10 new rules for saving 3D cinema
Enough with the gimmickry, price gouging and 2D conversions
By Brian D. Johnson
It was hailed as the biggest revolution in cinema technology since colour. But less than two years after the triumph of Avatar, 3D seems to be wearing thin. For the first time since the new digital format was launched, the majority of viewers are choosing to watch 3D movies in 2D versions—at least in the U.S., where a 3D ticket bears a $5 premium. There, 2D outpaced 3D at the box office by about 60 per cent for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Kung Fu Panda 2, Green Lantern—and in advance sales for the final Harry Potter movie. Canada is another story. “We see movies consistently outperforming in 3D,” says Cineplex Entertainment spokesperson Pat Marshall, explaining that Cineplex charges just a $3 premium. But as American audiences abandon 3D, studio executives who once embraced it as cinema’s salvation are sounding the alarm. Jeffrey Katzenberg, head of DreamWorks Animation, called the trend “heartbreaking.” Blaming a glut of bad 3D movies from other studios, he told the Hollywood Reporter: “We have disappointed our audience multiple times now, and because of that I think there is genuine distrust.”
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