Feeds

3D films fall flat

Audiences abandon 'a waste of a perfectly good dimension'

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

There are indications that Hollywood's rush to extract extra cash from cinemagoers in return for an extra visual dimension might be doomed to follow previous 3D initiatives into the cutting room bin.

The release of Avatar last December - the James Cameron epic which grossed $2.7bn - had movie execs licking their lips at the prospect of taking punters for an extra fiver if they could just persuade them to don a pair of 3D specs.

The tridimensional landrush soon delivered dedicated 3D pics such as Alice In Wonderland, How to Train Your Dragon and Shrek Forever After. However, as the Avatar effect began to fade, audiences appeared to be abandoning the novelty.

The Telegraph explains that when Avatar hit screens, 71 per cent of Americans who queued up on the opening weekend did so at 3D cinemas. How to Train Your Dragon clocked up 68 per cent, while by May, Shrek Forever After saw the figure fall to 61 per cent.

Earlier this month, 56 per cent caught The Last Airbender in 3D, and just a week later the writing appeared to be on the wall with 45 per cent opting to put on glasses for Despicable Me.

3D's cause hasn't been helped much by conversions of films shot in 2D. Squeezing extra depth out of Clash of the Titans back in April drew criticism for the poor image quality.

Tinsel Town mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg dissed it as a "cheeseball conversion", describing it as helping "kill that goose that is delivering us golden eggs".

He said: "We're still at the beginning of this and not all 3D is equal, and consumers are beginning to realise this. There have been lesser 3D movies released and there's already been a backlash against it."

Three dimensional defenders say the format is not in trouble. They stress that just 5,000 of the US's 40,000 cinema screen are currently capable of showing 3D, and cite Alice In Wonderland, which enjoyed "the sixth biggest opening weekend of all time in March, grossing $116 million (£75 million,) two thirds of which came from 3D screenings".

US film critic Roger Ebert is having none of it. He said: "3D is a waste of a perfectly good dimension and Hollywood's current crazy stampede toward it is suicidal. It adds nothing essential to the movie-going experience. For some, it is an annoying distraction. For others, it creates nausea and headaches."

The Telegraph notes that studios are working on "at least" 24 new 3D films for next year, while mulling whether or not to continue with suicidal plans to convert the likes of Star Wars or Harry Potter into the format. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.