Analyst: box office 3D honeymoon is over

Though many industry analysts foresee an uptick in home 3D adoption in the coming years as the technology becomes more affordable and offers a greater breadth of quality content, the recent box office debut of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” has led one to believe that the theatrical appeal of 3D has cooled.

Analyst: box office 3D honeymoon is over

Richard Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG Research, said the latest entry in the popular, money-making franchise underperformed in 3D during its opening weekend, raking in 38% of its estimated $90 million U.S. debut. Globally, the film has generated around $350 million so far.

According to Greenfield, the turnout points to a decline in interest among theatergoers to watch films in 3D. The analyst said that the “fanboy” appeal of “On Stranger Tides” should have helped the 3D incarnation trounce its vanilla counterpart, as the film wasn’t “burdened by young children not wanting to wear 3D glasses.” However, that was clearly not the case – and the analyst believes 3D is to blame.

Greenfield goes so far as to say that theater owners should focus more on the well-worn standard rather than the premium alternative.

“We believe they should start to limit 3D presentations of each film released — shifting the mix back in favor of 2D presentations,” he said. Otherwise, Greenfield warned, focusing on 3D may begin to “work against them.”

Another recent blockbuster to see a 3D theatrical release was “Thor,” which stars Chris Hemsworth as the titular Marvel comic character and Anthony Hopkins as his daddy, Odin. Movie site CinemaBlend believes its box office performance was stymied by a 3D-focused campaign, citing the film’s failure to outperform “Fast Five” and others. Indeed, “Thor”‘s opening tally was an estimated $65 million – easily trumped by “Fast 5″‘s debut domestic take of $86 million.

With several big, 3D-focused films on the way this summer, it’s looking more and more like Hollywood is completely behind the technology. But if ticket sales can’t mirror their interest (and investments), Greenfield’s recommendation may eventually be followed by scorned theater owners. (Via Home Media Magazine)

Which summer flicks will you be watching in 3D? In 2D? Let us know in the comment section.