3-D Movie Trend Carrying Over to the Toy Aisle
Moviegoers will be reaching for their 3-D glasses in 2009. Experts
anticipate that 25% of the family-targeted films slated for release this
year will be in 3-D, and that the number of screens that can support
digital 3-D projection will more than double by year’s end. At the
moment, only about five per cent of American cinemas (roughly 38,834
screens) can support the technology.
This weekend’s upcoming release of Dreamworks $165 million
Monsters vs. Aliens is the first 3-D release of the season to also carry
product into the toy aisle. Toy Quest, master licensee for the
film, already has products such as the alien ray blaster and ultimate
bridge battle playset on toy shelves.
Even though the percentage of 3-D compatible theatres is smaller in
other countries than in the U.S., the trend to go 3-D is definitely
going global. The opening-night premiere at the 62nd Festival de Cannes will feature
a 3-D presentation of Walt Disney Pixar’s animated picture
“Up.” Disney reports it’s the first time an animated
feature or a 3-D feature would be part of the opening festivities.
“Up” opens in the United States on May 29th; Jun Planning is
the master toy licensor.
It is estimated that 3-D movies will draw 10 percent more viewers
than 2D equivalents, and each person willing to pay about $3.50 more per
ticket will result in $300 to $400 million in additional earnings for
theater companies – about a fifth of the total box-office
take. Toymakers behind the licensing of these films hope
this will translate into product sales . . . starting now and continuing
into fourth quarter.
“3-D Movies are very likely to drive families to the theater
for the full experience,” said Reyne Rice, TIA’s toy trend
specialist. “The effects that bring the characters to life
are magic to parents and children, and not as easily replicated at home
The release of Disney Nature’s Earth will coincide with Earth
Day on April 22nd. Earth tells the story of three animal families and
their amazing journeys across the planet we all call home. Toys from the
movie will be available from Imagination Games and Canadian Toy.
Pixar’s Toy Story 1 will be re-released in 3-D for the first
time, and master licensees Mattel and Thinkway’s toys will be
in-store prior to the October release. Pixar will be re-releasing Toy
Story 2 in 3-D in February 2010 and the brand-new Toy Story 3 (also in
3-D) in June of 2010.