Jeffrey Katzenberg is prepared for 3D to utterly change the experience of watching television and movies — and a lot sooner than you may think.
The DreamWorks’ chief told attendees at Fortune’s Brainstorm conference in Pasadena, Calif., today that companies like LG and Panasonic are ready to ship “millions of monitors” that show 3D video. Such TVs should show up in living rooms early next year. After that will come 3D screens that don’t require glasses.
“It’s like the move from black and white to color,” he said. “It will move to every device we have. Hollywood will be dramatically changed by this.”
Sports and games will be a strong driver for 3D into the home, Katzenberg said. So will Blu-ray, which he called a “fantastic platform” for 3D.
Katzenberg parried an audience member’s suggestion that 3D TVs might bring consumers out of movie theaters. “The home experience is great, but not comparable,” he said. “It’s like the difference between a live sporting event and watching it at home.”
DreamWorks’ Monsters vs. Aliens release earlier this year was the studio’s biggest screen-test for 3D. The film grossed more than $200 million domestically; with half of admissions choosing the 3D version. Some 86 percent of customers said the experience met or exceeded their expectations, according to Katzenberg.
The key to 3D without glasses, Katzenberg noted, is just processing power –- a challenge he said he’s confident Intel and other electronics makers will solve.
Meanwhile, 3D is also taking center stage at Comic-Con, now underway in San Diego. Organizers have converted an entire hall into a 3D screening room for upcoming films from studios like Disney, Sony, Warner Brothers and Fox.