To make a 3D movie appealing to audiences doesn’t take much, but Fox is going above and beyond for one of their 3D film trailers.
The 3-D filmmaking in Ang Lee’s forthcoming “Life of Pi” is so remarkable in the eyes of 20th Century Fox that the studio has decided a typical trailer just won’t do.
“Life of Pi,” based on Yann Martel’s 2001 novel about a teenager adrift in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger, will not arrive in theaters until late November. But starting Friday, Fox plans to unspool a few minutes from the film — uncut, in one continuous scene — and show it before “Prometheus,” a space adventure.
Fox plans to pair another segment of “Life of Pi” with its next release, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” which arrives on June 22. Although plans are still being worked out, the studio hopes to bundle a third “Life of Pi” scene with “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” due from Fox on July 13.
The experiment underscores the ways in which studios, increasingly loading films with advanced 3-D effects to keep theater seats full, are bumping up against marketing constraints. How will people know that “Life of Pi” features “Avatar”-caliber 3-D imagery — as Fox thinks it does — if all they see are commercials for the film on TV? Moreover, most people now watch movie trailers online or on mobile devices, screens that are hardly conducive to conveying cinematic grandeur.
“This film is special and different, and so we didn’t want to give people the same-old, same-old,” said Tom Rothman, co-chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a division of News Corporation. (Fox will also release a standard trailer closer to the movie’s arrival in theaters.)
Since Fox wants to showcase the 3-D imagery in “Life of Pi,” the studio will include the segments only during the 3-D screenings of “Prometheus,” “Vampire Hunter” and “Ice Age,” Mr. Rothman said.
The extended “Life of Pi” scenes that Fox plans to show focus on the dramatic sinking of a cargo ship loaded with zoo animals and a moment when the boy and tiger encounter a school of flying fish.
Fox had good luck with a similar sneak-peek effort with “Avatar” in 2009. Five months ahead of that film’s release, Fox showed about 15 minutes from the film at Imax theaters. Mr. Rothman said the idea to do something similar with “Life of Pi,” starring a young Indian actor named Suraj Sharma, came from theater owners who saw scenes from the film at an industry convention in April.
“Exhibitors drove the idea,” Mr. Rothman said. “They said, ‘You want to convey the idea that this movie is very specifically a cinematic experience? Just show people what you just showed us.’ ”
Source: Press Release
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