Jury Still Out on 3D Market Titles
Sellers say the format stirs interest, but the costs can be an issue.
3D titles are building a stronger presence at this year’s BEXCO-held Busan market, with Boon Joon-ho’s The Host 3D, converted from the original 2D 2006 hit, and Tsui Hark’s $35 million The Flying Swords of the Dragon Gateleading the pack. For a potential high-profile blockbuster such as Swords, 3D is just another commercial element among many. “The fact that it’s the first Chinese-language martial arts film fully shot in true 3D generates keen interest,” said Virginia Leung, head of sales at Hong Kong-based Distribution Workshop.
For genre titles, 3D certainly is a selling point, but it’s not a sure thing, which is why the thriller Dark Flight from Thailand’s Five Star Productions is being offered in both 2D and 3D. “With a choice, buyers are defi- nitely more interested in knowing more about the 3D version, but no actual sale has been made yet,” said the company’s Pannita Likitthammasarn.
A 3D film’s chances are helped if the genre is a director’s specialty, such as Universe Films’ psychological thriller Sleepwalker 3D by director Oxide Pang. The Angelica Lee vehicle, selected in-competition at the upcoming Tokyo Inter- national Film Festival, is the second 3D Universe release since 2010’s The Child’s Eye 3D by Pang, along with his twin Danny. “We’re cautious choosing films to make in 3D, only the suitable genres make the cut,” said Universe COO Alvin Lam. “The story of Sleepwalker is intriguing enough even if it’s not in 3D, but the 3D element does help attract the attention of buyers in certain regions not usually drawn to these kind of stories.”