3-D Talk of the Town at ShoWest

The talk is all about 3-D at ShoWest, the annual confab for film exhibitors going on currently in Las Vegas.

Driving the discussion is the success of DreamWorks Animation’s Monsters vs. Aliens, which in the final tally took in $59.3 million in its opening weekend. Variety reports praise for the format from Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairman Jim Gianopulos, who urged theater owners not to delay the installation of 3-D ready screens.

DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, the most prominent proponent of 3-D, said the demand was there for more 3-D screens. He cited reports from the past weekend saying some 38 percent of people who saw Monsters vs. Aliens in 2D would have preferred to see it in 3-D but could not due to sellouts.

While the success of Monsters‘and moviegoers’ apparent willingness to pay extra for 3-D films’gives the format momentum, who will pay for it remains an issue for both studios and exhibitors.

The Hollywood Reporter relays that Fox is notifying exhibitors not to expect payment for the costs associated with the use of special 3-D glasses.

Several more highly anticipated 3-D releases’most of them animated’are due out this year, including Fox’s Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Disney/Pixar’s Up and James Cameron’s virtual reality saga Avatar.