It looks like the love affair with 3D movies is already past its use-by date. Wait - already? What am I saying - it took longer than I expected.
In short, some figures from the reported findings:
- December 2009 - Avatar 3D, approx 71% of the audience watched in 3D
- March 2010 - How To Train Your Dragon 3D, approx 68% of the audience watched in 3D
- May 2010 - Shrek Forever After 3D, the figure had dropped to 61%
- July 2010 - The Last Airbender 3D, down to 56%
- Later in July 2010 - Despicable Me 3D - 45%
And still they haven't figured it out - "Critics say part of the problem may be the technology itself". Nope, it's the fact that the audience isn't clamouring for 3D in a cinema. It's a solution desparately looking for a problem to solve, and there isn't a problem. We like 2D. Really, we do!
I saw three other quotes this week on the subject. The first one is from the film critic Roger Ebert, and is listed at the above link as well (near the end) - "3D is a waste of a perfectly good dimension and Hollywood's current crazy stampede towards it is suicidal".
The second one was a figure I saw on theonering.net, from ComicCon'2010. Apparently they conducted a survey during their panel, and found that "out of 450 people surveyed, 450 don’t want 3D for ‘The Hobbit’". Sounds like the audience really doesn't want it, doesn't it? Ok, so 450 isn't a huge scientific sample, but at ComicCon, they're pretty dedicated film watchers. I'm hoping the eventual makers of the film listen to the audience.
The last quote I unfortnately can't find back right now (it was on a podcast that I haven't seen transcribed anywhere). Apparently, when Sir Ian McKellen was in Wellington, he me up with some of the Weta technicians, one of whom asked him what he thought of Avatar 3D, to which he replied something along the lines of "you know, theatre is in 3D?"... classic. Obviously he wasn't too impressed with the "advances" in technology. Go Sir Ian. :)
In essence, that's what the big bucks have been trying to emulate - the theatre experience. For some reason, it's what everyone is supposed to want (but very few actually do).
I know I've blogged about this a few times before, (ok, ok, they weren't so much blogs as rants), but I feel very strongly about 3D. It was a gimick in the 1950's, it was a gimick in the 1960's. It's still a gimick now. If they ever solve the "stupid glasses" problem, I'm prepared to look at it again but I doubt very much whether we'll all still be talking about 3D in 2012 ((before the apocalypse, obviously)). It'll be a long forgotten fad by then, and all your expensive glasses and 3D TVs will be under your beds, resting in peace with your slinkies and your hula-hoops.
You can quote me on that in 2013.
- Jack M.