National Geographic maps bigscreen

Real D will distribute two of the documentary producer's 2007 releases

National Geographic is teaming with Real D to bring some of its bigscreen 3-D pics to regular movie theaters.

Real D will distribute two of the documentary producer’s 2007 releases to the hundreds of U.S. theaters equipped with its digital 3-D technology.

Traditionally, National Geographic has made its pics available on Imax screens in museums, science centers and other alternative formats.

Pact with Real D reps its first attempt to get its films into the same multiplexes that screen studio releases. The 3-D docs are expected to screen during the day, primarily for school groups.

“This enhances our distribution platform and won’t compete with feature films in the same complexes,” said National Geographic Giant Screen Films distribution prexy Mark Katz.

“Lions 3D: Roar of the Kalahari” and “Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure” are the first pics in the program, set to bow in the spring and October, respectively.

Real D has thus far primarily distributed studio toons in 3-D, including Sony’s “Monster House”; upcoming are Disney’s “Meet the Robinsons,” and Paramount’s “Beowulf.” It’s aiming to get its digital 3-D projection systems into 1,000 theaters worldwide by the end of 2007.