Is the 3D Gimmick Finally Dying? God, I Hope So.

23 Comments

I hate 3D. When I can, I avoid it like the plague. And that’s in the theaters. I can’t believe TV manufactures are actually going nuts over 3D TV. Yeah, I wanna sit on my couch with a dorky pair of 3D glasses and watch things fly at me in the third dimension at home. Who out there is clamoring for this? Well, rejoice, fellow haters of all things 3D. The New York Times thinks the end is near. At least, in the States.

As evidence, the Times cites the recent performances of “Kung Fu Panda 2″ and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (h/t Film Drunk):

Ripples of fear spread across Hollywood last week after “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” which cost Walt Disney Studios an estimated $400 million to make and market, did poor 3-D business in North America. While event movies have typically done 60 percent of their business in 3-D, “Stranger Tides” sold just 47 percent in 3-D. “The American consumer is rejecting 3-D,” Richard Greenfield, an analyst at the financial services company BTIG, wrote of the “Stranger Tides” results.

One movie does not make a trend, but the Memorial Day weekend did not give studio chiefs much comfort in the 3-D department. “Kung Fu Panda 2,” a Paramount Pictures release of a DreamWorks Animation film, sold $53.8 million in tickets from Thursday to Sunday, a soft total, and 3-D was 45 percent of the business, according to Paramount.

Of course, while American moviegoers are starting to slowly but surely wean themselves off the 3D gimmick (and the associated higher ticket prices, natch), overseas audiences aren’t cooperating with us:

Muddying the picture is a contrast between the performance of 3-D movies in North America and overseas. If results are troubling domestically, they are the exact opposite internationally, where the genre is a far newer phenomenon. Indeed, 3-D screenings powered “Stranger Tides” to about $256 million on its first weekend abroad; Disney trumpeted the figure as the biggest international debut of all time.

With results like that at a time when movies make 70 percent of their total box office income outside North America, do tastes at home even matter?

Damn you, foreigners! Anyways, here’s hoping they, too, will eventually realize 3D is all bunk and join us in slowly but surely turning our backs on this unbelievably pointless gimmick.

And honestly, did anyone actually needed to see “Step Up” in 3D? Really?


Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.
  • Brian

    What’s happening is unfortunate. People are skipping 3D because there are so many movies that don’t need to be in 3D coming out in 3D just so the studios can charge more for a ticket. Which really hurts the movies that deserve to be seen in the format. I’m a big fan of 3D…but only when it’s done right. Avatar, How To Train Your Dragon, those were the only ones I’ve seen where 3D served a purpose.

    Movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, Priest for crying out loud, Toy Story 3, even Thor, and probably Captain America…there is no reason for them to be in 3D.

    I hope 3D isn’t dying, I hope it improves. There are 2 big things right now standing in the way of it moving forward, 3 actually…
    1. Ticket price increase for movies that cost the theater the same amount to show as 2D pictures
    2. Glasses (RealD 3D glasses have in the last year been made cheaper and smaller to the point where they are so small they hardly fill the viewing area of a person’s eyes anymore…I’m going to start taking one of the pairs I got from Avatar to movies, the bigger pair.)
    3. Gimmicky use of the format just for the sake of making money on films that don’t need it.

    IF, and I stress IF that ever changes then I think it can move forward in a positive way. I really enjoy 3D when it’s done properly. The biggest flaw I can find in the assumption that 3D is dying is 4 movies:
    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    The Hobbit: There and Back Again
    Avatar 2
    Avatar 3

    Those movies will be huge and will use 3D properly. Who knows what changes/improvements James Cameron has in store for the 3D in the next Avatar films! I for one am excited to see.

  • Brian

    What’s happening is unfortunate. People are skipping 3D because there are so many movies that don’t need to be in 3D coming out in 3D just so the studios can charge more for a ticket. Which really hurts the movies that deserve to be seen in the format. I’m a big fan of 3D…but only when it’s done right. Avatar, How To Train Your Dragon, those were the only ones I’ve seen where 3D served a purpose.

    Movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, Priest for crying out loud, Toy Story 3, even Thor, and probably Captain America…there is no reason for them to be in 3D.

    I hope 3D isn’t dying, I hope it improves. There are 2 big things right now standing in the way of it moving forward, 3 actually…
    1. Ticket price increase for movies that cost the theater the same amount to show as 2D pictures
    2. Glasses (RealD 3D glasses have in the last year been made cheaper and smaller to the point where they are so small they hardly fill the viewing area of a person’s eyes anymore…I’m going to start taking one of the pairs I got from Avatar to movies, the bigger pair.)
    3. Gimmicky use of the format just for the sake of making money on films that don’t need it.

    IF, and I stress IF that ever changes then I think it can move forward in a positive way. I really enjoy 3D when it’s done properly. The biggest flaw I can find in the assumption that 3D is dying is 4 movies:
    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    The Hobbit: There and Back Again
    Avatar 2
    Avatar 3

    Those movies will be huge and will use 3D properly. Who knows what changes/improvements James Cameron has in store for the 3D in the next Avatar films! I for one am excited to see.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

      Do you REALLY need to see “The Hobbit” in 3D? Did not seeing the three “LOTR” films in 3D leave you wanting?

      • TRDPOD

        If they can utilize and make the 3D add something special to it and make it better, I don’t see why not? If you hate 3D that much, you can always go see “The Hobbit” in 2D. No need to ask him if he REALLY need to see it in 3D.

        • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

          I do hate it, and I do see them in 2D. And your last statement is somewhat silly. “No need to ask him if he REALLY need to see it in 3D?” That’s a perfectly legitimate question. See, this is how conversations work. He makes a point, I try to respond to it, and we continue conversing. Etc.

          • TRDPOD

            You’re right. I apologize.

      • Brian

        I don’t NEED to see The Hobbit in 3D. What I implied above is that The Hobbit movies will be ones that use 3D properly and in being done properly, will add more to the viewing experience.

        Can you honestly say, with all your hatred towards 3D, that you didn’t enjoy Avatar in 3D? Or that Avatar being in 3D made no difference to your experience?

        • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

          And I’ll tell you, honestly, that it made absolutely no difference to me whatsoever. I’ve seen it in 3D with stadium seating in digital projection and I’ve seen it on 2D at home, and the movie was still utter garbage.

          And “hatred” is a tad strong. I dislike the gimmick. I dislike having to write “Movie Title 3D!!!” as if the 3D part is the only reason why the movie is being made. I dislike that audiences are being cheated for absolutely crap products.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

      Do you REALLY need to see “The Hobbit” in 3D? Did not seeing the three “LOTR” films in 3D leave you wanting?

  • Leo the Yardie Chick

    I guess I’m one of those contrary foreigners, since putting a film in 3-D is an almost guarantee that I will not be paying to see it. 3-D movies are almost $1000JMD, which is highway robbery for me. Throw in food and drink, and that’s $2kJMD or more. Forget that!

    It’s one thing if the movie was planned from Day 1 as a 3D film, as I’ve seen those present with better quality and, thus, worth the money and the dorky glasses. Most of the recent offerings, however, stink of the studios throwing it in the 3D machine to milk the hype and squeeze out more money out of cinema goers – and that’s what’s making more people pause and go ‘hmmm’.

  • http://profiles.google.com/thepeoplesmovies paul devine

    i’m from scotland i hate 3d run my own site and have been ripped apart for talking against 3d movies in scotland a 3d movies costs nearly £10GBP($12.50) (more expensive in other places) and ive not seen a movie thats convinced me 3d is good, i love people who think 3d is a new things as we knows its not just technology has allegedly got better, too many movies are been made and are not movies that shouldnt be 3D and I oppose the policy of some cinema chains who only show certain movies 3d only by fooling us that there ‘limited’ I havent seen green hornet, priest both movies alot of cinemas forced people to watch 3d only and both poor movies. when movies are now getting made its not quality studios are interested its quantity of $$$ there interested they have been fooling us for a long time

    going to the movies is now a expensive day or night out espcecially for snacks £4-5 popcorn ($6-7) drinks similar. 3d is a gimmick they tried back in the 1950s it failed, 1980’s it failed 2011 onwards hopefully fail again

  • Mark shaw

    I agree with these comments, when done properly 3D is fine, although I still get annoyed at how dark the movie is in 3D, Alice in W Land & Clash of the titans were almost to dark to see what was happening at times, didn’t help that Titans was crap to begin with, and then you get further pissed off at how much it just cost you take you & the kids to the cinema in the first place!!!, not a cheap hour & a half’s entertainment. Also although I wasn’t a huge fan of Avatar, when I saw it on Bluray at home on my full hidef plasma and hi quality home theatre set up, I was blown away by the picture, why didn’t I get this experience at the cinema in 3D???,(too dark), and it only cost me $2 on super cheap tue, no wonder cinema numbers are dropping, people are just over the gimmick already!

    • TRDPOD

      The problem with it being dark is the people that operates the theatre. They are suppose to adjust the brightness. Those two movies you mention were not even filmed in 3D but instead was a piss poor job of conversion. I went to see avatar on IMAX 3D and it was absolutely amazing. I love 3D only when it is planned from day one and if it actually serves a purpose. I really hate how a lot of movies are converted to 3D just to make a quick buck and most of the time the outcome is very shitty.

      When done right, 3D can be very cool, it is just like another special effect.

      I agree with Brian and I sure hope that they will improve all those points that Brian listed.

    • TRDPOD

      The problem with it being dark is the people that operates the theatre. They are suppose to adjust the brightness. Those two movies you mention were not even filmed in 3D but instead was a piss poor job of conversion. I went to see avatar on IMAX 3D and it was absolutely amazing. I love 3D only when it is planned from day one and if it actually serves a purpose. I really hate how a lot of movies are converted to 3D just to make a quick buck and most of the time the outcome is very shitty.

      When done right, 3D can be very cool, it is just like another special effect.

      I agree with Brian and I sure hope that they will improve all those points that Brian listed.

  • aka

    Well in portugal The POTC where in 3D (only option for now at least) so.. I choose not to see it and wait for a blueray version.
    Even my PC and 42 lcd are 3D ready and i dont to use it, its really annoying.

  • Arazon

    45% and 47% of 3d sales? It’s one thing to say that 3d are not as significant, but to say that it’s is rash and irresponsible. The figures could mean a lot of things–that from here on in, 45-47% might be the plateau or that American audiences just didn’t want these 3 movies in 3d.

    You quoted another article yourself–“One movie does not make a trend…” Are you then saying that two movies shown during the same period make a trend?

  • Arazon

    45% and 47% of 3d sales? It’s one thing to say that 3d are not as significant, but to say that it’s is rash and irresponsible. The figures could mean a lot of things–that from here on in, 45-47% might be the plateau or that American audiences just didn’t want these 3 movies in 3d.

    You quoted another article yourself–“One movie does not make a trend…” Are you then saying that two movies shown during the same period make a trend?

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

      I’m not saying anything. But The New York Times IS saying that Hollywood is a little scared.

  • shonuff

    I refuse to see a movie 3D. I don’t know if it’s because I wear glasses, or if I’m just lucky, but 3D gives me a headache and doesn’t allow me to focus. All that, and I get to pay $20 a ticket?

  • baddog

    There is a a place and time for 3D. Like others have mentioned “Avatar” and some of the Animated flicks like “How to Train your Dragon”. But like others I have been just as happy to see Thor in 2D. For 3D to take off, they need to get rid of the glasses. I will be watching Transformers in 3D.

    • shonuff

      Totally. The glasses need to go! I WEAR glasses already. I can’t see without them on, and they 3D glasses sit all askew if I wear them.