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Audience interest in 3D movies slipping?

#1 User is offline   surfpark 

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 09:14 PM

This article tries to argue that interest in 3D films is slipping away. Not sure I believe it, since the data is all from within one year and hasn't really compared a few holiday seasons. Its possible, but I see some flaws. For example, horror movies almost always do better at the box office than animated films. Its just to early to tell, but I suspect the reporter might be on to something.


As more movies play in digital 3-D, there’s evidence that audiences are becoming less interested in the ballyhooed format that many in Hollywood have predicted will stem the long-term erosion of theater attendance.

Box office data for “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” which opened last Wednesday, shows that theaters with at least one screen playing the film in 3-D generated on average, 1.4x as much in ticket sales as those that only showed the picture the old fashioned 2-D way. (A breakdown by individual screens within multiplexes was not available.)

The higher gross represents a mix of ticket price surcharges, which are typically $2 to $3 for digital 3-D, and higher attendance.

The ratio of grosses in theaters with 3-D screens to those that are 2-D only has declined significantly and fairly consistently since “My Bloody Valentine,” the first film this year to play on a mix of both, suggesting audience interest in the new format is waning.

Here’s how much higher ticket sales were for theaters with 3-D screens compared with theaters with only 2-D screens on the opening weekends for the five major releases so far this year (the numbers are based on studio estimates, as reported by The Times, and Variety):

“My Bloody Valentine 3-D”: 6.4x
“Coraline”: 3x
“Monsters vs Aliens”: 2.1x
“Up”: 2.2x
“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”: 1.4x


#2 User is offline   darthstich 

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 09:53 PM

In my view, the interest never came back. It is just another movie fad that will end itself eventually. 3-D works well for theme parks but not for actual theaters IMO.

#3 User is offline   TheInfrequentVisitor 

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 10:23 PM

I prefer watching feature-length movies in 2-D. 1 1/2 hours is just too long to be watching a 3-D movie. However, it is kind of annoying to see obvious 3-D gags in 2-D....

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 08:30 AM

I actually own a 3D movie on DVD: The Shrek 3D Film that plays at the Park Which Must Not Be Named.

A friend told me that movies are going 3D in an effort to prevent bootlegs. I don't think it works.
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#5 User is offline   The Dark Lord of the Sith 

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 09:20 AM

I like seeing 3D when it is done well and not just a a cheap throw in gag. I heard for instance that "UP" in 3-D wasn't really any better than it's standard counterpart. Since there is one theater (here) running the 3D version at a higher cost and several running the other with easier screen times, I opted for standard.

I think if price is a factor, it is also just a sign of the economy.
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Posted 12 July 2009 - 10:42 AM

I saw Up in 3D and thought the 3D and the movie overall was well done. I loved the movie...but... I'm not sure it was any better in 3D than it would have been in 2D. A good movie is a good movie regarless of how many "D"s it is.
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#7 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 03:26 PM

I like the idea of 3D, but I'm not paying extra money to see it in 3D. It's not like the regular version isn't enjoyable and the surcharge is bogus, if you ask me.

#8 User is offline   Eric 

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 09:20 AM

I love animated films in 3D, prefer to see them in 3D and don't mind paying extra to do so. "Up" in 3D was amazing, especially with so many flight scenes. And Johhn Lasseter is a big fan of 3D, so don't look for it to go anywhere, especially from Disney.

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 03:22 PM

If 3-D viewing is used to hide mediocre filmmaking (and I haven't seen any of the films in the intial article so I don't know) then interest will wane. 3-D can be a cool thing, but I think more of the success depends on how good the movie is.

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