|(Sources: studio officials, BTIG Research.)|
“It does not show that fewer people are choosing 3D,” wrote Patrick Corcoran, spokesman for the National Association of Theater Owners, in an email to TheWrap after a chart was published late last month (see chart on right) illustrating that trend.
Grosses for 3D, Corcoran contended, can be directly correlated to the amount of 3D-capable screens that are available for a film to play on. This has been a complicated issue in recent months, with movies competing for what is still a scarce number of 3D-equipped venues.
“The audience for 3D is growing, right along with the 3D screen count,” Corcoran said.
“It’s just hard for kids under 6 years old to keep the glasses on,” he said.
“In total, we’re making more money than ever from 3D, but nobody is noticing because we’re all fighting for screens,” added Disney theatrical distribution chief Chuck Viane.
True, Disney’s “Alice” and “Toy Story 3,” for example, combined to gross well over $400 million in 3D ticket sales in the U.S. alone. But there's no question that movie-by-movie, the trend has clearly been downward.
During second-quarter earnings call last week, studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, one of 3D's most vocal proponents, continued to hammer away at the notion that quality execution of 3D films is directly related to consumption.
The percentage of of 3D-to-2D will continue to grow, he said, so long as production tools get better and filmakers improve the way they embed the format into their storytelling.
Of course, some moviegoers are now questioning that differentiation (and Hollywood has taken note -- a recent TV spot for "Step Up 3D" pointedly mentions that it was "filmed in 3D.")
But while the format will be here to stay, he believes the movie industry will become more selective about what it chooses to shoot in – and convert to – 3D.
He also thinks exhibitors will have to move away from its age-old, one-size-fits-all pricing model.
“For the first time in a long time, I think you’re going to see some adjustment on that,” he added.
I for one is just about tired of 3D. I haven't seen a good 3D movie since How to Train Your Dragon. 3D glasses make everything darker and costs extra. I think Hollywood is now seeing a little backlash from pushing all these 3D movies down our throats. They are making everything 3D now...Step Up 3D....are you you beeping kidding me? 3D was nice at first but now I think it needs to go. And don't even get me started on those stupid 3D tvs that everyone are making now!