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question of the day: Have you or would you pay more to see a movie in 3D or IMAX?

Monsters vs. Aliens, opening today, will be the widest 3D release ever, on more than 2,000 screens (plus around another 2,000 non-3D screens). The plan was, though, for it to be even wider:

Theater owners, slowed by funding delays that have hampered the adoption of 3-D technology, raced to complete upgrades for tomorrow’s opening of “Monsters vs. Aliens.”

Regal Entertainment Group, the largest U.S. exhibitor, and Carmike Cinemas Inc. were still converting screens this week for the DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. movie, which casts monsters as good guys defending Earth from an invasion.

The last-minute additions will put “Monsters vs. Aliens” on more than 2,000 screens in the U.S. and Canada, the widest 3- D opening ever. The credit crunch has threatened to spoil the plans of DreamWorks and other Hollywood studios that will release more than a dozen 3-D films this year to increase box- office revenue and entice audiences with the special effects.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive officer of Glendale, California-based DreamWorks Animation, said in July 2007 he hoped 5,000 or more 3-D screens would be ready for the opening, which at the time was set for this summer.

That was before the credit crisis stalled campaigns by two industry groups to borrow as much as $1.7 billion to replace thousands of 35mm projectors with digital equipment.

There’s no doubt that a movie like MvA is just a lot more fun in 3D — and IMAX, if you can find that double whammy playing near you. But with an added premium on the ticket price of more than $3, on average (according to the Bloomberg article linked above) — which means more in some places — and an even greater premium for IMAX, how many moviegoers will make a point a paying more for the same movie, especially in this tight economy? Or is the premium more than worth it for an experience we can’t get at home?

Have you or would you pay more to see a movie in 3D or IMAX?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)

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