Two years after the breakthrough of 3D megahit Avatar, Hollywood is still struggling to decide how best to use the new technology, as filmgoers tire of the novelty and say no to annoying glasses.
While 2011 ends with a couple of well-received 3D movies — including Steven Spielberg’s holiday smash Tintin and Martin Scorsese’s Hugo — film-makers need to focus on what works in three dimensions and what doesn’t, say experts.
Following a series of 3D flops over the last 12 months, the coming year will see a new crop of releases, including a new version of James Cameron’s record-breaking Titanic in April.
But experts say film-makers can no longer count on the simple fact of putting ‘Now playing in 3D’ on the posters to attract cinema-goers wary of paying a few extra bucks for a questionably improved experience.“While there were nearly 40 (3D) films released this year, studios have been scaling back in terms of the type of films released in this new format. The reason? Audiences won’t pay for a 3D engagement that isn’t a premium picture,” said Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst at industry data provider Exhibitor Relations. “Two of the major pain points for consumers are still the price of the TV and the need to wear glasses,” market research company NPD said.
Meanwhile, back in Hollywood, Spielberg also says that 3D should be used only when appropriate. “I disagree with my colleagues who believe that every film should be in 3D. It’s another tool in a very large tool chest,” he said. “I think 3D should be used when there is something to be achieved from it, not just to be able to slam the 3D brand on a movie ad,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 23rd, 2011.
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