Feeds

3D films fall flat

Audiences abandon 'a waste of a perfectly good dimension'

Application security programs and practises

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. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.