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3D movies are in trouble – here’s more proof

Posted at 23 June 2011 13:00 CEST by Justin_Massoud

More bad news for theatrical 3D movies? More bad news for theatrical 3D movies.

Following an underwhelming past two months which have consistently demonstrated that interest in 3D movies may not be as high as theater owners and movie studios would like, the 3D version of Warner Bros.’ adaptation of DC Comic’s “Green Lantern” debuted to an anemic 36% attendance rate.

Home Media Magazine reported that Richard Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG Research who has previously taken 3D proponents to task for overshooting expectations, pointed out that a lack of demand for 3D movies means they shouldn’t “occupy 4,000-plus 3D screens.”

“Green Lantern,” which opened to a weekend tally of $53 million, saw strong promotional efforts centered around its 3D version – including a 3D trailer offered freely to Nintendo 3DS eShop customers. Greenfield at least doesn’t believe those efforts are paying off, nor will they.

“The decreasing demand for 3D movies in the U.S. creates two warning flags for us,” he wrote. “One related to what will happen to the demand for 3D movies overseas over the next 24 months (as the so-called ‘curiosity factor’ wears off) and two, what is the real consumer interest level for in-home 3DTV until you do not need to wear glasses?”

Greenfield’s first point is well-noted. Entertainment Weekly confirmed that “3D fatigue” is still strictly a domestic phenomenon; global performance paints a better picture for 3D. His second, the adoption of 3D TVs in homes, is a topic analysts have already spent considerable time researching. Some have said that as networks begin to offer 3D programming, consumers will jump aboard. Others have surmised that cheaper passive-3D technology could help the format find success, though that split in price and power could put off potential buyers; if there is no singular, clear-cut victor, the thinking goes, why invest in a fancy new TV?

When it comes to the hope of a glasses-free 3D solution (the industry’s white whale), it’s fair to wonder if even that would help the format catch on.

In 2010, film critic Roger Ebert penned an impassioned screed against 3D for Newsweek, memorably calling it “a waste of a perfectly good dimension.” Others eventually came to a similar conclusion, though some filmmakers still prefer the format – like Michael Bay. Some posit the 3D version of his upcoming “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” could “revive” the floundering format. A safe bet, perhaps – even though some 3D films have under-performed, others have done quite well.

With the big summer movie season officially underway, it will be interesting to see how it all pans out. However, early reports suggest at least one more summer blockbuster will disappoint in 3D: early ticket sales for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II” are showing a clear consumer preference towards 2D.

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There are 13 comments

Dr. Who
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 23 Jun 11 15:41
    Basing off of just one title is hardly fair to assume. Now the Green Lantern I had no interest to see period 3D or not. I do go to a lot of 3D movies when the movie looks good and 3D defiantly sways me to see it more as non 3D can be watched at home. In fact I am going to watch Transformers in 3D this Wen. Then next month I plan on seeing the new Final Destination that will also be in 3D.
    iamrocket
    Dedicated DoMi groupie
    Posted on: 23 Jun 11 15:51
      I'm not understanding why I should pay more to see a movie in 3D, when I can watch it in 2D and be perfectly happy. I do like 3D movies, but its not worth nearly double the admission price.
      Zod
      MyCE Resident
      Posted on: 23 Jun 11 16:21
        I think part of the problem is, is that not allot of movies look very good in 3rd. There's a few movies actually filmed in it, then everything else is a post-production conversion. I think audiences can see that, and they hollywood, in order to turn a quick buck, has been pumping out crappy 3D conversions.

        So now people don't want to pay the extra few dollars. You get these crappy conversions which seem to be a way for hollywood to raise ticket prices by 3 or 4 dollars.
        Dr. Who
        MyCE Resident
        Posted on: 23 Jun 11 16:45
          Zod has it right. I go to 3D movies and they are far lower than double the price. Only a few dollars more.
          Blu-rayFreak
          MyCE Resident
          Posted on: 23 Jun 11 19:33
            For me, it's usually not worth the 25% ticket price premium to see a movie in 3D. I'll make special exceptions for something like Avatar or maybe the new Transformers, when I know they were specifically created with 3D in mind and I'm REALLY interested in seeing the film, otherwise, no 3D for me...
            silver30
            MyCE Member
            Posted on: 23 Jun 11 19:46
              Movies like Thor or Pirates Of the Caribbean do not need to be in 3D. The upcoming Titanic does not need to be rereleased in 3D. Only cartoons and certain movies should be in 3D.
              Dr. Who
              MyCE Resident
              Posted on: 24 Jun 11 00:14
                For me I kind of agree with bluray freak. However I want to add that the last final destination and the next one coming out in August was/will be 3D and it was decent. Walt disney seems to have the best though so far.
                SciFer
                MyCE Senior Member
                Posted on: 24 Jun 11 02:33
                  They just need to lower the price and make it a $2 optional upgrade to the existing ticket price and they would sell well. They're trying to milk it for all they can but iIt's not realistic in the current economy. If they want more sales of of 3D tickets just lower the price. It's just a price point issue with consumers.
                  BradWright
                  MyCE Member
                  Posted on: 24 Jun 11 19:55
                    People just don't have the spare cash right now - times are tough. If I take my family to a movie, and can save $10.00 or $15.00 by seeing it in 2D rather than 3D, it's a no brainer for 2D. There's really not that much difference in most of them anyway, since (I think) they're 2D-to-3D conversions.
                    Dartman
                    MyCE Resident
                    Posted on: 25 Jun 11 08:13
                      My eyes don't see 3d and I don't like to pay even more just to watch a movie anyways so not interested whether I could actually see it or not. I only watched 1 movie in a theater so far this year and I usually just wait for most to come out n disk and buy a copy to watch at home on my setup at my convenience, plus I can watch it again if it's really good and only pay once.
                      olddancer
                      MyCE Senior Member
                      Posted on: 25 Jun 11 23:48
                        Speaking as one who sells TVs for a living;
                        The general reaction to 3D is about the same as for Picture in Picture.
                        .01% of the population can't live without it and the other 99.9% of the population;
                        "Frankly Scarlett".
                        Mr. Belvedere
                        MyCE Resident
                        Posted on: 27 Jun 11 09:13
                          Quote:
                          Following an underwhelming past two months which have consistently demonstrated that interest in 3D movies may not be as high as theater owners and movie studios would like, the 3D version of Warner Bros.' adaptation of DC Comic's "Green Lantern" debuted to an anemic 36% attendance rate.
                          3D is not failing just because nobody watched the Green Latern movie. The Green Latern movie failed miserabely because it is a very crap movie. It sucks more than the biggest black hole in the universe..

                          3D is failing as well, becaus it is implemented very very horrible and people don't want to cough up another thousand dollars when they just were lured into buying an HD TV.

                          http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/hdtv.png

                          Personally i'd rather have a monitor/tv system with lots of different inputs to connect all the crap that needs a tv. I mean, 5 x HDMI, 2 x RGB, 2 x VGA, 2 x DVI-D, 4 x SCART, etc. etc.
                          bigmc
                          New Member
                          Posted on: 28 Jun 11 12:40
                            Lol I actually don't like 3D movies myself so couldn't really care that much about it :P

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