Hollywood Bets Big on 3-D Future & James Cameron's "Avatar"

James_cameronAfter years of dismissing 3-D as child's play, Hollywood studios are betting that films shot and projected in the format will boost takings at the box office.

The size and scope of the bet is driven by the number of US cinemas capable of showing films in 3-D, which  has trebled in three years to more than 700 and is expected to rise to 3,000 by 2009. New, lightweight digital camera technology has also sparked an increase in the number of films being shot and produced in 3-D creating a truly lifelike look and feel, and the per-screen average take is three times that of a regular movie.

The 3-D cinema experience still requires glasses although they resemble trendy sunglasses rather than the cardboard glasses used in the 1950s with horror films like The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Legendary Canadian director and three-time Academy Award winner, James Cameron will direct his first film since his 1997 Titanic. The $200 million 3-D Avatar, starring Sigourney Weaver tells the story of a band of humans battling for survival with the inhabitants of a distant planet. Avatar, will make use of "synthetic", or computer-generated, actors in leading roles who appear to be real but do not exist in the physical world. Avatar is also an emotional journey of redemption and revolution; a story of a wounded ex-marine, thrust unwillingly into an effort to settle and exploit an exotic planet rich in bio-diversity, who eventually crosses over to lead the indigenous race in a battle for survival. Cameron will be collaborating with Peter Jackson, director of Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The 52-year-old director of the Terminator series and Alien said he had conceived the project 11 years ago but had been waiting for technological advancements that will enable him to bring his vision to the big screen. Posted by Casey Kazan.

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