The next big thing: 3D ads in 3D movies

The big story out of Hollywood this past week (besides the tragic death of Michael Jackson) is the dramatic box office success of the 3D movie,”Transformers.”

For advertisers, the interesting aspect of this story lies in the recent phenomenal box office success of 3D movies in general around the world. Six months ago, when “Monsters and Aliens” was released, there were many industry execs who doubted the projected success of 3D. Fortunately, they were wrong. When given the choice of seeing “Monsters and Aliens”, “Transformers” or “Up,” audiences overwhelmingly chose the more enhanced 3D experience. According to Daniel Frigo, Executive VP and GM at Disney International, with the release of “Bolt” in Europe, “box office for 3-D was anywhere between 30% and 50% of the total take on far fewer prints.”

Exhibitors are jumping on board. “Every multiplex in the U.K. will have a 3-D screen by Christmas,” predicts Martin Bowley, managing director of Digital Cinema Media, which provides pre-show advertising to cinemas. Aside from the obvious cost benefits of digital (i.e. not having to ship the cans of celluloid), it is much easier to offer advertisers last-minute content changes that can be beamed to theaters. He says their research shows U.K. audiences “are loving the 3-D experience,” and his company plans ads in 3-D as well.”

The cherry on the top? According to MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman, 3D is hard to copy and pirate. That’s good news for all involved in the entertainment business.