500+ Digital 3-D Engagements For Disney’s “Meet The Robinsons”

posted by Coate on March 30, 2007 at 4:45 am

On March 30, Disney will be releasing their latest animated movie, “Meet The Robinsons,” in more than 500 U.S. & Canadian theatres equipped for 3-D Digital Cinema presentation. (The movie is also being released in 2-D Digital Cinema and, of course, 35mm.)

D-Cinema systems (with 3-D capability) have been installed in hundreds of theaters over the last few weeks allowing “Meet The Robinsons” to be seen in over four times the number of venues as did Disney’s previous 3-D release, last fall’s re-issue of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Here is a link to FromScriptToDVD.com’s list of theatres that will be showing “Meet The Robinsons” in digital 3-D.

Meet the Robinsons Digital 3-D List

Some observations from compiling the data…

—– 500+ domestic theatres (nearly 700 when factoring multiple installations in a venue and international installations). A year ago there were fewer than 100.

—– Over 30 exhibitors now have at least one screen in their circuit equipped for D-Cinema (+ Real D) presentation

—– Medium and fairly-large markets getting their first taste of D-Cinema:
Albuquerque, NM
Buffalo, NY
Jacksonville, FL
Fresno, CA
Lexington, KY
Oklahoma City, OK
Pittsburgh, PA
Sacramento, CA
St. Louis, MO
Syracuse, NY
Tucson, AZ
Tulsa, OK

—– Decent-sized markets curiously without any D-Cinema theatres:
Calgary, AB
Milwaukee, WI
New Orleans, LA
Omaha, NE
Vancouver, BC

—– Many of the theatres showing “Meet The Robinsons” in digital 3-D have a page on this website. However, the majority of them probably would not be characterized by most of us as a “Cinema Treasure.” The lone exceptions, arguably, would be the Ziegfeld in New York and El Capitan in Los Angeles. Not surprisingly, most of the venues involved are of the recently-constructed, stadium-seating, 15+ screen variety…not that there’s anything wrong with that. :–)

For those of you who go out this weekend and see “Meet The Robinsons,” please consider sharing your thoughts and observations of the movie as well as the presentation.

Theaters in this post

Comments (9)

Vito on March 30, 2007 at 5:24 am

My old bosses at National Amusements are leading the way in the digital installations. They have announced an agreement with REAL D, the leader in the delivery of premier 3-D experiences, to roll-out 20 additional digital 3-D projection systems in select theatres (see list). Currently, National Amusements circuit features 24 locations with 25 screens and brings the total of National Amusements 3D 2K projection systems to 44 locations on 45 screens. The installations will be completed for the opening of Disney’s animated feature film, MEET THE ROBINSONS in REAL D on March 30, 2007 and will bring over 50% of National’s locations into the realm of Digital 3D, the highest percent of any major USA circuit.

This great 3-D technology allows National Amusements to bring patrons a broader range of unique film and entertainment programming options such as live sports and concert performances, building on our goal to make our theatres a community entertainment destination.”

The REAL D 3-D installations complement National Amusements efforts to bring state-of-the art digital cinema to their patrons. The company is participating in Technicolor Digital Cinema’s beta test of state-of-the-art digital projection equipment in 14 National Amusements sites, reaching 120 screens in select locations. This will bring National’s total Digital Cinema presentation capability to a total of 165 Screens in it’s U.S. locations. They have also recently signed a multiyear agreement with Screenvision to install its digital pre-show system on more than 1,000 of National Amusements’ domestic screens.

Disney’s MEET THE ROBINSONS in 3-D will be released in the REAL D Cinema format. REAL D’s seamless perception of depth causes viewers to forget about the screen and opens up a world of perspective and detail so rich and lifelike they want to reach out and touch it.

For the digital 3D presentation of MEET THE ROBINSONS, audience members will receive comfortable, lightweight glasses enabling them to view the film in the REAL D Cinema format. REAL D Cinema glasses for MEET THE ROBINSONS are styled like classic sunglasses and are included with a movie ticket purchase. Unlike traditional anaglyph 3D, REAL D Cinema uses state-of-the-art digital cinema technology to eliminate eye fatigue and ensure that moviegoers enjoy the most comfortable 3D viewing experience possible.

PeterApruzzese on March 30, 2007 at 6:44 am

What is “traditional anaglyph 3D”? Aside from those two awful Robert Rodriguez films – Spy Kids and Shark Girl – and a couple of one-off oddballs and two Universal reissues, all theatrical 3-D releases have been polarized. I realize it’s marketing department double-speak, but it’s annoyingly inaccurate.

Vito on March 30, 2007 at 7:31 am

Sorry Peter, of course you are right, traditional 3-D is, as it was in the 50s,polorized. I far as I know anaglyph is today only used in print copy (comics etc) and some tv experimentation.
By the way, I saw the movie on Tuesday and I must say, silly as the movie is, the 3-D is just fantastic. I prefer it over IMAX 3-D, which if you sit too close can be a bit distractiung in 3-D due to the huge screen in a relativly small auditorium.

PeterApruzzese on March 30, 2007 at 7:33 am

I’ll check it out to satisfy my curiosity over the Real-D format. I wasn’t impressed with Chicken Little, so I’m hoping they’ve improved it.

Vito on March 30, 2007 at 8:24 am

Peter, Chicken Little was also shown in the Real-D format so you may not see any improvement. I saw no diference with Robinsons, but then I liked the 3-D in Chicken little :) I haven’t spoken to any technical folks as yet about the process and what improvemnets they have or plan on having. I will let you know when I do. Perhaps Michael knows more.

JodarMovieFan on March 30, 2007 at 11:55 am

So Vito, do you think I should give NA’s Fairfax (VA) Deluxe 14 another try and see the movie there? Thankfully, its not in the Director’s Hall, so I won’t have to go through the seating problem I had the last time I went here.

I think I’ll see the movie at BowTie Annapolis' plex which has the Real D install and THX certification. I’ve seen Chicken Little in Digital 3D there and enjoyed the presentation, as well as just about every DP movie they’ve booked in #10. Its no Ziegfeld for sure, but its probably the better of just about any other venue in the Metro area. If the movie is really good, I may see it again at the Fairfax plex.

JodarMovieFan on March 31, 2007 at 8:01 pm

I have just returned from a showing of the movie at the BowTie Annapolis 11 in the glorious Real D Digital format. Surprisingly, the shows were not sell outs given all the hoopla. There were a lot of families present with little kids in tow, but thankfully, my friend and I were able to sit in our favorite seats.

The trailer for the Real D format has changed. I prefer the first one that had more of an organic feel with the seemingly hundreds of little artifacts in an organic fluid as opposed to just a creative twist on the Real D lettering.

The film, itself, was disappointing. I don’t want to get into a lengthy review of the movie but let me say that Disney may be able to get the technology right making this kind of movie, but they are no Pixar when it comes to telling a story that makes sense and that is engaging. I don’t think this film was a product of the newly acquired Pixar into the Disney fold but someone in the know can and should correct me if this is not the case. I fell asleep after the first 1/3 of the movie, or so my friend tells me, as it drags and sputters until the audience finally meets the Robinsons. They turn out to be a dysfunctional mess that even Dr. Phil could not help. Attempts at humorous set ups and one liners fall flat. There’s one scene where Grandma asks Lewis, after being chased by a T-Rex if he’s okay and has cellulite. Not funny. I doubt this movie will make it to $100M domestically.

The movie looks fine in this format. The 3D elements looked good and sharp, with excellent colors that really brough it to life. Sound was also good all around with no discernible flaws.

Judging from the audience reaction, the movie was a mixed bag. One little girl next to me started to dance in the aisles when the frogs were singing! The lady behind me was into it clapping and laughing but the man sitting behind me and to the right was snoring. His friend could be heard chastising him. At the end, there were some claps but I’d hardly say that the majority completely enjoyed the movie.

Vito on April 1, 2007 at 4:45 am

I also thought the 3-D was rather good. Aside from the usual image coming at you from the screen I thought the images coming from behind you and going towards the screen was fun. For those of you who are unfamiliar with how it works, the image on the screen is actually two images overlapping each other that are recorded at just slightly different angles. The glasses ensure that one eye sees only one of the images while the other eye sees the other image. Then your brain takes these conflicting images and decides what you are seeing must be 3D.
Actually, “Meet the Robinsons” is tricking your brain even further because instead of overlapping two pieces of film, the digital projector cuts between the two images at an incredibly fast rate. Your brain reads it as seeing two images at the same time, when in fact you are only seeing one.

As to the opening weekend grosses, the studio is looking for about 35-40 million, but based on the Friday opening of 8 million, (“Blades of Glory” did 12 million)it appears to be heading for more in the 25-30 million range.
“Chicken Little” did 42 Million on its opening week with a total gross so far at 135 million.
Jodar, I am Sorry you decided to see the movie at Bowtie instead of Fairfax, because no one beats National Amusements when it comes to an outstanding movie going experience :)

Giles on May 31, 2007 at 8:42 am

I saw this over at both Regal Rockville (MD) and AMC Tyson’s Corner (VA) theaters – between the two I had different reactions to the systems. For some reason, I thought the 3D effects were better implemented at the Regal, however the auditorium at the Regal they chose to upgrade is on the small size – which I thought was a big negative. Tyson’s Corner on the other hand had the larger screen and more immersive surround sound.

off comment:

I was bit peeved Regal didn’t convert one of the downtown Gallery Place auditoriums to feature ‘Meet the Robinsons’ in Digital 3D. I’m hoping the 3D-animated film ‘Beowulf’ can be seen downtown as such. Since it’s far easier to trek downtown on the subway than go into Georgetown where currently is DC’s only 3D system.

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