-D system, theaters must have digital projectors. And at the moment, there are only 4,600 digital projectors in the United States, according to the National Association of Theater Owners. It costs tens of thousands of dollars to upgrade to digital projectors, and $20,000 to $50,000 more to install a 3-D system. It's a rich investment, and theater owners may not see much of a return on it: Studios, on average, make 55 percent of ticket sales, leaving just 45 percent for the theater owner.
One incentive for digital upgrades: A single film print can cost $1,000 to $1,500, and a widely released blockbuster could require the studio to make 3,000 to 4,000 prints, so distribution costs are not insignificant. These costs will largely be eliminated as more theaters upgrade to digital projectors, so the studios are offering to split the upgrade costs with theater owners.
Under a recent agreement, for example, third-party upgrader Access Integrated Technologies signed deals with four studios -- Disney, 20th Century Fox, Paramount and Universal -- to convert up to 10,000 screens, for an estimated cost of $700 million.
Once studios get theaters to make the switch to digital, the shift to 3-D will be easier -- but it may not immediately improve the economics for studios. While the box-office gross and attendance is higher for 3-D movies, it costs more to make 3-D movies.
Creutz, whose focus is on Dreamworks, doesn't expect the company's roster of 3-D films will have a "huge profitability impact" on the company's earnings. He also expects that theaters won't be able to charge the premiums that they can now, once 3-D movies become mainstream.
"I would guess that in four or five years, 3-D will become somewhat standard," Creutz says.
And then of course, there's some concern that it will only be a matter of time before 3-D hits the home theater, which would leave theater owners back where they started. It seems like a stretch now since the costs of 3-D and digital projectors are exorbitant, but Dorey speculates that 3-D will penetrate home theaters in four or five years' time.
"The technology is already available," Dorey says. "It's not just about movies. It's about getting closer to total immersion for the internet, gaming, or any media experience. The bottom line is that if you're going to suspend disbelief and become part of an experience, it's going to have to be in 3-D."