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This Week in 3D

MULTIPLE CITIES:A couple of events mark the advance of 3D content this week. First was the debut of a live 3D broadcast on the massive display screen at the Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington, Texas. The second--the release of “Avatar,” James Cameron’s interplanetary 3D epic. The film is set to hit theaters on Friday. Reviewers got a crack at it last week.

“‘Avatar’ is a state-of-the-art experience that, for years to come, will define what movies can achieve, not in duplicating our existence but in confecting new ones,” wrote Richard Corliss at

Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reportergushed. “James Cameron has proven his point. He is king of the world.”

“Avatar” depicts a human-led attack on a distant planet inhabited by blue, bat-eared pagans and cost a reported $300 million to make. It was shot ona performance-capture stage in Playa Vista, Calif., surrounded by 120 stationary video cameras and fed through Audodesk software. Cameron also developed the dual Sony Fusion 3D camera system for the production. Panasonic signed up to promote it alongside its 3DTVs in a global road show, and LG just announced an “Avatar” tie-in for its eXpo, a 4G phone with a detachable movie projector.

“Avatar” is already on the short list for a visual effects Oscar nomination, and it’s trading on the Hollywood Stock Exchange at $201.97, indicating traders anticipate the movie will gross more than $200 million at the box office in its first four weeks.

Reviews for the 3D action at Cowboy stadium were not so kind. During the second half of the yesterday’s Cowboys game against the San Diego Chargers, replays were displayed in 3D on the stadium’s 160-by-72 foot HD video screen.

Evan Grant blogging at was underwhelmed. “Those folks who paid to watch a game live and who refused to don the glasses and wanted to use the video board as a compliment to their experience instead got a nausea-inducing blurry broadcast,” he wrote.

Mike Florio writing for NBC Sports said the 3D replays were “eventually booed, loudly.”

The Cowboys lost to the Chargers 20-17.

More on the Cowboys big-screen tee vee:
October 2, 2009: “Stadium Debt Puts Pressure on NFL”
A 15-year spate of stadium building has left NFL teams holding about $9 billion in debt.

More on “Avatar” and 3D content:
August 24, 2009: “3DTV Goes on the Road”
Panasonic said it would “activate” the “Avatar” deal in the United States with a multipoint media/sales campaign and a nationwide tour with customized 18-wheelers outfitted with 103-inch Panasonic Viera plasma HDTVs and Blu-ray disc players to showcase 3DTV.