In the weeks leading up to the debut of the highly-anticipated third Transformers flick “Dark of the Moon,” analysts, experts and Hollywood itself painted the Michael Bay blockbuster as a sort of last stand for 3D. Interest in the medium was already cited as declining, so many reasoned that without a stalwart success this summer the downward spiral would continue unabated.
Was “Transformers 3” in 3D a success? Basically, yes. Did it renew interest in 3D films? Maybe.
The LA Times confirmed that the 3D version of “Dark of the Moon” took in the majority of both its domestic and international ticket sales – at 60% and 70%, respectively. However, the site pointed out this doesn’t necessarily mean that more people chose 3D over 2D. Rather, it claims the figures are slightly misleading and that actual American attendance figures were actually “roughly even.” Another point of contention: the 3D version of James Cameron’s mega-successful “Avatar” earned 80% of its overall North American box office take.
The film overall failed to reach the stratospheric heights hit by its predecessor “Revenge of the Fallen,” amassing nearly $40 million less ($175 million) in its opening week. The 2009 sequel earned around $215 million by the end of its first week in theaters, and did not benefit from the price boost inherent in 3D ticket sales.
Still, “Dark of the Moon” 3D handily overshadowed other recent 3D-focused studio efforts, such as “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and “Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters.” In Hong Kong, it even broke three different records. New data suggests that any perceived decline in interest when it comes to 3D is relegated to the U.S. market, which means rumors of 3D’s impending death may not be completely accurate.