Does 3D Still Have a Future?

We know a number of readers here at TGD are not fond of 3D, and got sick of the hype long ago. 3D has certainly taken a dive in the States, but you often have to make a movie in 3D for it to play in China, where we’re counting on the box office over there for a film to break even. 


So the 3D movies should keep coming for a while, but how much of a future does the technology have? We’ve pondered this question a number of times here at the site, and the New York Times just ran a story headlined: New Challenge for Filmmakers: Adding Dimension to 3-D Movies. This has been a big sticking point with a lot of 3D movies: Moving beyond the initial gimmick of the technology and delivering a movie that works with or without it.

An upcoming 3D movie that’s generated very good buzz so far is Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in space, and it’s coming in October. Yet as Michael Cieply writes, “In general, filmgoers in North America are drifting back to conventional theaters.” This also happened after 3D movie screens have quadrupled since 2009. 

The Times adds that the 3D versions of Wolverine and Turbo made less than 30% of their final box office gross. There’s at least five dozen 3D movies that will be coming within the next three years, but will audiences still be there by then? Will they be there for 3D by the end of the year? It will take a big movie to make it stay, and the Avatar sequels will do well no matter what format they’re in, so are fans still willing to see 3D, or have they had enough? 

An interesting test will come next month for the Imax 3D concert film, Metallica’s Through the Never, which will have the biggest Imax roll out in history. Stay tuned…