Italy: Exhibs’ love affair starts to wane

Cannes 3D Report: Italy

Italy went from about 50 3D screens in 2008 to more than 500 in 2010 — out of roughly 4,000 total — and the country’s digital conversion is still going strong.

But some exhibs are starting to wonder whether the novelty is wearing off after “Avatar” last year. After all, “Rango” and “Rio” both recently underperformed at the Italo B.O.

That said, it’s too early to speak of a 3D decline in Italy, and live 3D soccer matches have been hits.

As for local production, there are several Italo 3D pics in the pipeline, from Dario Argento’s “Dracula 3D” to “Versus Roma,” a gladiator toon penned by Michael J. Wilson (“Ice Age,” “Shark Tale”), Bernardo Bertolucci’s coming-of-age drama “Io e te” (Me and You) and Fausto Brizzi’s commercial laffer “Sex 3D.”

The format ran into a snag last year when consumer advocacy group Codacons filed complaints recommending exhibitors use disposable rather than reusable 3D glasses for hygenic reasons. Roughly half of Italy’s 3D screens use reusable glasses, and some exhibs say the controversy has dented 3D grosses.

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