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'Grit' Remains True

True Grit continued its great run at the box office over the weekend, taking in $15 million for a first place finish in its third weekend.  This represented a soft 38.6% drop week-over-week (considering the prior weekend was still part of the Christmas holiday break). The $38 million-budgeted film has grossed $110.4 million to date, the first Coen brothers film to break $100 million at the box office (No Country for Old Men was their previous best, grossing $74.2 million over its run).

Little Fockers landed in second place on its third weekend, grossing $13.8 million for a total of just under

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Samsung Introduces FullHD 'RealD' Compatible Televisions

In advance of the opening of CES 2011, Samsung and RealD jointly announced Samsung's intention to build new 3-D televisions that display 3-D content using the same glasses widely available in movie theatres around the world.

Currently, 3-D televisions use one of two different types of display technology:


  • Active shutter technology, which uses small LCD panels built into the glasses that are then synchronized with the television to deliver the appropriate content to the left or right eye by blocking the eye that doesn't need to "see" at that moment in time.  The issues with this technology are that the glasses are expensive, require charging, and there's typically visible flicker and cross-talk (information intended for the left eye going to the right and vice-versa, causing ghosting and other visual aberrations).
  • Passive technology, similar to RealD, using a "patterned retarder" technology.  This basically means that the LCD panel has an extra layer that allows every other line on the display to go to each eye (e.g. line 1 goes to the left eye, line 2 to the right, and so on).  This is the technology used in Vizio and LG's new 3-D displays, with Vizio's 65" passive 3-D display currently on sale at Costco and Sam's Club.  The issue with this technology is that it cuts the resolution of 3-D movies in half, since each eye can only receive a maximum of 540 lines of information.  There may also be issues with 2-D content being impacted, as there is effectively a permanent filter in front of each line of the panel (although, to be fair, this could be compensated for within the television's firmware).


The new technology being developed by Samsung and RealD emulates the method used for 3-D technology in movie theaters.  Their technique places an active shutter in front of the LCD panel, that can block the image from either the left or right eye as needed when the viewer is wearing passive glasses that are the same as those used in theaters.  When 2-D content is being viewed, the active panel is simply left "off" and no image degradation occurs.

It remains to be seen whether flicker will be a problem with this method, but as long as the refresh rate is sufficiently high enough, the method should work very well.  Televisions using this technology will undoubtedly be expensive in their early days, but as the technology matures, the premium for the additional LCD panel will drop, and the cost differential should be minimized.

If 3-D technology is genuinely going to take off at home, this type of solution is exactly what's required.  Technology that allows every viewer to inexpensively enjoy the same, high quality, 3-D image and that doesn't impact 2-D performance.  I also expect RealD will be licensing their technology to other hardware manufacturers in the very short term (if they haven't already).


'Fockers' Close 2010

Little Fockers, the latest entry in the Meet the Parents franchise, closed the year at the top of the box office, with an estimated $26.3 million over the New Year's weekend.  The film's total grosses so far stand at $103.2 million, measured against an estimated $100 million production budget.  It was down 14.7% week-over-week.

Riding strong word of mouth and great reviews, True Grit also held onto its box office spot over its second weekend, dropping a modest 1.4% to $24.5 million for a second place finish.  The film has grossed $86.8 million so far, against a $38 million budget.  This means the film will have no difficulty getting into the black over the course of its run.

Tron Legacy landed

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'Fockers' Take Top Spot, But Western Shows 'True Grit'

Little Fockers, the second sequel to Meet the Parents, took the top spot over the Christmas weekend, with $34.8 million in grosses.  Since opening on December 22nd, the film has grossed $48.3 million.  This is well behind the prior film in the series, Meet the Fockers, likely owing to the long delay since Fockers was in theatres and abysmal critic reviews and word of mouth.  The film will undoubtedly earn back its $100 million budget, but it may be a little while before we see this tired franchise extended further.

Second place went to True Grit, the Coen brothers' western opus based on the novel of the same name.  The film had a $25.6 million weekend, bringing its total grosses to $36.8 million so far.  With a $38 million budget, True Grit is a

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'Tron' Shines, 'Yogi' Bear-ish

Tron: Legacy, the long-gestating sequel to Tron, opened with a strong $43.6 million debut.  That's nearly 10 times what the original film opened with 28 years ago, where it ultimately grossed $33 million (in 1982 dollars, of course).  Of course, Tron: Legacy's production budget is significantly larger than what the original film's was, as well.  The new film cost $170 million versus the original's $17 million budget (again, in 1982 dollars, of course).  All things being equal, with the holiday season, international grosses and home video and ancillary revenues, Tron: Legacy should have no issue turning a profit.

Yogi Bear opened in second place with a soft $16.7 million debut.  Awful reviews, terrible

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