Well well, turns out James Cameron‘s idiotic dream of most films being in 3D in the next three years is quietly going down the toilet, along with audience desire to see 3D plummeting like a lead balloon. Three high profile 3D movies over the summer only gained a third of their revenue from 3D, and now Sony have made an announcement that is highly likely to backfire.
The Hollywood Reporter is telling us that Sony have notified theatres that they will stop paying for the 3D glasses effective May 1st, 2012. This means that on top of the already high ticket prices to watch 3D movies, you, the cinema goer, will have to pay for the glasses so you can watch the movie. It’s like paying for a coffee and then having to pay an extra price on top for the luxury of a cup.
Interestingly though, this move comes about because they have two massive franchise reboots coming that summer. Men in Black III and The Amazing Spider-Man, both those franchises being massive money makers. The problem is however, whether audiences will want to see those films in 3D. We already know that people do not want 3D, only studios do.
A recent UK poll saw that only 19% of audiences think that 3D improves the movie going experience and 52% of the audience would prefer it without the glasses. So essentially what Sony are doing is making a business decision that entirely contradicts what the audience wants, and for a business which relies entirely on the consumer, it is a mind bogglingly stupid move.
3D is coming to an end, I know that if I had to pay another cost on top of the already bloated ticket price I would sooner see the film in 2D. 3D does actually nothing apart from draw your eyes to floating bits of debris. The only parts of Avatar or Tangled that were genuinely stereoscopically impressive were when small things were floating around. Whether it be the jellyfish like glowing creatures or the lanterns.
The argument that Avatar shows us 3D is the future is now void. That film was a phenomenon and its 3D success is yet to be repeated. With Sony making this terribly foolish move, will other studios follow? And if so, how will audiences react?