Why Not All of Superman Returns in 3D?

3DMG explains, in this press release, why 20 minutes of Superman Returns was converted into IMAX 3D and not the entire movie:

When Superman returns to theaters on June 28 — with some scenes in 3D on IMAX screens — he does so with the help of inventor and computer graphics pioneer David M. Geshwind, President of Three-Dimensional Media Group, Ltd. (http://www.3dmg.com). 3DMG has licensed two US Patents to enable IMAX’s conversion of 20 minutes of Warner Bros. “Superman Returns” to spectacular 3D.

However, while Superman may be faster than a speeding bullet, time constraints prevented IMAX from converting the entire movie.

“With only a few weeks between the completion of a 2D film and its release, there is not enough time to economically convert a two-hour film to 3D using our original process. We have been working on solving that problem, and have developed advanced patent-pending technology that permits an entire film to be converted to 3D for simultaneous ‘day-and-date’ release with the 2D version,” says Geshwind.

Geshwind believes 3D conversion offers a “unique opportunity to bring blockbusters back into theaters with something new to offer. Consider the box-office that a relatively low-cost re-release in 3D of ‘Star Wars’ ‘E.T.’ ‘Indiana Jones’ ‘Harry Potter’ ‘Lord of the Rings’ ‘The Matrix’ or even ‘The Ten Commencements’ would bring to theaters.

“Conversion of such library films can be done at a slow pace, but what excites me is the ability to show an entire new film in 3D on the same day as the 2D release,” says Geshwind. “We look forward to licensing the first production with our new technology soon.”

While “Superman Returns” is the first widespread public use of Geshwind’s 3D patents, he first demonstrated his patented ChromaSynthesis(TM) and StereoSynthesis(TM) processes in the early 1990s to enhance a segment of the original (1939) King Kong, adding both color and 3D depth.

Geshwind, who holds seven other patents in media technology, with others pending, originally developed StereoSynthesis as a low-cost alternative to virtual reality, and to “adapt the huge resource of existing 2D media for 3D systems. The effective use of 3D adds greatly to the ‘suspension of disbelief’ that is key to entertainment. We will bring this same realism to other fields to enhance medical imaging, educational materials, scientific visualization, TV, games, the desktop, advertizing, and anywhere else digital displays are utilized.”

3DMG has licensed IMAX to use US Patent 4,925,294, a “Method to Convert Two-Dimensional Motion Pictures for Three-Dimensional Systems”, and US Patent 6,590,573. The license agreement was reached through the patent law firm UNIPAT.ORG. Geshwind conducts independent R&D in media tech through Digital Media Group, Ltd. (an affiliate of 3DMG). These technologies are available for licensing through UNIPAT and include: ChromaSynthesis, internet protocols, intelligent search, interactive video, bandwidth compression, educational technology, improved HDTV, and personalized video.

Source: 3DMG.com