Last week, Warner Bros. made a surprising decision and announced they would not Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 in 3D as previously planned. So why would Warner Bros. not only eat the money they’d spent on conversion thus far as well as losing the potential profits that come from the inflated price of 3D ticket? According to Variety, the problem came down to lack of time and not enough 3D conversion companies. There wasn’t enough time to properly convert the film before its November 19th release date. I once again applaud Warner Bros. for deciding to put quality first rather than rush another conversion as was the case with Clash of the Titans earlier this year. Although that film did well at the box office, the shoddy 3D conversion was widely criticized as making the film look worse.
Hit the jump for a detailed analysis of how the latest Harry Potter cast off its post-conversion 3D.
Variety reports that IMAX was in charge of handling HP7‘s 3D conversion. However, IMAX didn’t get the contract until May and didn’t receive a greenlight until August. That put the production behind from the get-go. The next problem was that the final cut of the film was only recently locked and that there are still special effects shots being completed.
But the biggest problem is that there weren’t enough 3D conversion companies to handle the footage. If the issue were the number of visual effects shots, that wouldn’t be an issue. Hollywood has more than enough VFX houses to handle special effects work at the last minute. But the big takeaway from the Potter decision is that at this point, 3D conversion is still in its infancy and there just aren’t enough capable hands out there to meet the demands of the film at this late hour.
On Friday, Warner execs were still mulling the possibility of releasing some of the film in 3D as they had done with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. There’s also the possibility that in order to salvage the work that was already done on Deathly Hallows – Part 1, Warner Bros. will re-release the film in 3D at some point down the line. However, at this point, Warner Bros. is now turning its efforts to making sure that the entirety of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is in 3D. That film is due out on July 15, 2011.