There’s still not a lot of 3D programming on cable or broadcast to satisfy those first buyers of 3D televisions. But IHS Screen Digest says today that the technology is about to find a real foothold among fans of Blu-ray discs. Some 3.2 million homes this year will have the equipment needed to watch Blu-ray discs in 3D. That a 305% increase over last year. The 3D discs can be played on Sony’s PlayStation 3 consoles as well as 3D-enabled Blu-ray players. Hollywood, of course, sees a cash opportunity. Studios will release about 65 titles on 3D Blu-ray this year, IHS says. That total will include 15 from Disney such as Tron, Beauty And The Beast, and The Lion King. As a result, the research firm predicts that US consumers will spend $160.8 million this year on discs that provide 3D images to 3D-enabled TV sets. IHS figures that consumers will buy 5.7 million 3D discs at an average of $28.33 a pop. That contrasts with $28.4 million last year based on 900,000 discs selling for $31.09 apiece. The big reason for the increase is that 3D is catching on with early adopters. IHS adds that 3D discs are catching on in the UK, Germany, and France.
UPDATE: The Propaganda closure is just part of a quiet reduction in workforce at Disney Interactive. The unit has also cut a number of console jobs at Junction Point Studios in Austin, bringing the total number of jobs nixed to around 200, or 29% of the total Disney Interactive workforce. Disney Interactive co-heads James Pitaro and John Pleasants have indicated that they are moving in the direction of more social media and mobile gaming.
EARLIER: Disney Interactive is shutting down Propaganda Games, the Vancouver studio which most recently worked on the weak-selling and poorly-reviewed title Tron: Evolution. In the fall, John Pleasants and Jimmy Pitaro were made co-heads of Disney Interactive, and the company has since indicated that it would be going more in the direction of social media gaming and mobile titles rather than console games. In October, Propaganda was told that Disney would be nixing the latest Pirates of the Caribbean game, an announcement which led to the loss of dozens of jobs.
Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for Deadline:
UPDATE: Here’s the new TRON trailer:
Patton Oswalt comes out and first thing notes how there have been TRON sequel presentations at the past two Cons. “We’re gonna show you 5 minutes of the movie every year for 20 years. It’s gonna cost you $10,000 to see the whole movie.” Immediately, a mini-documentary screens, showing TRON references on The Simpsons, 30 Rock, Robot Chicken, Family Guy, Honda Civic ads, Daft Punk shows, and…TRON On Ice? Yes, apparently it happened.
Our panel is introduced: Director Joe Kosinski, Walt Disney Studios honcho Sean Bailey, original TRON creator Steven Lisberger (who looks like Jeff Bridges as “The Dude,” ironically enough), the real Jeff Bridges, and other stars Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen (who has a thick beard), Bruce Boxleitner (massive ovation for him – only at Comic-Con!)
Kosinski says original TRON looked like nothing else he’d ever seen and that doing a sequel was an honor but also a daunting challenge. It’s shot in 3D – no conversion (big cheer from the crowd for this). Costumes were fully lit on set, unlike in the original where it was all done in post. But, he says, the best special effect is new Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges who plays not only programmer Kevin Flynn, but also Flynn’s avatar Clu, who still looks like Jeff Bridges at age 35.
Panel says when they showed the …