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Fox Premiering 3D Scenes From Ang Lee’s ‘Life of Pi’ Before ‘Prometheus,’ ‘Vampire Hunter’ & More

Written by on June 4, 2012 

Fans of  the long-awaited adaptation of Life of Pi will have something to look forward to this summer. 20th Century Fox is letting audiences everywhere get a sneak peek of Ang Lee’s new 3-D film by featuring different, unedited scenes before 3D screenings of Prometheus (opening this friday) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (opening June 22nd). [New York Times]

Life of Pi is the tale of Pi, a young boy who is the only survivor of a freighter wreckage. After surviving the tragedy, he finds himself having to survive life at sea on a lifeboat with limited supplies, a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a bengal tiger. Images and news from the project have been slowly coming in and the preview scenes will be the first real look at Ang Lee’s take on the 2001 award-winning novel by Yann Martel, following a footage debut at CinemaCon.

Though plans are still in development, Fox also hopes to release a third scene packaged in with screenings of Ice Age: Continental Drift (due out July 13th). The scenes Fox plans to show focus on the sinking of the freighter and an encounter Pi and the Bengal Tiger have with a school of flying fish. The footage will only be released with 3-D screenings as part of a plan to showcase the new film’s Avatar-quality 3D while still keeping in mind marketing constraints. Fox used this approach before with Avatar, premiering about 15 minutes of the film in IMAX theaters five months before it was originally released in 2009.

Tom Rothman, co-chairman of Fox Film Entertainment, on the push on Life of Pi’s (apparently?) extraordinary 3-D footage:

“This film is special and different, and so we didn’t want to give people the same-old, same-old […] Exhibitors drove the idea […] They said, ‘You want to convey the idea that this movie is very specifically a cinematic experience? Just show people what you just showed us.’ ”

This is a smart route for Fox to go, as viewers don’t want to be told that something’s amazing, they need to see it for themselves. We’ve been collectively burned too many times by 3-D screenings in the last few years and this move shows intelligence and business sense on Fox’s part. Also, I’m sure many would rather check out a single, uninterrupted scene early on from the film than a possibly spoiler-filled trailer.

Based off a script by David Magee and produced by Lee, Gil Netter, and David Womark, Life of Pi stars Suraj Sharma, Tobey Maguire, Irrfan Khan, Gerard Depardieu, Shravanthi Sainath, Tabu, and Adil Hussain. It will hit theaters November 21, 2012.

What do you think of this approach?

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