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May on track for record 3-D ticket sales


HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Revenue from 3-D movies is likely to set a record this month, according to the International 3-D Society, which said 3-D ticket sales could propel the summer box office take — for all movies — to an all-time high.

Four major 3-D movies are out this month — “The Great Gatsby,” “Iron Man 3,” “Star Trek: Into Darkness” and “Epic” — and 18 more are slated for release this summer.

“Iron Man 3” is closing in on $1 billion in ticket sales in just two weeks, while “The Great Gatsby” pulled in about $50 million this past weekend.

“Along with last year’s ‘Life of Pi,’ ‘Gatsby’ is a part of a new genre of 3D movies. It’s a visual drama for adults, and provides an emotional and intimate use of 3D to drive F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic story,” said Jim Chabin, president of the International 3D Society.

Other 3D movies slated for release through August include “Superman Man of Steel;” “World War Z,” starring Brad Pitt; “Pacific Rim;” Pixar’s “Monsters U;” DreamWorks Animation’s “Turbo;” Marvel’s “Wolverine” starring Hugh Jackman; “300: Rise of an Empire;” and two 3D concert movies starring One Direction and Metallica.

Based on revenue from established franchise titles and data from 3D Society member companies, the organization forecasts that 3D ticket sales will help Hollywood break its 2011 summer record of $4.4 billion, domestically.

“Up to 80 percent of tickets sold at the box office in China are 3D tickets, and it’s now the second-largest movie market, behind the United States,” Chabin said.