Now this should be of big concern to studios: a few days ago, Slash Film provided evidence that moviegoers are starting to choose traditional 2D screenings over 3D screenings. That evidence? 66% of the prints of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides are in 3D, but the film made 46% of its gross in 2D screenings, and even more surprising, less than half of Kung Fu Panda 2‘s gross came from 3D ticket sales. This trend has continued with Green Lantern and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, as Fandago’s early ticket sales show an obvious significant preference for 2D screenings than 3D ones. While 3D is still doing substantial numbers, it’s a far cry from when Avatar was selling out 3D showings, especially since Avatar was on far fewer screens.
Here’s the big problem, though: the major studios have many key releases set for 3D release in not only 2012, but beyond! In fact, 20th Century Fox has Avatar 2 and 3 penciled in for 3D releases in 2014 and 2015, and Lucasfilm has the re-release of Return of the Jedi in 3D set for 2017 already! This is something that will be a major concern, especially if studios are willing to front the ever-increasing cost of 3D films when moviegoers plan to see the films in traditional 2D.
Personally I increasingly choose 2D over 3D for the same reason most moviegoers probably do: the cost. My local theaters charge anywhere between $3.00 to $5.00 extra for 3D films, and I can’t justify that cost when I know that most of the films that are currently released in 3D weren’t even meant to be in 3D in the first place. Some have complained that studios instituted the 3D revival (and 3D prices) during what is one of the most significant financial downturns in recent history, but those who say that seem to not realize that 3D in itself is a money-making gimmick for the most part. The major studios and theater chains — who are hurting too, of course — are looking for an extra buck wherever they can get it. Try not to feel bad for them — I know I find it hard to, and I love the movie biz.
So I’ll open this up to the MovieBuzzers readers: what’s your opinion on 3D movies? Do you more often go for 2D or 3D, or do you have special circumstances? Let us know in the comments!