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We all remember the cheesiness of 3D when we were kids (early 90’s for me). The old red and blue glasses that were kind of 3D, but we were kids and didn’t care if the effect wasn’t totally there. 3D was cool! It was always relegated to kid’s things, like the occasional special on Nickelodeon, but never embraced by mainstream Hollywood. We often heard from our parents of old monster movies that use to be in 3D, like Creature from the Black Lagoon. Well it seems history is repeating itself again, and the old concept of 3D movies is making a comeback. But in this economy, is it actually going to work?
There is no hiding it, movie theaters are having trouble making money left and right. It’s hard to justify paying $10.75 for a movie your on the fence about seeing in the first place, then pay the insane amount for food and drinks. But 3D adds the spectacle going to the movies use to represent. It gives people a reason to fork over the cash, and makes them feel like they spent their money wisely.
This effect can wear off though. With the slew of 3D releases coming out in 2010, 3D could lose its luster and fall back into the same pattern of old. Avatar is the first major 3D release in a while, and the 3D is an essential part to the film. 3D should only be used in movies where the 3D will enhance the movie. People won’t pay $12.75 for a 3D film where the movie was made 3D for the hell of it. Judging by the trailers of Clash of the Titans and How to Train Your Dragon, it seems like these movies will be enhanced by the 3D. So all is well.
Well not really. The Jackass crew has discussed using the 3D technology of Avatar for their films. Jackass won’t use the tech to its highest potential, but the studio will charge more for the tickets. Putting a bad taste in the mouth of movie goers will deter them from giving 3D films a chance and the fad will be remembered as a failed attempt to renew 3D. It’s hard to say “don’t make a movie in 3D” when it brings in so much money. Alice in Wonderland is going to be a massive success, because it used 3D in a great way (with help by Tim Burton and Johnny Depp). The whole 3D fad is a trial and error, and hopefully the studios will learn quickly what works in 3D and what doesn’t. Like Activision is learning the hard way with the over saturation of the music gaming genre with Guitar Hero, the studios need to learn saturation. Customers will only spend so much on 3D movies before they say, “that’s it, I can’t keep spending this much money.”If Summit Entertainment makes the next Twilight movie in 3D, then the trend needs to end…NOW.
The future of 3D in movie theaters looks very bright, but the success of it is on the shoulders of DVD/Blu-Ray sales. Should studios make the discs 3D enabled? Would they have to go back to the hokey 3D glasses? It’s a cloudy future. More and more TVs are having the 3D option added, and many game studios have discussed releasing games in 3D on the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii. But the option is only available in high end TVs, and this economic crisis is keeping many from buying those. With Avatar,it’s only natural that 20th Century Fox will release a standard and 3D version, be it separate or on the same disc. But the problem of being cost effective comes to mind. Having to make standard and 3D in both DVD and Blu-Ray could get very expensive fast. The smarter idea would be to include 3D as an option on every disc. The problem of how to make 3D is still there, and won’t be solved anytime soon.
The real enemy of 3D right now is the economy. Having a permanent increase in the cost of tickets and DVDs isn’t something consumers want to see. People won’t go the movies as often if they know they are going to be spending more money every time. Unless the price increase can be made more appealing, at least in the case of DVD/Blu-Rays. An example of this would be how many Blu-Ray movies include a digital copy or a DVD copy in addition to the Blu-Ray copy. DVDs and Blu-Rays have seen a decrease in price in the last few years, which could mean the price of a 3D version, could be just a few dollars more. Only time will tell.
The “3D-ifying” of old movies seems to be a possibility too. I love you George Lucas, but the original Star Wars trilogy doesn’t need to be in 3D. It doesn’t add anything new, and we don’t need to fork over another $50 for a 3D version of the original trilogy. An example where the 3D effect worked was when Disney re-released Toy Story 1 & 2. Looked great, and almost made it an entire new movie.
[FONT="]What’s the moral of this three dimensional story? Take 3D in stride. It’s easy to give into a fad and make everything 3D, but some self restraint will keep the market fresh and the consumer happy. And that’s what the studio wants right?[/FONT]