Haute 100 Los Angeles Update: Jeffery Katzenberg

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Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets—Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. These people continue to make moves, so rather than waiting for the next Haute 100 issue to come out, we thought we’d provide you with regular updates on those Haute 100 members who are making headlines. DreamWorks’ CEO Jeffery Katzenberg vehemently expresses his support for 3-D technology on the tail of the latest film release.

Jeffery Katzenberg

Category: Entrepreneurs

Company: DreamWorks Animation

Industry: Film

What Made Him Haute: The CEO of DreamWorks Animation has been said to have “the hand of God” when it comes to his knack for animation. Prior to DreamWorks, he served as chairman for The Walt Disney Co. He’s responsible for major blockbuster hits “Shrek,” “Bee Movie,” “Shark Tale” and “Madagascar.”

What Makes Him Haute Now: If you don’t believe that 3-D graphics are truly the wave of the future then you should talk to DreamWorks CEO Jeffery Katzenberg. In a recent interview with Forbes Magazine, Katzenberg fervently promoted 3-D technology in spite of some opposition. Famed movie critic Roger Ebert wrote an article entitled “Why I Hate 3-D (And You Should Too)” insulting 3-D movie efforts. Katzenberg’s response? “There are always naysayers out there. There are people who are in 100% denial about this. But it’s over. Game Over. Touchdown. 3-D won.”

Even though Katzenberg’s opinion is biased (every DreamWorks Animation movie is now in 3-D) it is not without basis. Earnings went from $15 million in 2006 to $151 million in 2009 and DreamWorks has averaged one movie per year in the top 10 by domestic box office for the last six years. He believes that in the next 20 years everything from billboards to cell phone screens will be three dimensional. To further spread his vision, he is doing the legwork on getting movie theatres ready for mass market 3-D. He’s a 3-D ambassador like no other. “He picks up the phone and calls theaters individually,” says Imax president Greg Foster. Critics and supporters alike will have to wait and see how DreamWorks’s latest film “Megamind” does in the box office when it is released on Nov. 5. Either way, Katzenberg isn’t worried.

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