James Cameron Pushes 3-D in China

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Love it or hate it, 3-D moviemaking has some huge support from powerful players in the movie industry and it won't be going away anytime soon.

James Cameron's Cameron Pace Group announced today that it will be launching a venture to push 3-D moviemaking in China. According to an Associated Press report, the company will be partnering with two Chinese companies to offer 3-D movie technology and production services. The venture will be based in Tianjin, China, where Cameron Pace will work with the state-run Tianjin North Film Group and the Tianjing Binhai Hi-Tech Development Group. There is even mention of a possible deal with China Central Television, a Chinese state-run network, to create 3-D television in the country.

Cameron Pace Group is looking to take advantage of the fast-growing Chinese movie market. The AP quoted Cameron as saying China is "an enormous untapped market" that is ripe for a transition to 3-D. The story also points out that, following a slowdown of U.S. movie revenues, the industry is looking to quickly jump-start the Chinese movie market.

This follows an announcement by the Chinese government in March which stated that it would allow 14 more foreign movies to be played per year, as long as those movies are in 3-D or on IMAX. The Chinese government places tough restrictions on the number of foreign movies that can be played in China, as well as how much revenue foreign companies can make from the ticket sales.

It's good for companies such as Cameron Pace to be able to expand their services to the untapped movie market in China, yet I cringe at the thought of 3-D movies being the gimmick American cinema is known for. High prices for tickets to 3-D movies might have saved Hollywood from disaster the past few years, but the theatre business model is still in trouble. As Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan points out, audiences are lukewarm about the 3-D trend. Larger high-definition TV sets, 3-D TV sets, and better home audio systems are all lowering steadily in price, making the movie-going experience available in the home for many in the West.

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