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Is 3D Already Dying?

Movies show 3D is a declining trend. What does this mean for games?

If you look at the graph below you will see that the percentage of revenue from 3D movies has drastically declined. Why are movie goers shunning 3D? Well there appears to be two factors. Firstly, 3D movies are noticeably dimmer, film critic Roger Ebert has declared 3D movies are ‘noticeably darker than standard 2D’ and Hollywood golden boy Christoper Nolan agrees,

“On a technical level, it’s fascinating,” Nolan said of 3D, “but on an experiential level, I find the dimness of the image extremely alienating.”

Now pay attention: Here comes the science bit. Movie screen luminance is measured in units called ‘foot-lamberts’ with your standard movie weighing at around 14 foot-lamberts. Lenny Lipton, a pioneer in the area of projection noted that ‘you lose half your light, because half the light goes to one eye and half goes to the other.’ In other words a 14 foot-lambert movie is half as bright as a standard movie. Lipton comments,

“Avatar generally screened at about four-and-a-half foot-lamberts; other films are as low as two or three.”

The other factor to consider is the price. 3D movie screenings are usually at least 25% more expensive than 2D movies. Whilst movie goers are happy to pay for the experience for an ‘event’ such as Avatar they are less willing to pay the premium for a standard Saturday night popcorn flick.

So what does that mean for 3D gaming? Only time will tell but if 3D movies go the way of the dinosaur then TV manufacturers are going to have a very hard job selling expensive TVs just for gaming. Michael Pachter recently commented that 3D is just a ‘fad’, what do you think?

Source: The Wrap

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59 Comments
  1. bunimomike
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    Much like approaching that particularly rotund girl at the bar, we all try something new once in a while. However, it would appear that we sometimes learn from such a curious venture and never explore that avenue again. 3DTV is much the same.

    I am sober, I tell you!

    Comment posted on 21/07/2010 at 23:17.
    • teflon
      Community Team
      Since: May 2009

      3D girls want it more, I heard.
      I imagine the same goes for rotund movies…

      Wait…

      Comment posted on 22/07/2010 at 00:31.
    • exellentgamer
      Member
      Since: May 2010

      you have to take in notice that the top movie is avatar which everyone loved

      Comment posted on 24/07/2010 at 22:06.
      • jonny
        Since: Jan 1970

        It doesn’t matter how popular the film was. This graph is showing the percentage of 3D box office vs 2D for that film.

        Comment posted on 28/07/2010 at 12:47.
  2. Rob92
    Member
    Since: Dec 2008

    I definately dont want to go watch everything in 3D. Avatar yes, Clash of the Titans and Toy Story, no. If 3D is done well and its worth it then yes but not when its tacked on.

    Comment posted on 21/07/2010 at 23:18.
    • theberzerka
      Member
      Since: Dec 2009

      I agree wholeheartedly with this if its a film made purposely with 3D in mind then its going to be more of a hit than a soppy love film in 3D, oooooh look her tears are almost touchable lol

      Comment posted on 22/07/2010 at 08:29.
    • Rocket_345
      Member
      Since: May 2010

      i regretted going to see Clash of the Titans in 3D as there was to much going on at once

      Comment posted on 22/07/2010 at 09:55.
  3. Erroneus
    Wanted "Trophy Hunter" but was too late.
    Since: May 2009

    What I’ve learned from 3D movies, is not to watch 2D to 3D conversion, eg. Clash of the Titans. The effects are not really good and the image quality are clearly suffering.

    If 3D movies want to survive, Hollywood has to understand that not EVERY movie meant for 3D, so either do a movie from the bottom up with 3D or stay with 2D.

    Comment posted on 21/07/2010 at 23:21.
    • fps_d0minat0r
      Member
      Since: May 2010

      or maybe 3d costs more than the normal version?
      if they were the same price i bet 3d would be 90%+ all the time.

      Comment posted on 22/07/2010 at 11:05.
  4. DrNate86
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    I demand more foot-lanterns for my money!

    Comment posted on 21/07/2010 at 23:24.
  5. a inferior race
    I'm special
    Since: Jul 2009

    I haven’t even heard of the last two films. So that might have something to do with this. I bet if Twilight was in 3D that would of bucked the trend.

    Comment posted on 21/07/2010 at 23:31.
    • Tuffcub
      On the naughty step.
      Since: Dec 2008

      Its not box office takings, its the percentage of the total takings that are from 3D.Big fiulms such as Shrek and Toy Story saw 10% less viewings in 3D than Avatar. If that trend continues 3d wil be dead in 2 years time.

      Comment posted on 21/07/2010 at 23:34.
      • a inferior race
        I'm special
        Since: Jul 2009

        I can appreciate that. However if I haven’t even heard of the last two films does that mean that the cinemas are devoting as much of their 3D screen time to say airbender as they are to Toy Story 3.
        Also Avatar was marketed as a 3D film. Toy Story 3 is a film thst happens to be in 3D.

        Comment posted on 21/07/2010 at 23:46.
      • Tuffcub
        On the naughty step.
        Since: Dec 2008

        Thast probably because these are USA takings – the last two are not even out yet in the UK

        Comment posted on 22/07/2010 at 07:28.
      • Apnomis
        Member
        Since: Sep 2009

        But aren’t Shrek & Toy Story largely kids films and apparently 3D isn’t designed for kids?

        It’s a bit unfair starting the chart with Avatar – that’s the first (and possibly only) film that was actively promoted as a film designed specifically for 3D. Whereas the last film on the list I’ve never heard of…

        Sooner or later more films will become native 3D rather than the crappy faux-3D, you need to compare apples with apples…

        Comment posted on 22/07/2010 at 11:52.
    • PhilipJWitow
      Member
      Since: Jan 2010

      I would have to agree that I am unsure whether this trend is representative of 3D or whether it’s just co-incidental.

      I have also never heard of the last two, I would expect Shrek and Toy Story 3 to sell roughly equivalent amounts as they’re both big titles, and Avatar was the highest grossing film of all time so it’s unsurprising it’s at the top.

      How to Train your Dragon is the only movie I can’t really explain, but it did look really good and to be honest I would have liked to have seen it more than Toy Story or Shrek, so maybe it was just a good film.

      Comment posted on 22/07/2010 at 06:46.
      • PhilipJWitow
        Member
        Since: Jan 2010

        Sorry, just read the above posts a little bit more closely, but I think my point still stands. I’m not going to see a crap movie in 3D if it’s available in 2D, Avatar was always going to sell well in 3D as the movie itself is absolute trash, only the visuals are worth looking at.

        For the others, they performed about as expected. Maybe because How to train your dragon is something that parents did not grow up with meant that only new adults (and thus people more used to 3d) attended these screenings.

        Basically, all of these results can be explained away not because of 3D losing fads but rather because of simple logic.

        Comment posted on 22/07/2010 at 06:48.
  6. tonycawley
    Pint! Pint!
    Since: Feb 2009

    I just don’t see it hanging around. 10% of people can’t see it, the glasses are cumbersome and annoying and in all honesty it doesn’t really improve the film does it? I for one don’t particularly want to sit in my living room watching Telly with the glasses on, or play my ps3 with them on either. When they make the technology better where you don’t need the glasses then fair enough, i reckon it’ll be bigger, but for now the glasses just put too many people off.

    Comment posted on 21/07/2010 at 23:47.
    • Divine
      Member
      Since: Oct 2008

      I disagree. Avatar in 3D is visually astounding.

      Comment posted on 22/07/2010 at 00:06.
  7. Jumping Monks
    Legend
    Since: Jan 2009

    Just yesterday I was online booking cinema tickets for me and my girlfriend to go and see Toy Story 3. When looking for it, once into the website,I came across the 3D version, and this is what crossed my mind, “I’ve seen the first 2 in 2D, and they were great. I dont see why I should bother quite frankly.” So I scrolled further down the page to the normal version. It had considerably less screenings… make of this what you will…

    Comment posted on 21/07/2010 at 23:51.
  8. Divine
    Member
    Since: Oct 2008

    Pachter, or should I say Captain Obvious could very well be right. I’m not convinced the decline in 3D sales is related to screen dimness though. I don’t remember thinking the screen was remotely dim when I watched Avatar, quite the opposite actually. The decline is much more likely to be attributed to how shit the recent 3D offerings have been.

    Comment posted on 22/07/2010 at 00:00.
  9. BIGAL-1992
    Member
    Since: Jan 2009

    Avatar and Toy Story in 3D? Yes. Everything else? No.

    Comment posted on 22/07/2010 at 00:06.
  10. CrawFail
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    I’m not convinced 3D will ever be here to stay. I think it’s a fad that will die off pretty quickly and leave those with a 3D tv a little red in the face (sorry Jas-N). I’m sure the games look great but I can’t see many devs putting time and effort into something that people have to spend a massive wad of cash on to take advantage of.. if they can even see the effects of 3D at all.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.. technology is trying to push far to much far too quickly. HD, bluray etc has just found its place in the market and they’re already trying to upgrade it when the vast majority of people are still miles behind, catching up.
    I suppose time will tell. People vote with their wallets.. but this one thinks they won’t be voting for 3D.

    Comment posted on 22/07/2010 at 00:12.
    • BioEye
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Forever

      “I can’t see many devs putting time and effort into something that people have to spend a massive wad of cash on to take advantage of”.

      HD.

      Comment posted on 22/07/2010 at 12:58.
    • gazzagb
      Master of speling mitakse
      Since: Feb 2009

      I agree with everything you’ve said. The novelty of 3D is already wearing off.

      Comment posted on 22/07/2010 at 13:10.

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