View Full Version : Share of cinema 3D sales falls below 50% according to The Economist

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07-27-2011, 12:22 PM
3D cannot make a movie better... much in the same way that you can't polish a turd...

I find 3D displays fascinating in ther own regard, from a technical & logistical standpoint, but the adding of another dimension to play with in composition alone suggests that there is artistic potential to be exploited.

I would have to in turn ask why 3D is so offensive to people? Does it really give you a headache and hurt your eyes? I've seen Avatar in the theatre and that's basically it for my 3D film-going, but I really, really enjoyed the cinematic experience of it. I've said it before, but it's like watching Dorothy and Toto come out in color... it's just pure visual rapture.

On the flipside, oftentimes when I see a 3D picture from a stereoscope, or something like that, I'm left with the impression that, hmmm... ok, that's what it looks like in real life. *yawn* In that respect, I can relate to some 3D skepticism.

However, there are very intriguing possibilities with hyper & hypo stereo setups; where the "eyes" are placed much further or closer than our interocular distance. Imagine two cameras 50 feet apart and aimed at a distant thunderhead; the thunderhead becomes a dollop of whipped cream. Likewise, 3D microscopy, showing a virus or cell in full relief. This kind of stuff interests me.

update: a lot of these posts are just down right curmudgeonly IMO

Thomas Bertilsson
07-27-2011, 12:30 PM
3D is not offensive to me. It just not something I think is necessary to enjoy a GOOD movie. Maybe it helps adequate or crappy movies to gain some traction with the audience, I don't know. But as you say, you can't polish a turd.

To me what makes a good movie is the building of great characters, a good story that either moves me or teaches me something. Good acting is important, as is good directing, and finally someone that can keep the cheese factor down.
I saw Avatar in 3D in the theater, because I was curious. No visual miracles in the world can save that movie from being a lousy story. Like everything else it's another way to wrap people in a neat package of 'entertainment value'. I hated the movie, and the added visual tricks did nothing to enhance the experience.
Now to the flip side of the coin; if I were to see a really good movie in 3D, I might enjoy it. But I would enjoy it in 2D too without missing the possibility of seeing it in 3D. So for me it's completely unnecessary and frankly a waste of time.

07-27-2011, 12:46 PM
3D cannot make a movie better... much in the same way that you can't polish a turd...

Actually, you CAN polish a turd ;) Just ask Mythbusters:


07-27-2011, 12:47 PM
Did no one else appreciate the anti-colonialist sentiment expressed in Avatar? Drivel or not, I got behind that theme.

No one has ever claimed that Hollywood's 3D movies are going to be more thoughful, more moving, more artistic, more enlightening, etc., solely by virtue of a third dimension.

I feel strongly though, that dismissing the vehicle (3D) instead of the passenger (the plot) is a mistake, and that's the case with all this 3D bashing. It seems like there's a strong negative reaction, and a voluntary lashing out that I just don't really see cause for.

I say let's just sit back and see what someone does someday with a 3D film. One of my least favorite things is eating crow!

Color was a novelty too when it came out, but today it's just standard and great movies are filmed in color. I see the same thing happening to 3D someday (if we lose the glasses... this is key).

Steve Smith
07-27-2011, 12:51 PM
So, regardless of impact on the film industry, does 3D make the movies better?

No. Only good stories make movies better.


Thomas Bertilsson
07-27-2011, 12:51 PM
Chris, I will keep my opinion to myself. Not even worth arguing about. You like the potential. I don't. I'm moving on.

07-27-2011, 12:52 PM
I enjoyed avatar 3d for what it was. It was actually filmed in '3D' (with a lot of cameras at different depths etc), with enormous amounts of work by James Cameron, it took years from what I've read. Getting the timing right down to the single frame and whatnot, I'm glad I don't work in that industry.

Most other '3D' films are, however, filmed in 2D and then sent to Mumbai where all '3D'-esque effects are done in post.

So as most others have said, 3d wont save a bad movie, but done right it might enhance the experience for the viewer. It has done once for me at least (Watching avatar on dvd made me wonder how I could enjoy it the first time), other have been terrible (I left the theater thirty minutes into Burton/Disneys abomination Alice).

07-27-2011, 12:54 PM
Chris, I will keep my opinion to myself. Not even worth arguing about. You like the potential. I don't. I'm moving on.


We're not arguing... I thought we were just having a spirited conversation. Please don't stop expressing your opinion Thomas, it's one of the better ones!

I'm just encouraging everyone to keep an open mind, that's all.

Thomas Bertilsson
07-27-2011, 12:55 PM

We're not arguing... I thought we were just having a spirited conversation.

I'm just encouraging everyone to keep an open mind, that's all.

I know. I'm just tired of the discussion of something I don't even enjoy. :) Smile. It's all good. I just figured out that I have better things to spend my time on.

07-27-2011, 12:57 PM
Good call.... onwards and upwards!

Ken Nadvornick
07-27-2011, 01:13 PM
This short article in the online version of The Economist shows how 3D is losing ground lately:


Yes indeed.

Last June 11th I made this post (http://www.apug.org/forums/forum172/81371-big-blow-film-production-kodak-fuji-29.html#1084812) along the same lines. It contains a link to a different article that drew a similar conclusion. There was some disagreement in the thread, however, as to whether the new found unpopularity of 3D would have any residual upward effect on film sales.

[Edit] The updated link to that earlier article is now here (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/11/us-jeffreykatzenberg-qa-idUSTRE75A05M20110611).


Dave in Kansas
07-27-2011, 01:20 PM
I doubt that we ever see the day when everyone will be in agreement that 3D improved movies. After all, does everyone agree that adding color to movies improved them? What about adding sound?


Mustafa Umut Sarac
07-27-2011, 01:25 PM
Psychologic effects or mind control is easier with 3D. 10 years ago , I had been read an article on movie and central nervous system control. And there is a soviet propaganda tv ad at google from East Germany.
You can easily hypnosis , under contiousness attack people with 3D. I think biggest danger is watching CNN 3D and wake up the morning when you want to save the USA from muslims. Gringos try every trick to do this. Or Hologram Newspapers , how much background information Murdoch would put in.
I think there must be a filter , reader to show mind control effects or 50 year later , people start new revolutions like Egypt , Without a reason !

07-27-2011, 02:27 PM
I think proper 3D (with glasses) is going to be all the rage in the game industry. Imagine playing a flight simulator such as "Red Baron" or a formula 1 simulator in "proper" 3D. The game would calculate the two different frames exactly, and the user would have a much more realistic experience. Realism, "immersion" in the scene is very important for games.

Cinema is a different beast. Films like "Tora, Tora, Tora" or "The battle of the Midway" would have certainly be much more spectacular with proper 3D effects. Imagine the final "triello" in Il brutto, il buono, il cattivo. More spectacular but, overall, the film would remain the same. I don't know if I would pay more to see the shovel appear "near".

Landscape would certainly gain. All the western films having in the landscape an important part of the attraction would certainly be much more pleasant.

But, ultimately, a film is good or bad for other qualities than "realism". We still enjoy B&W films of the past. Just like Fellini 8 wouldn't really gain anything from colour, it would not really gain anything from 3D.

I don't think "glassless 3D" to ever become realistic. It's either two different images for the two different eyes (taken from two different points of view, an inter-pupillar distance apart) or it's not 3D.

07-27-2011, 02:43 PM
Glassless 3D is a very real possibility. We currently have, and have had since the 60's-70's, the ability to do this using fly's eye arrays placed over TV screens. It all goes back to Gabriel Lippmann's integral imaging concept. We could have a glasses-free television set today if the manufacturers and broadcasters saw fit to do so.

Umut, you raise a very interesting point! TV already has an opiate like effect, and one can only imagine when it is even more lifelike. It's like the soma & "light boxes" of A Brave New World. That's why I think the future is gonna be such a wild place to be... my grandkids might be amazed that grandpa used to watch 2D television! (and that Church and state used to be separated... :pouty:)

07-27-2011, 03:56 PM
but certain countries that promote digital Cinemas like Norway (all 420 screens in Norway are digital http://www.screendaily.com/news/digital/norway-first-country-to-go-fully-digital-with-all-cinemas/5030136.article)and Germany (Cinemas that Change to digital receive a lot of founding). The EU actively promotes the digitalisation of cinema as well. The BBC, National Geographic and NHK no longer accept documentaries shot with Film as it interferes with their Broadcast compression Format (worst quality but cheapest). Indie Filmmaker have discovered the Red or Canon DSLRs a lot cheaper than a pro 35mm Camera (Red around $18 000 new vs Aaton Penelope $ 120 000 new or a decent used sync sound camera e.g. Arri 35bl4 $ 18 000 used ). 90% of the movies made in Hollywood and in Europe use Digital Intermediates instead of classic IP Films. Quiet a few Blockbusters use the Red for FX Shots the classic territory of the VISTAVISION 8 Perf or Mitchell 4 Perf cameras. Another point in digitals favour is the lack of grain and High Speed of the Cameras (the current Hollywood DP Bigwigs favourite Digi Cam. Arri Alexa ASA 800) meaning smaller lightning package. Distribution cost are still lower when using Film, a DI is quiet expensive (around $ 30 000 Film and a 2K DI averages around 60 000 to a 100 000 $) But let's not forget that most movies will never be shown in a cinema but are straight to TV or DVD productions. It's still possible to make a cheap movie using Film ($10 000 Budget shot in 35mm Anamorphic with Russian Cameras and lenses) but they usually lack advertisment dollars and the public will never hear about them. Politicians want to appear modern and Film isn't a sexy new technology that's the reason why Digital screens receive fundings and non digital screens are closing down

Mustafa Umut Sarac
07-27-2011, 04:14 PM
It is not important whatever small norway do. Look at China or India. Half of the world lives there and they have bigger film industries than hollywood. Do they switch to digital screens also ? I dont think so.

07-27-2011, 04:21 PM
@holmburgers, when I said glassless 3d is IMO not realistic I didn't mean it is infeasible (unrealistic as an industrial product), I meant that is the effect that is not "realistic", there being no good separation between the information reaching the two eyes, the "tridimensionality" is likely to be defective in any glassless technology.

Alan Johnson
07-27-2011, 04:30 PM
India is going digital as well.

Mustafa Umut Sarac
07-27-2011, 04:45 PM
Alan ,

Your link is writing about dvd sales , not theaters. I cant think that %90 of chinese or indian people can pay the digital screen expenses. But India and China Engineers can serve to its people with 1/100 or less cost, its common.
My only aware can be , not able to find film for my Leica but these days are far from today. If problem is the future of Kodak , I dont care for a american company as they dont care about an Turkish company.
I bought Kodak film for last 30 years and still buying. If its not enough , Goodbye KOdak.