Which films have been outselling U.S. blockbusters in Shanghai lately?
Try a slew of hoary pics from Hollywood’s past, along with a mix of recycled Imax fare. The twist: they’re 3-D.
At least eight cinemas in Shanghai are unspooling 3-D pics using two projectors fitted with special lenses and viewed by patrons with handout plastic glasses.
Among the 3-D titles that have drawn crowds in recent months are “Show Ant,” “Rottweiler,” “3D Mania” and “Sister 13.”
The retro pics’ success has astounded Warner Bros. Intl. Theaters prexy Millard Ochs, who was persuaded to release films by Shanghai Paradise, WB’s partner in the Grand Gateway nine-screener that opened a year ago.
“These films are doing incredibly well,” says Ochs, citing the repurposed 2001 Imax 3-D hit “Haunted Castle,” which clocked 2,251 showings at the Gateway, vs. a “mere” 669 for the first “Lord of the Rings” and 782 for “Spider-Man.”
Ochs is searching the WB and RKO vaults for other appropriate titles and plans to ask other distribs to dust off their 3-D films at next month’s ShoWest exhib convention.
As the exec says, showing these films is one way to beat the enterprising pirates who often are selling DVDs of Hollywood films before they preem in the U.S.