Archive for July 17th, 2011

The Overthrow of 3D

I have never made any secret of my dislike of 3D movies. I don’t have any particular problem with them, I don’t get headaches from watching them as many viewers have reported, 3D movies are often so bright and colourful that the 35% loss of light caused by the Real D glasses has never been an issue, I just don’t see the point. Filmmakers who have been enchanted by the medium will argue that it is “more immersive” than 2D, what they don’t seem to realise that a good story is more immersive than a visual gimmick. To exacerbate the problem in a sort of 3D snobbery they refuse to use the horror gimmicks of things flying towards the audience, the one thing 3D does well. The real issue of 3D is the extra cost, charging extra for the 3D glasses is fine but actually charging more for just watching the movie makes no sense to me. The expensive infrastructure needed to show 3D was paid for by the success of Avatar. My local cinema (who charge between £4.50 and £6.85 to see a film depending on when you go) charge an extra £2.10 (£1.50 for Children) for a 3D movie and £0.80 for the 3D glasses. That makes it nearly £10 for a 3D movie at peek times. It would cost a family of four (two adults and two kids) £33.10 (about $55 at current exchange rate) to see a 3D movie.

Despite my feelings for 3D I have actually seen four 3D movies so far this year: Sanctum, Drive Angry, Thor and Priest. But I have also seen three movies in 2D that were available in 3D: Green Lantern, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The next big release (excluding Harry Potter that I haven’t seen) will be Captain America: The First Avenger. As it was shot in 2D and retrofitted with 3D it will hopefully be screened in both formats. I know which I will be watching.

Working on the assumption that cinemas and studios keep track of 2D/3D split of the box-office take I have a theory that the best way to halt the unnecessary spread of 3D is to choose to watch the 2D version of 3D movies. If a movie is available in both formats but makes more money in 2D it will say far more to the moneymen who run Hollywood than the ramblings of film critics and movie bloggers. So if you feel the same as me about the gimmick that is 3D go and see Harry Potter and Captain America in 2D and send a message to Hollywood. If you are a fan of 3D, go and see them in 3D and thwart my plans.


Since publishing earlier today Brittani Burnham from Rambling Film tweeted: “Deathly Hallows is on track to break The Dark Knight’s record of biggest opening weekend” and “Only about 43% of Deathy Hallow’s gross was in 3D. This proves more Potter fans perfer 2D. let’s hope this 3D fad dies” these tweets echoed my thoughts so closely I decide to add them to the post. Lets hope this is the start of the revolution.  If you still aren’t put off 3D you can even get a pair of Harry Potter Style 3D glasses, a snip at double the price of a regular pair!

You can find Brittani Burnham HERE and on twitter @ramblingfilm

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