Hollywood not giving up on home 3D

Lackluster 2011 box office performances and slow 3D TV adoption rates are not deterring movie studios from backing the reborn technology. Several upcoming Blu-ray 3D releases could find their way to the top of sales charts this holiday season as the format’s library heads toward a milestone.

Hollywood not giving up on home 3D

A greater number of live-action BD3D flicks, coupled with more family-friendly animated fare, will help the relatively new format find some footing this winter, said research firm IHS iSuppli. In particular, Disney’s high-def 3D version of “The Lion King” may drive sales for the burgeoning format.

Other notable releases the group expects to push BD3D through 2011 include: the “Toy Story” trilogy, “Pirate of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”

“The growth in BD3D sales is being driven not only by the expanding number of U.S. households equipped with 3D TVs and 3D Blu-ray Disc players, but also by the increasing number of BD3D titles available on U.S. retail store shelves,” said Tony Gunnarsson, video analyst for IHS.

Gunnarsson added that the total number of BD3D movies will surpass 100 by December as total sales for the format head north of 4.5 million units. By 2015, the analyst believes over 25 million BD3D units will be sold in the U.S.

Last month, IHS predicted the vanilla Blu-ray market would enjoy a happy holiday thanks to stellar openings for superhero movies “Thor” and “X-Men: First Class.” Another comic book-inspired film, “Captain America: The First Avenger,” topped sales charts in its first week of release.

However, the researcher didn’t mince words when it came to BD3D’s current prospects.

“BD3D is likely to remain a niche product for the foreseeable future – albeit one that should continue to be able to command a premium price,” said Gunnarsson. “3D-capable households in the United States will continue to grow in number, and retail shelves also can expect increased BD3D availability in the future.”

Planning on adopting 3D this holiday? Or are you waiting on more worthwhile titles to come out? Let us know in the comment section.