Feeds

3D films fall flat

Audiences abandon 'a waste of a perfectly good dimension'

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.