Has Greed Killed 3-D Already?
September 15, 2011

The only thing that surprises me about this article on the demise of 3-D as a film format is that it’s appeared so quickly. At the beginning of this summer, the coverage dealt with declining 3-D ticket sales, based on higher prices in a bad economy. Now, people — at least that writer — are willing to write the obituary. This time, with charts and graphs.

The main cause? Greed. Theater owners used the format to raise ticket prices. Studios put out any old crap, hoping for people intrigued by 3-D to go just because. Some consumers actively avoid the format, especially if it’s an after-the-fact poorly-done retrofit. The comment thread, in fact, is full of people who use the article as an excuse to talk about how much of a headache it gives them and how much they aren’t interested.

Personally, I avoid 3-D since it doesn’t provide a benefit to me and it does have numerous downsides. Which means, if the trend is true, then 3-D was a fad for about two years, which is also about the same amount of time last time around, 1952-1954.

4 Responses  
Ralf Haring writes:  

Of course it’s dead. They exploited Avatar’s success for a short-sighted cash grab by jamming it into every action movie they could. No one wants a 3D film that wasn’t filmed with the 3D process in mind (and by talented filmmakers of course).

Thad writes:  

I liked it in Avatar, where building a world and presenting it in 3D was pretty much the point of the movie and the Dances With Wolves in Space plot felt like an afterthought.

And I thought it worked pretty well in the Toy Story retrofits, because the sense of scale is already so integral to the design of those movies.

Other than that? Can’t think of any examples where it added much to a movie, and it certainly doesn’t justify $13 a ticket.

I think the Avatar sequels, and whatever else Cameron gets up to after those, will ensure that it doesn’t go away, but I have absolutely no problem seeing its use pared down to only films that have a good reason for using it.

Johanna writes:  

The problem with that (from an industry perspective) is that they sunk all this money into upgrading equipment, only using it a couple times a year is a bad idea. From a customer viewpoint, though, I would love it if 3-D was only used for particular, well-chosen movies as a special event.

James Schee writes:  

Am I the only one that doesn’t see the appeal of having a 3D TV either? I mainly watch comedies or cop dramas. Don’t want or need any of them come out of the TV at me.


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