st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} India's appetite for 3D films is on the rise, and both Hollywood and Bollywood is hoping to cash in.  This year saw the release of around 35 3D films in India. "/>
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Tintin, Raaz 3: Hollywood, Bollywood cash in on 3D film craze

India's appetite for 3D films is on the rise, and both Hollywood and Bollywood is hoping to cash in.  This year saw the release of around 35 3D films in India. 

Anusha Subramanian | June 17, 2011 | Updated 17:01 IST

Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg's upcoming film, The Adventures of Tintin: the Secret of the Unicorn, will release in India a full month ahead of its US release date.  The film, which follows the immensely popular Tintin character as he goes on a hunt for lost treasure, will join a growing number of big Hollywood films to be released in India using 3D technology.  This year's Pirates of the Carribean-On Stranger Tides and Kung Fu Panda-2 both did well in 3D.   Michael Bay's 3D action adventure Transformers: Dark of the Moon is out in India on 1 July.

India's appetite for these films is on the rise, and Hollywood is hoping to cash in.  This year will see the release of around 35 3D films in India.  That's a dramatic difference from two years ago, which saw roughly ten 3D films released in the country per year.  Adding 3D to films has boosted Hollywood revenues, something studios have struggled to do in India for years. According to industry players, Hollywood's share of domestic box office collections is expected to grow by 20-25 per cent this year, up from 14 per cent in 2010.

But that doesn't mean Indian filmmakers plan to be left behind. Vikram Bhatt's Haunted, released in May, was billed as India's first Stereoscopic 3D film. At the time, Bhatt faced criticism over the extra cost.  Shooting in 3D requires special cameras and a trained crew, which can bump up a film's budget by as much as 30 per cent.  But his risk was rewarded - the film's gross box office revenues exceeded Rs 20 crore. Bhatt now has two more 3D films in the works: Dangerous Ishq, a supernatural thriller co-produced by DAR Motion Pictures, and Raaz 3, with Fox Studios.

Several other Indian production houses are also said to be exploring the idea of making 3D films.  There have been rumors that Aditya Chopra might consider making Dhoom 3 in 3D, taking the film's famous action sequences to another level.

There's also some clarity emerging in the 3D battle between cinemas and production houses.  Screening 3D films requires extra technology that most movie theatres were hesitant to invest in until recently.  It costs roughly Rs 10 lakh to convert an existing 2D screen to a 3D screen, while building a separate 3D screen altogether can cost as much as Rs 35 lakh, depending on the technology.

"So far in India it has been a Catch-22 situation.  Filmmakers have been complaining that cinemas are not equipped to screen 3D films and cinemas have been crying that there isn't enough 3D content.  The coming two years are critical for 3D content in India," says Rajesh Mishra, CEO of Indian operation for UFO Moviez India Ltd, a cinema group.

UFO Moviez has developed their own 3D-compliant technology that they are currently in the process of in cinemas across the country.  So far they have installed 110 systems and plan to have a total of 1,250 3D-compliant screens eventually, said Mishra.

If India's 3D fever continues to rise, it'll look like a very smart investment.

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