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Is 3D losing its luster?

Is 3D losing its luster?

By Paul Nelson | Posted - Sep. 10, 2010 at 6:58 a.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY -- As long as customers have a choice in paying extra for 3D or paying regular price for traditional 2D, customers at the Megaplex 12 at the Gateway have no problem with 3D movies.

One man said, "I don't think it makes much difference." He wife replied, "It doesn't seem like it's either [3D] or [nothing]."

Another moviegoer said, "[With] a kid's 3D movie, when you're watching it with a kid, that's cool."

Megaplex Theaters General Manager Blake Andersen says customers will always have the option of watching the movie in 2D. He says changing between the two formats is as easy as flipping a switch.

But the audience for 3D films is definitely out there. Andersen says tickets for these movies are selling extremely well. So much so, he says Disney has committed to make a 3D version of all movies from now on.

"Almost every major release will have a 3D version to it including, one of Utah's favorite [franchises] ‘Pirates of the Caribbean' and ‘Cars.' Some of these releases that are coming out, like ‘Transformers,' will all have a version of 3D next year," Andersen says.

There have been some Hollywood heavyweights who are trying to shy away from this format. Writer Joss Whedon reportedly said he was hoping his upcoming horror film "The Cabin in the Woods" would not be a 3D movie. The New York Times quoted Star Trek director J.J. Abrams as saying "When you put the glasses on, everything gets dim."

Andersen says that can be a problem for theaters without newer silver screens. Plus, there are other problems.

"There are some people who don't like to wear the glasses. There are some people whose children won't keep the glasses on," he points out.

Andersen believes there will always be a segment of the population that would rather see films in their traditional format. But he says using this digital technology to draw people to see what otherwise looks like a dumb movie probably won't work anymore.

"The novelty is gone. I think in the beginning that may have been true. A bad movie could have done better when 3D was a novelty," he says.

So if the content of the movie is bad, 3D won't save it. But, if the content is good, Andersen says adding the eye-popping element will make the movie great.

Here are some movies scheduled for release in the 3D format.

2010

  • "Tangled," Disney
  • "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," 20th Century Fox
  • "TRON Legacy," Disney

2011 - "The Green Hornet," Sony

  • "Sanctum," Universal
  • Untitled Justin Bieber Project (A concert movie), Paramount
  • "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," Disney
  • "Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom," Dreamworks
  • "Cars 2," Disney
  • "Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World," The Weinstein Company
  • "Final Destination 5," New Line
  • "Puss In Boots" (Part of the Shrek series), Dreamworks
  • "Happy Feet 2," Warner Brothers.
  • "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked," 20th Century Fox

2012 - "Madagascar 3," Dreamworks

  • "Men in Black 3," Sony
  • "Ice Age: Continental Drift," 20th Century Fox
  • "Monsters Inc. 2," Disney

E-mail: pnelson@ksl.com

Paul Nelson

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