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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » The decline of 3D (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: The decline of 3D
Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2066
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 08-22-2017 04:47 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As 3D continues to decline in popularity and available showings, I'm curious what others think about the eventual demise of 3D.

With the lower demand from customers, and less strict requirements from the studios, I wonder how long it will make sense to buy brighter bulbs to project 3D. Especially when we long gaps without any 3D content.

I had this discussion about my theatre recently and it has been concluded the additional cost per hour for 4K vs 3K bulbs does not justify ditching 3D entirely. However, we may be getting close to the time when the projector(s) will normally have 3K bulbs and a 4K is just kept on the shelf for when we have a worthwhile 3D movie.

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Mike Spaeth
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1108
From: Hampton, GA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 08-22-2017 05:20 PM      Profile for Mike Spaeth   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Spaeth   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't even book 3d content any more. 2d only

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2388
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 08-23-2017 07:48 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The market here might be slightly different, but in general we follow the same trends as the U.S.

I don't think 3D will entirely go away in the foreseeable future, although it's undeniably on the way down for a while now. Especially studios like Disney are still releasing most of their tent poles in 3D and the "premium" concepts like IMAX, Dolby Cinema and other assorted PLF "formats" are still catering to the format as of now.

My impression is that most customers base their decision for a particular show not so much on format, but more on a particular show time that best fits their planning. Most people I speak about it, consider 3D more a nuisance than added value.

There are the occasional re-releases that specifically target 3D, like the upcoming Terminator 2 release. Also, for a handful of new releases, 3D will make some sense and you might find some people specifically looking for the 3D version, especially if it gets some good reviews, particularly because of the 3D (which is rare, but still seems to happen).

As for the economics, I guess it depends on your theater and the size of the individual auditoriums. A local 8-plex for example, keeps 3D available in one of their three larger screens and one of their 3 medium sized screens, both screens also have Atmos. Another one, which has the rather unique configuration with 8 equally sized screens, also keeps two screens available for 3D, this used to be three.

Another 11-plex has ditched 3D in their larger auditoriums entirely and is showing 3D only in two of their medium sized rooms.

A smaller 4-plex which had 3D available in all their auditoriums has ditched 3D entirely. They do get the occasional question, why they aren't showing a particular show in 3D, mostly regarding animated stuff though.

I don't think that, nowadays, you do not necessarily need to offer 3D in the biggest rooms in the house, but if you're running 4 screens or more, it's probably still worthwhile to keep it in one of your medium sized screens. The extra costs for the "bigger" bulbs should only be marginal in those cases.

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Geoff Jones
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Broomfield, CO, USA
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted 08-23-2017 08:25 AM      Profile for Geoff Jones   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm really bummed that T2 is not playing in 2D anywhere. I'm excited to see it again on the big screen, especially with my kids, one of whom hasn't seen it, but hate paying extra for a format we don't like.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

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From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 08-23-2017 07:56 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We haven't played a movie in 3-D since April 2016, and I've probably had maybe half-a-dozen people ask about it since then, so I don't know if it's worth resurrecting our system or not. (Our Dolby 3-D unit went "down" in April and we've tried every trick in the book but can't get it to work.)

That said, I'll bet the 3-D promotional machine will crank up very loud when James Cameron gets ready to roll out the next Avatar movies. After all, the original was the main driver behind most of the digital 3-D installations in the first place, and I don't think he's lost his enthusiasm for the format. He'll probably be pushing laser 3-D installations this time though.

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Marcel Birgelen
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From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 08-23-2017 08:15 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Avatar 2 is now scheduled for 2020. I'm not entirely sure what Cameron's plan is, but it seems like he keeps kicking the can down the alley, although the alley finally seems to narrow somewhat.

It has been mentioned, he's aiming for a 4K 3D 60fps release. I guess, by now, HDR also has been added to his wish list. The only setups theoretically capable of playing such content right now are the highest end dual-stack 3D setups like the Christie Dolby Vision setup.

quote: Geoff Jones
I'm really bummed that T2 is not playing in 2D anywhere. I'm excited to see it again on the big screen, especially with my kids, one of whom hasn't seen it, but hate paying extra for a format we don't like.
Apparently, the studio and most likely Cameron by proxy, demands exclusive 3D presentations for this release, at least in some markets.

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Martin McCaffery
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From: Montgomery, AL
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 - posted 08-23-2017 08:25 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What will be the first film to bill itself as being shown in "Classic 2D"? [evil]

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David Stambaugh
Film God

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From: Eugene, Oregon
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 - posted 08-23-2017 08:40 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
With very very few exceptions like Avatar, GOOD RIDDANCE.

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Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-23-2017 08:50 PM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Amen, but 3D will never really be "gone" until the last of those infuriating silver screens is replaced.

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Jesse Skeen
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From: Sacramento, CA
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 - posted 08-29-2017 06:12 AM      Profile for Jesse Skeen   Email Jesse Skeen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As a HUGE fan of 3D, the industry has largely mishandled it this time around. Charging extra for it was a HUGE mistake- they didn't charge extra for it in the 50s or 80s. (I know someone on here will tell me it costs more to run 3D than 2D, but I doubt it amounts to $3 more per patron, and it seems they're losing more than that from the people who won't go at all because of the upcharge.) 3D should never have been treated as an "add-on" either- either a movie is in 3D, or it isn't. Separate 2D showings of 3D movies are the same as showing a color movie in black and white, or playing a surround track in mono. Shooting in 2D and then post-converting to 3D is pretty silly too- although it CAN look good, there's been enough bad conversion jobs to turn people off from 3D especially if they had to pay extra to see them. If they could shoot 3D in the 50s with dual-camera rigs, there's no reason why they can't shoot true 3D with digital equipment now.

I'll just say from a patron point of view that I would have gone to EVERY 3D movie that came out since the revival (starting with Disney's Chicken Little) if theaters hadn't been charging extra for 3D. Since they did, I've only seen a handful of them (but I didn't go to the crappy 2D showings just to save money- I either see movies the right way or not at all.) It's especially sad now that 3D showings have been reduced rather than the upcharges dropped- now if there's a movie I want to see, I first have to verify that it's in 3D to begin with, and then if it is make sure I go to the "right" showing. (Meanwhile all that precious 3D equipment in the booth that cost so much money is just sitting there doing nothing as the 2D showings play through it.) Even if I go see a 2D movie, I have to double-check that it wasn't actually in 3D and that I'll miss it because the theater decided not to show it that way.

I have to ask those who've been in the business at least since the 80s though, was there as much hate for 3D the prior times it came around as there has been recently? I honestly can't believe the amount of COMPLAINING I've heard about 3D from some people. It seems some people simply can't see it properly, but I definitely can and I love it!

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Mike Blakesley
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From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 08-29-2017 08:00 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We never did 3D on a regular basis before the current iteration, but I can tell you that we got almost no compliants about the surcharge. Most gripes centered around the glasses, headaches, or "I just can't see 3D." So if we made it a freebie I doubt it would increase attendance much.

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Jim Cassedy
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 - posted 08-30-2017 12:40 AM      Profile for Jim Cassedy   Email Jim Cassedy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think 3D popularity can very greatly by venue and clientele.
I recently had one theater owner, who has pretty much given up on 3D
ask me if there was any aftermarket for used 3D equipment, and how
much I thought he could get for it if he decided to rip it all out.

(I told him I don't know- - because I don't know)

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

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From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
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 - posted 08-30-2017 04:09 AM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Love to get rid of 3D so we can lose that blessed "hot spot" that loves to follow you around, by putting back up matte white screens.

Dolby 3D installs don't count.

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Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

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From: Waukee, IA
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 - posted 08-30-2017 06:40 AM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: David Stambaugh
With very very few exceptions like Avatar, GOOD RIDDANCE.
Yeah, Avatar is the one movie where watching it at home in 2D made it feel like it lost something.

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Rusty Gordon
Film Handler

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From: Fairview, Tennessee USA
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted 08-30-2017 11:17 AM      Profile for Rusty Gordon   Author's Homepage   Email Rusty Gordon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As a long time exhibitor (former) and lifetime moviegoer, I have never liked 3D and I certainly wouldn't pay extra for the privilege. I'm 53 now and while not quite curmudgeon I see my industry making ridiculous mistakes that are driving the decline of moviegoing. When you consider that the most reliable patron is single and of school age and dating age, exhibition has priced them out--or at least reduced moviegoing frequency to just tentpoles.

What teen/young adult can afford $12 to $23 a ticket to see a film every week? Ask yourself if teens/young adults have the money for extras like 3D for a middling, non-blockbuster film. Ask yourself if a teen wants to pay $5+ extra to sit in a wide lazy-boy type chair every time he attends a film like "Boo! A Madea Halloween". Ask yourself if reserved seating appeals to a teen who wants to meet up with his friends (and sit together) at the cinema. Ask yourself, is Dolby Atmos 100 channel sound really needed or is 7.1 or 5.1 even really adequate? Indeed, these amenities are super for a person like myself who can afford them. But I see *maybe* 5 films a year in the cinema. I would never go to a cinema and sit through 95% of the drek that comes out today. Kids would--if they could afford it. Just my perspective. Two-cents if you will.

Exhibitors are driving its most reliable customer from an affordable cinema experience they can repeat every week. Back in the day teens would go to the cinema every weekend and just pick and watch anything. No more. Not only are there other, less expensive choices at home and mobile and on demand, there are now exorbitant amenities one must pay for in addition to just seeing a film. No more are kids just plopping down an hour's wages to see a film. In many cases it's two--just for a ticket. It may be too late for the exhibitor who's taken the plunge and bought into this madness. Your customer base may have found more affordable options.

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