The 3D motion capture animation movie Mars Needs Moms, produced by Robert Zemeckis, under performed horribly for a 3D animation at this weekend’s box office, so much so that Disney have decided to pull the plug on Robert Zemeckis’ next 3D motion capture project: a remake of Yellow Submarine. According to The Hollywood Reporter this decision is a long time coming for the studio and the opening of Mars Needs Moms was just the final factor in their decision to kill the movie.
The project was particularly high profile and had already got 6 actors signed on. However, overtime the budget projections became a big problem but crucially the studio were concerned about what most people have being saying for ages. The motion captured people just look creepy. There is a point in our brain when we can recognise what is real and what is fake and no matter how hard one tries to get CGI to make people look real, an audience can still tell it is fake. Deadline have denied reports that the Mars Needs Moms opening killed the movie, however had it been a box office sensation Disney wouldn’t be so hasty to kill the next 3D movie.
Disney obviously felt like many do, if you need to spend so much money on getting the characters to look photo realistic why not just use proper actors? I’ve never seen the point in Zemeckis motion capture technique and why he’d want to continue doing it this way, especially for something like A Christmas Carol which had no reason to be done the way it was. The setting and special effects yes but you can still keep real people. He is now free to set this up at another studio.
Also take this into consideration, I’m no fan of 3D and with everyone in the studio system and James Cameron telling us 3D is the future, isn’t strange that in the past week we’ve seen 2 very high profile 3D projects with two bankable filmmakers at the helm being pulled by the studios. Also with several 3D movies failing at the box office and a 2D CG animation (Rango) and a 2D special effects action movie (Battle: Los Angeles) triumphing, is 3D really the future? I think not.