Are 3-D movies dying? Well, it's complicated...

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The last two weeks will not go down as 3-D’s greatest moment. First there was Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which earned just 46 percent of its $90.2 million opening from 3-D showings. That was the second-worst 3-D debut — on a percentage-of-gross basis — since November 2008. And then over Memorial Day weekend, Kung Fu Panda 2‘s three-dimensional screenings could muster only 45 percent of its $60.9 million opening. For both films, nearly two-thirds of moviegoers opted for the 2-D version. Depending on who you ask, that’s either an indication that audiences are starting to reject 3-D cinema, or simply a blip in 3-D’s otherwise promising future. But Wall Street investors aren’t liking what they’re seeing, causing shares of the leading 3-D technology company RealD to tumble 26 percent the last two weeks.

Stock analyst Richard Greenfield of BTIG Research is one of Wall Street’s most vocal opponents of 3-D. “I think people are tired of showing up and having to wear glasses — at high prices — every single week,” says Greenfield, who happened to mention the three most frequent complaints launched against 3-D: uncomfortable glasses, expensive surcharges, and an oversaturated market. In regard to the glasses, some segments of the audience have trouble with them, namely small children and individuals who already wear glasses, while others (particularly Roger Ebert) don’t appreciate their dimming effect. But most moviegoers seem okay with wearing the dorky frames.

Pricey surcharges and a glut of 3-D movies are another matter, though. At Los Angeles’ AMC Century City theater, a family of four must shell out $64 to catch a 3-D flick — $17.50 for adults and $14.50 for kids. “[The prices] are insulting to the consumer,” says Greenfield. “They’re hurting the price-value relationship of going out to the movies, especially when you see Netflix at $7.99 or Redbox at a dollar a day.” The sheer amount of 3-D movies being released has also drawn criticism. In 2009, Hollywood put out an average of one 3-D picture per month. Last month, however, saw the release of four 3-D films — one every weekend. “There’s just too much 3-D,” says one prominent industry executive. “It’s too much of a good thing. I like steak, but I don’t want to eat it every night.”

But does Hollywood have any plans for curtailing its surplus of 3-D movies? Or, more importantly, does Hollywood even think 3-D needs fixing at the moment? One comment I frequently heard from various insiders was this: Wait a little longer. “You have to make decisions based on a full-year cycle, not a finite period of time,” says Greg Foster, chairman and president of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. That sentiment was echoed by Dan Fellman, the president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros. “I think it’s a bit of a glitch we’re going through at the moment,” says Fellman. “By the middle of August, I think we can really determine what the pattern is and if we need to make some adjustments.”

By mid-August, we’ll have seen (and, in some cases, endured) the 3-D releases of Green Lantern, Cars 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Smurfs, Final Destination 5, Glee Live 3D, Conan the Barbarian, Fright Night, and Spy Kids 4. And while Wall Street investors and box-office analysts will be looking closely at how these movies performed in 3-D, the studios may be focused on something else: the foreign market.

Any 3-D fatigue that’s being felt domestically has yet to spread overseas. Disney’s Pirates posted the largest foreign debut ever, with 66 percent of its tally coming from 3-D screenings, while Kung Fu Panda 2 grossed $55.5 million from only 11 markets — including China, where it registered the biggest opening ever for a non-Chinese production. “Our shareholders expect us to think about the world as the world, not domestic versus international,” says Dave Hollis, Disney’s executive VP of theatrical exhibition sales and distribution, “and [with Pirates] we did 61 percent of our global business in 3-D.” Adds Fellman: “If the international market continues to rally and the domestic drops a little, the overall picture is still in the plus column and there will be no change [in Hollywood’s approach to 3-D].”

So are 3-D movies dying? Not according to Hollywood, at least when studios examine the issue from a global viewpoint. The big question is whether 3-D’s novelty will eventually wear off in such emerging markets as China and Russia. “I can’t imagine consumers all across the globe are that much different from Americans when it comes to seeing movies,” says Greenfield. Of course, if the world’s moviegoers do tire of 3-D in the next year or two, there’s a little film at the end of 2014 just waiting to get us hooked all over again. It’s called Avatar 2.


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  • UGH

    I feel sorry for anyone who spent a lot of dough on 3D television.

    • Percy

      You know—those Beatles are nothing but a trashy fad. Oh, my hip!

      • just saying

        I remember when i was a kid and seeing 3D at the theaters and at Epcot. I wasn’t all that impressed with it then and i’m not that impressed with it now. Some movies, like Avatar, styled themselves around the 3D, the 3D actually added to the otherworldliness of the film. But for most movies it’s just an excuse to charge more money for an impressionable public who thinks that just bc it’s new technology, they must have it. See any of the idiots that line up for iPhones and iPads etc… when they can wait a month and get it much easier. If you feel the need to waste your money on 3D, if it makes you happy, so be it. But for most films it detracts, not adds to the experience for ME. (Disclaimer: I also don’t cringe at looking at a non HD or LCD tv either and don’t foam at the mouth if i don’t have BluRay. To each his own)

      • Michael

        Percy, 3D adds nothing to the experience and subtracts a lot (bright lights, viewing angles, and the list goes on). Just like subtitles, after ten minutes of watching a 3D film you forget it’s 3D and watch it like you would any other film. Until something gets thrown at the screen as a gimmick. I’ve been sick of 3D since I attempted to see a really dim Coraline two years ago. And I’m only 25. Studios will find another way to make money long-term; 3D isn’t it.

      • Mike

        “But for most movies it’s just an excuse to charge more money for an impressionable public who thinks that just bc it’s new technology, they must have it. See any of the idiots that line up for iPhones and iPads etc… when they can wait a month and get it much easier.”

        The first sentence really doesn’t directly correlate to the 2nd. Just sayin…

      • meer15

        When are the 3D versions of the Star Wars flicks coming out? Can’t wait to see the scene from “Clones” where Jango is chasing Obi-wan thru the asteroid field.

      • Voodoo

        I don’t like the Beatles. Or 3D.

    • Oh come on.

      3D is no more of a “fad” than VHS, or CDs or MP3s, or Blu-Ray. Any major changes and improvements to electronics always come to us via the Japanese and Europe years afterward—and by the time it gets here they’ve had it for years and years. Take a look at HDTV and flat screens, for example. Right now, Japan is working on UltraHDTV, with some resolutions so high that they look film-like, and OLED ultra flat panels that will become the new standard for monitors. They already have cellphones that outpace ours in form and function.

      • Ben

        “some resolutions so high that they look film-like”

        Um, DVDs look film like, BluRay is more defined then film quality.
        Also, I think Japan is a little preoccupied with other stuff right now…

      • MAN

        @Ben- Umm, no. BluRay looks better than DVD. If you can’t see the difference, you either need glasses, or a better TV. And BluRay is not film quality. It takes about 4000 lines, 4X the 1080 of BluRay, to achieve the resolution of most films.

      • Peter

        Right, the entire nation is at a standstill, nothing happening there at all.

      • Michael

        3D was a fad in the ’50s, and the ’80s, and now in the ’10s. By 2040 they’ll try again, forgetting that it *worsens* picture quality.

      • Dorimifah Solatido

        Michael got it right; you’re wrong. None of your examples were new formats that had been tried before & eventually lost their novelty. 3-D is mostly an annoyance re the glasses, the dimming, the contrived scenes shot just to emphasize the gimmick.

      • thin

        MAN is right. You know where every Blu-Ray disc comes from if its movie wasn’t shot on video originally? That’s right, by scanning the original film, which has enough resolution to cover Blu-Ray’s dimensions and so much more beyond that.

    • Ellie

      Just wait until AVATAR2 comes out, and all this BS talk about 3D dying will die. If people get a product that actually makes GOOD USE of 3D, they will support it. AVATAR proved it.

      • jodipo

        Avatar was a turd of a movie… the ONLY thing it had going for it was the visuals, so yeah it benefits from 3d. If only they could get rid of the horrible dialog and storyline

      • Fridge

        Agreed, jodipo. Other than the visuals I don’t get what all the fuss is over Avatar. I’m sure someone will come after me and say I’m an idiot or something else equally non-creative, but I didn’t care for the film. I’m not big into seeing a movie only for visual effects, I value plot, dialog, and character development more than 3D. Then again, watching movies in 3D gives me migraines, so I won’t be going to any in the future anyway.

      • Luchy

        Fridge, you’re an idiot or something else equally non-creative.

    • Ellie

      “Of course, if the world’s moviegoers do tire of 3-D in next year or two, there’s a little film at the end of 2014 just waiting to get us hooked all over again. It’s called Avatar 2.”

      LOL So true!!

      • Austin

        AVATAR SUCKS!!!!!!!! It’s Pocahontas with blue people!

      • Michael

        I think the Avatar 2 comment only reinforces the idea that there are only very specific cases where 3D is appropriate.

      • dave

        That’s why I have yet to see a movie in 3D. I really want to but since I missed out on Avatar there hasn’t been a movie where I really see there being a point to it being in 3D. I mean Glee Live 3D? Forget the fact that I don’t like Glee to begin with, what’s the point of that movie being in 3D? Maybe Captain America will be my first one if it gets good reviews.

      • J

        No. It’s Dances With Wolves with blue people, Kevin Kostner. You can stream it on Netflix

    • Jeremy

      No, I think you’re just jealous. It’s incredible to watch sports programs specials, and certain movies on my 3D tv. It’s glorious, actually. I’ve watched the last two games of the NBA finals on ESPN 3D, and it’s like being there. Brutally close to the real thing. So why do you feel sorry? Because you don’t have one, and/or can’t afford one.

      • jon

        Actually, its a bad rehash of an eco-centric animation movie called Fern Gully. Other than avatar being in space, and fern Gully being set in a rain forest, its the same story.

    • Isaac

      I don’t. Anyone that was stupid enough to lay down the mountains of cash for one of those TVs gets what they deserve.

  • Lee

    I have never been a fan of 3D. Not in the 1950s, not now, not ever. It was a fad then, and I think the trend in today’s market will be the same. I would much rather see a movie in 2D, as opposed to 3D. Same with television: now television sets and shows are starting to broadcast in 3D. I could care less about that stuff. 2D was just fine the way it was, and it will long outlast the way-beyond-its-15-minutes-of-cultural-importance of its lifecycle.

    • JB

      Also fun: navigating with just a compass and the moss on trees instead of a GPS.

      • Dorimifah Solatido

        Dumb analogy. 3-D is not a revolutionary new way to see movies. It’s a gimmick.

    • genesis

      To a certain extent I’m in agreement but I don’t think that 3D is a “fad” as much as it may slowly become unpopular if the corporate execs can’t get all the kinks out of the system (i.e. how to market 3D films without the exuberant prices).

    • Mike

      “I could care less about that stuff. ”

      So you DO care about it?

  • sd

    its not the saturation or the glasses. Its solely the price, if i don’t think the movie is gonna be worth the 3D surcharge i’ll see it in 2D and reserve spending the money on 3D for the movies i am really excited about (harry potter for sure)

    • Tajah

      This.

    • Topanga

      YES YES YES.

    • Luther

      This.

    • hamster

      I agree. Of all the 3D films listed in the article, the only one that excited me was Harry Potter. Unless the others really show that they need the extra dimension to put across the story, I’ll save my money.

    • AltDave

      That’s true of most of the moviegoing public, or will be as people realize that not every movie is enhanced by 3D. And we can only hope that the hobbible 3D conversion fad dies out soon; people seriously need to avoid conversions unless and until the quality greatly increases.

      • AltDave

        that’s “horrible,” nothing to do with Hobbits!

    • Rich

      Harry Potter wasn’t filmed in HD so it’s basically a conversion from 2D to 3D i.e. don’t waste your time with the 3D version

      • Agree

        This.

      • Carla in Houston

        @Rich: see this is one of the things that I think turn people against 3-D. I’ve seen some really visually attractive 3-D movies (Avatar, Up, Alice in Wonderland), and then I’ve seen some up-converted crap (Clash of the Titens) that erases all of the goodwill from the good stuff. Personally, if I know up front that a movie has been up-converted, there’s no way I’m paying for 3-D. But sometimes you have to dig to find out, because the studios are not that forthcoming in their advertising.

    • Karen B

      I so agree. Most films, I just don’t see what 3D will add, and the extra $3 per person just isn’t worth it. For my family, that’s $12 extra dollars – that can fund the snacks! And neither of my children like it at all – they hate the glasses. So most of the time, I say Pass.

  • Marc

    Awesome! Finally, a sign that this shameless price-gouging gimic from the studios might actually be reconsidered. [A guy can dream, right?] I now refuse to pay extra for a 3D screening of anything unless the reviews warrant it. The last time I saw a 3D movie worthy of its designation was ‘How To Train Your Dragon’, over a year ago. I’m all for the technology as long as it actually enhances the movie-going experience, but the lion’s share of the “3D” movies that have been released since ‘Avatar’ leave much to be desired.

    • genesis

      Agreed. Going to the movie is already a strain on the wallet as is and to pay an additional surcharge to see a movie in 3D is astronomical. For example, according to the article “a family of four must shell out $64.00 for the 3D experience” (Young). 3D movies are more of a luxury then a necessity or a regular leisurely activity for some individuals (myself included).

  • WhatAThursday

    We won’t shell out the extra $$ for the 3D version. I think what they saw this weekend was the result of people still tightening their belts and not spending $12 on something they can see for $9 (or in our case, we went to see POTC on discount day for $5 in 2D). The story doesn’t change; the 2D version of films isn’t bad visually. I wear bifocals and have a hard enough time getting the right row to see the movie without having to add the dimming view of 3D glasses on top of it. Not my idea of entertainment.

  • Dash

    I really dislike 3D. I hope it’s a fad and that it will fade out soon. If it catches on it will only be a matter of time until all movies are 3D and you won’t have to option to see it in 2D. I feel like if you want to see something 3D go see a play.

  • Old Bailey

    So because Americans don’t like something the rest of the world might miss out?

    • umm

      There’s a rest of the world?

    • Brian

      Those 3D films are made in America and if Americans refuse to pay for crappy movies, then yes, the rest of the world will miss out. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it works.

      • Brian

        Well, not necessarily “made”, but funded and produced by American companies.

      • dave

        You must not have read the article.

      • Brian

        And you must not have read Old Bailey’s comment. The film industry in American targets domestic gross first. If certain types of movies don’t make money here, they stop making them.

      • keviboy

        WRONG! NOT ALL MOVIES ARE MADE IN THE U.S.A!! we made capt AMERICA here in the Uk,XMEN 1ST CLASS IN THE UK,PIRATES HERE IN THE UK,SHERLOCK II here in the uk,HP 1-8 HERE IN THE UK,ALIENS PREQUELS being shoot now in the uk (3Doh)Jack and the giant killer here in(3D0h) Clash of the Titans (3DOH!)REJECTED! at the last minute!!BATMAN DARK KNIGHT RISING SHOOTING NOW IN THE UK so not all films shot in USA.I think the 3doh! is a fad and will still be a market for it but done in post more cost effective joe public cant tell the difference and saves the cost of having double camera gear and crew and set-up time is much much longer…eg lens change takes 20min 2d takes less than 2mins.you do the maths!!!!!

    • Rhaz

      We’d be doing the “rest of the world” a favor.

      • glo-lady

        Amen, Rhaz!

        Old Bailey….. 3D movies at their current state, are NOT worthy of more money. You hardly notice any 3D going on after 15 minutes.. seems too much for the eyes to actually keep seeing it as “3D”. I stop noticing any 3D going on after the opening credits.

    • Tag

      You mean the rest of the world is incapable of making their own 3D movies?

  • PrincessBride

    It’s completely about the cost for me. We went to see Green Hornet because my teenage son wanted to see it – didn’t realize it was only showing in 3D. A family of four, all over 13 so all paying adult prices, and then you add $3 per pair of 3D glasses on top of it? I’ll totally shell that money out for something like Avatar, but Green Hornet? So not worth it.

  • JLC

    Here’s the problem with calling 3D a fad. We (or most of us) see in three dimensions. Films couldn’t remain silent, because we can hear people when they talk. Films became color, because that’s how we perceive the world. 3D is only a fad because we haven’t figured out a way to reproduce it without special glasses, etc. It keeps popping up every generation or so because that’s what we see every day. Once it can be produced without glasses, on a bright screen, every film will be in 3D. It may take awhile, but it’s inevitable.

    • Chris

      3D films are NOT 3D as an “real vision. How often do you find yourself waving your hands in front of your face because things “look like they’re coming right at you”? 3D is a cheap gimmick, and when used poorly (as it often is), takes you right out of the story.

      • JLC

        I never said 3D was “real” vision. I simply said that because we see “in 3D”, it’s never going to go away entirely. It popped up in the 50s, then the 80s and now today. When the technology is there, everything will be in 3D. And just like kids today won’t watch movies in black and white, future kids won’t be interested in anything non-3D.

      • just saying

        You know some people do appreciate the past. True artists realize and learn the history of their art and then try and further it. Look at most filmmakers, they study and enjoy classic movies. Look at most real musicians (not pop tartlets), they love and appreciate the place that all genres of music- classical, jazz, blues, classic r&b/rock, bebop, etc… holds in the canon of music literature. The kids you are talking about are not well versed or educated in anything and have attention spans the size of gnats. We shouldn’t be catering the world solely to them. And you insult kids who actually like more than Ke$ha and Twilight.

      • just saying

        Also, JLC, I’m not saying new tech doesn’t have it’s place. But I know, personally, I cringe when I think of being forced to see things in 3D. I enjoy 2D television just like I enjoy reading a book on (shock) actual paper. Yeah, the Nook and Kindle are great for traveling, but there’s something about turning a page and being able to put a book down and not having to worry about it wasting power or emitting radiation that i just enjoy. And they talk about all kids having things like iPads in the future instead of textbooks? Well, some of us learn differently than others. And I know for me, the physical act of highlighting a page helped me remember things better than moving a cursor ever could. In a perfect world, people wouldn’t put down others for having different preferences and there would be a place for all of them.

    • Bug

      I would like to expand a bit on the comment of “We (or most of us) see in three dimensions.” Lost in this discussion of 3D is that it doesn’t actually work on everyone. Those with vision issues in one eye that limit depth perception (studies I have read put that number anywhere from 8-15% of the public) simply do not see things in 3D when it is artificially constructed. With that much of the population unable to see or appreciate the images, it seems like they will never really overtake 2D.

      • JLC

        Some studies set color blindness at 10% among males, though less prevalent among females. And yet most movies are still in color.

      • AltDave

        A large number of people are confined to wheelchairs, yet they still build stairs. What’s up with that?

      • SquarePeg

        This is why we don’t pay for 3D in our family. My husband can’t see it. Of course we see one movie a year in the theater as it is. The price is too much for just a 2D movie when we factor in the 3 hour round trip drive to get to a theater.

      • Ruth

        This. I am in that 8-15% and do not look forward to the day when I can no longer attend the movies or watch TV because it’s all in the 3D I can’t watch.

    • keviboy

      WRONG! your brain can only accept a limited amount of information at any given time!the 3d images seen on the cine screen are projected on to a FLAT plane in reality 3d life as we see it ISNT flat you have depth to everything giving your brain time to decode it.on a cine screen you have 2 seconds of eye movement from one side to the other if your watching talking heads and there is a stupid branch of a tree to the opposing side of subject your naturally drawn to stupid tree waving about detracting you from what is actually going on with all whats going on your brain eye coordination is OVERLOADED hence headaches and sometimes nausea!

  • JimmyH

    3D is a total waste of money. There really is no need for it in movies. I agree with “Dash” above. Go see a play if you want 3D. Or better yet…go play outside with your kids. There’s no better 3D than real life.

    • TJ

      No doubt you had a bag of Werther’s Originals handy as you wrote this.

      • JimmyH

        TJ – What is that supposed to mean? I must be old? Think before you type.

      • genesis

        @JimmyH ~ Not liking 3D doesn’t automatically mean they are old it simply means their not a fan of 3D. For example, I am not a fan of 3D and I’m not a senior citizen. I’m just not a fan of paying additional surcharges.

      • Not old and not a 3Dfan

        yeah, but if you are thirteen or have the mentality of a thirteen year old, it’s impossible to believe that anyone else might have a different opinion than you. If they do they must be decrepit, idiotic or liberals!

      • dave

        To be fair, JimmyH basically said anyone who likes 3d is an idiot.

    • Rhaz

      3d strains my eyes and gives me a headache. And no, I’m no senior citizen either.

  • Meta

    I love 3D, own a 3D tv, but do hate the 3D surcharges. None the less 3D sequels to movies that already have major installments in 2D feel out of place and clunky. I didnt see pirates in 3D because all the rest are not 3D. I won’t see harry potter in 3D because the first half of the freaking film (part 1) was not in 3D which is really dumb if you ask me. 3D should be saved for movies designed and planned for a 3D experience, like avatar.

    • JimmyH

      Meta, seriously, how much programming is in 3D to warrant the cost of upgrading?

      • TimW (No, not that one)

        For 3D, it’s not just about the TV programming – which like HD, is starting off with 3 channels and a bunch of on demand. It’s also about 3D Blu-ray, which blows the theatrical experience away -brighter, sharper, with better-fitting glasses. It’s also about the best *2D* screens ever made. Seriously, check out one of these new 3D TVs with a 2D picture. You’ll flip. As for the cost of upgrading, it’s about the same as a nice new non-3D TV, and packed with a bunch of great new features. The TV is also going to last for a while. I got my HDTV in 2003 when programming was just on the horizon. I enjoyed what came, as quickly as it came, for YEARS while other people were just waiting, and am still watching the same set 8 years later. It’s the same now. The question is less how much 3D there is today than how much longer you want to wait for the best looking TV you’ve ever owned, with some of the most amazing content you’ve ever seen.

      • J. Baker

        Most 3D televisions can upconvert standard 2D programming to 3D. Won’t be as good as native 3D programming though – I love my ESPN3D channel and HBO/Cinemax both have 3D versions of many of their movies available On Demand (FiOS) for free.

      • voice of reason

        @TimW et al.: I think what it boils down to is that there are those who see technology as a way to improve an art form and those that just view ANY technology as cool just because “ooh! it’s new! look what we can do!” Example: black and white is considered an outdated technology by many but is considered a way of artistically expressing something by others. I love what Speilberg did with Schindler’s list, for example. Also, when color first became prevalent, there were still some that made movies in black and white. Most for monetary reasons, probably, but there are some really wonderful movies that just would not have resonated the same way if they’d been filmed in color. If you’re a person who isn’t interested in art, who only appreciates how much action and CGI there is, then this wouldn’t matter you. Me? I love when technology and art are married in perfect harmony. The best new movies do that. And it says something that I (and many others)enjoy the original Star Wars Trilogy and Clash of the Titans, even though the technology is so “outdated” today. And I was born after both Ep III and CoT came out, so you can’t say it’s bc I am just old and that’s what I saw first.

      • voice of reason

        I’m glad you enjoy your technology, but I still don’t have HD, have seen it over many friends/family’s houses and don’t particularly miss it. I’m sure I’ll eventually get it (won’t have a choice), but for some of us we don’t enjoy what we watch just for how visually “stimulating” it is. Oh, and I saw The Expendables on my bro’s LCD tv and HATED it. It was like watching a video game and not in a good way. In fact I would rather have watched a video game! Just bc it’s new, doesn’t mean it’s great. (And I’m talking only about the visual quality. Obviously, I didn’t expect the movie to be more than what it was- a bunch of old fave action stars getting a chance to blow ish up)

      • @ VOR

        OMG! Did you see the s e x robots last night on Discovery Health? It’s like, just because we can make them, does it mean we should? Hilarious! There’s the future for you. That and 3d porn.

      • Mike

        @VOR “And I was born after both Ep III and CoT came out,”

        Since ep III came out in 2005, you write pretty well for an “at most” 6 year old!

        And if Expendables looked like a “video game” or maybe “soap operish” or whatever on the LCD, there’s a chance your brother has the “auto-motion” option turned on (if it’s a samsung)…which really makes for a bad experience. Of course, just watching the expendables is a bad experience (though it can still be a fun one lol)

      • Mo

        @Mike: On a Vizio I think it’s called “smooth motion”, and it makes everything look superbright and like it was shot on video. I watched a bit of Pirates of the Caribbean with it and hated hated hated the feeling that I was watching America’s Funniest Home Videos, not a movie. My husband thought it looked good (but no, it doesn’t.) I guess that VOR, like the rest of us oldsters, meant “the third movie” AKA Return of the Jedi but he called it episode III, which of course is the 6th movie, which of course, since you knew what he meant but you use the new Lucas count, makes you a little whippersnapper, I guess. Damn you, George Lucas, for setting yet another divide between the younger and the older generations!

      • Mike

        @MO – I’m not that young myself (well I was born after episode 4 – Star Wars The original but not very long after), but was just messing with VOR. I knew he meant ROTJ lol But, I don’t think ANYONE ever refers to this prequel trilogy as Eps 4-6. They would say the 4th 5th and 6th star wars movies. But once you put EP in front of it, it begs to be commented on! and I thought my comment was light hearted enough to not tick anyone off. But, totally agree on the SMOOTH/AUTO Motion crap on these new TV sets. It’s all aimed at getting rid of pixellation (sp?) but at the cost of making an odd looking moving picture. It looks WAY too real and loses its film quality. Works okay for sports and stuff but I just keep it turned off.

  • Karin

    While american movie goers get the choice between 2D and 3D a lot of europeans don’t get that choice, lots of theaters decide to only show one of the two, often being that annoying 3D version. that’s why 3D is still doing so well in europe, it’s not a choice the consumers make it’s forced on us.

    • Jesse

      It’s practically forced on us in the US too. I have opted to see PIRATES and KUNG FU PANDA in 2D on their opening weekends, and been forced into smaller (and thusly overcrowded) theaters while the 3D versions took the larger theaters. That’s annoying too.

      • Karin

        at least you can see it in 2D, Pirates isn’t shown in 2D here. the same will likely be for HP7p2, specially opening night

  • Ivan

    It’s all about pirating – you can’t (yet anyway) illegally download a 3D movie. This is the real motivation behind Hollywood’s 3D efforts. It has nothing to do with the movie ‘experience’

  • Jesse

    I have a rule. I won’t see a movie in 3D unless it’s an animated film and it’s made in 3D (as opposed to conversion later), like KUNG FU PANDA 2. Live-action 3D doesn’t really have the same impact. Movie tickets are overly expensive as it is, and why would I knowingly spend more money for an inferior product? That said, movie theaters have more problems than 3D; there’s still the fact of annoying, inconsiderate patrons; overpriced concessions; and, until recently, subpar films. This summer seems to have finally rectified that, with quality movies making a comeback after several years of frankly disappointing ones. If Hollywood keeps making GOOD movies, the 3D won’t matter.

    • Mo

      Although I balk at the surcharge, I am now thinking there might be a hidden perk to seeing kids’ movies in 3D – no toddlers in the theater (I would assume parents wouldn’t want to pay the extra money since a kid that young can hardly sit through a movie, let alone with funny glasses on.) I took my children to see Kung Fu Panda in 2D last weekend, and the experience was completely destroyed by the toddlers in the row in front of me (at least, luckily, there was an aisle in between). One wasn’t so bad, he cried a couple of times and said “oh no” a lot during the action parts. The other one was an utter nightmare, babbling loudly throughout the movie, crying, running from one parent to the other yelling “be right back!”, and making a racket with the plastic booster seat. After the movie I told his mother that he was way too young to bring to the theater. The clueless woman just said “oh no, he’s fine, he just didn’t want to sit…” I told her I felt she owed me the $22 I spent on the tickets and left, disgusted.

      • Rhaz

        Get over it Mo, how rude can you get. Kids will be kids and if you are seeing a kids’ show the what do you expect?

      • voice of reason

        And THAT’s one reason why people don’t like going to movies at theaters anymore, Rhaz. Why go and be annoyed by other patrons and/or their kids when you can sit at home for cheaper price, food you enjoy, can pause for bathroom breaks, and drink alcohol or smoke if you so choose. There are very few movies I would choose to pay to see for the “big screen” experience. It’s not so much an event as a nuisance nowadays. Especially since many people have high grade tvs nowadays. It’s just like how taking a flight used to be an “event” where people would dress up and be treated grandly, but now flying means being harassed, molested, and treated like a burden once you are on the plane itself.

      • who’s rude here?

        yeah, Rhaz. spoken like the parent of a troublesome kid that doesn’t want to discipline them. You are the one who has that kid that kicks my seat on the plane, too. The one that sees it and says nothing because, hey, it’s not happening to you so who cares, right?

      • Rhaz

        I think you lost your voice of reason when you started comparing movie going to airplane travel. Seriously? Neither your comment nor who’s rude have anything to do parents trying to take their kids to a movie. Who said anything about planes? Try again.

      • Mo

        I guess that VOR, like the rest of us oldsters, meant “the third movie” AKA Return of the Jedi but he called it episode III, which of course is the 6th movie, which of course, since you knew what he meant but you use the new Lucas count, makes you a little whippersnapper, I guess. Damn you, George Lucas, for setting yet another divide between the younger and the older generations!

      • Mo

        Uh… wrong post there. Sorry. To answer Rhaz, I wasn’t rude to start with. I told the mom I sympathized with how hard it is to get a toddler to sit still and behave if he doesn’t want to, but that he really was too young to bring to the theater. I also know, as a parent, we get used to our children’s brand of racket and sometimes don’t notice it, but it bothers other people who have to tell us about it. When she gave me her clueless answer, I told her the rest because she needed to hear it. There was another kid behaving like a kid in the very same row, and not for a second would I complain that he was giving us a loud TV Batman-style running commentary: “POW!” “TAKE THAT!” “YEAH!” “SHEN’S ALIVE??!!” Kind of annoying at times, but also hilarious and endearing. That kid was old enough to be 100% invested in the movie he was watching, unlike the toddler, who couldn’t have cared less where he was, and was allowed to behave like he was at the park. Toddlers for the most part just don’t belong in movie theaters. I myself waited until my children were 3-4 years old and I knew that they were old enough to sit through a whole movie before I brought them to the theater. Before that, they watched their movies at home, where they could get up and run around and babble and not bother other people who paid a good amount of money for their movie tickets. It’s simple common courtesy and common sense.

        Oh and, come on, Voice of Reason’s point is not about taking kids on planes. It’s about seeing your kid kick someone’s seat and not tell them to stop. It also happens in theaters, but I will turn around and ask them to stop kicking when they do that, which usually does the trick… unless they’re toddlers!

  • Roland

    Good Point Ivan !! I only see a movie in 3D if it’s worth it. Other than that, it’s all about the regular 2D. Not every movie even looks good in 3D anyway.

    • LOL

      I hope it goes away. Soon.

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