Always be wary of overblown announcements from Hollywood. Disney is announcing a great achievement in the opening weekend of its latest animated flick, Meet the Robinsons, but the studio is making a bigger deal out of its supposed success. The announcement pertains to the performance of 3-D showings of Robinsons versus the more available 2-D version of the film. Yes, Robinsons now holds a record for having the greatest opening for a 3-D movie, with regards to the width of its rollout and to its box office gross, but there are a few details that aren't being revealed in Disney's promotion of this news.

First of all, the wider rollout is due to more screens being equipped with Real D's 3-D exhibition technology -- Robinsons in 3-D opened on 521 screens (3413 with 2-D screens included) compared to Monster House in 3-D on 178 screens (3553 with 2-D screens included). Second of all, Robinsons technically did worse business than Monster House in 3-D theaters if you consider each film's per-screen average. Robinsons made $7.3 million off its 3-D showings, which makes its per-screen take only $12,220. Monster House, on the other hand, made only $2.3 million from its 3-D screens, making its per-screen take $15,000. Overall, with 3-D and 2-D screens tallied, Robinsons grossed better in its opening weekend than Monster House ($25.1 mill. vs. $22.2 mill.), and Robinsons' percentage grossed from 3-D was higher than Monster House's (13% vs. 11%), but otherwise it seems that people may have been a tad more curious about the new 3-D format last summer than today. As much as I love the new 3D, I have to be honest and say that I didn't love the 3D version of Meet the Robinsons. It just didn't wow me in the way that Monster House did. And I don't think this is just because Monster House had the advantage of being the first new 3D film I'd seen. Though neither film was shot with the idea that it would be projected in 3-D, Monster House was directed better and benefited more from the layered dimension. Robinsons, while not nearly as horrible as some reviews are claiming, is a little too busy for 3-D. I'm afraid that all the fast-paced movement of the film made my eyes hurt more than I would have liked. Also, a lot of the foreground visuals, which seem to be intentionally blurred, looked very pixelized. To Disney's animation department, I quote the message of the film, "Keep moving forward."

Anyway, I don't want to get too much into the film as a whole package, but I will say that I wasn't too happy about the look of the U2-3D trailer, which showed before Robinsons and which didn't meet my expectations for live-action 3-D. I understand, of course, that future live-action 3-D films may have better budgets than this concert film, and I continue to be hopeful about the technology. And as for Meet the Robinsons, I do recommend that you check out the 3-D version if you must see the movie at all, but be aware that it is not the best representation of what the new technology can and will look like. Let us hope that by the end of the year, when Real D equipped screens are doubled to near 1200 in time for Beowulf that Robert Zemeckis' adaptation of the epic poem is more worthy of the format and more illustrative of what the future at the movies is going to look like.