Is this the end of 3D films?
At least that’s according to a study by the boffins at Enders Analysis, which shows that box office receipts for 3D films dropped to a combined £230m last year - £7 million less than the 2010 total.
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That doesn’t sound like a lot, except that a whopping 47 films in the format were released in 2011, 19 more than the year before. So the average takings for 3D flicks fell from £8.5 million to just £4.9 million. That’s a BIG slump.
Feeling blue?.. 3D cinema takings plummit
But why? When ‘Avatar’ was released in 2009, and promptly became the most successful film of all time, Hollywood types assumed every new blockbuster would be 3D, and the format would help lure punters away from their armchairs and back into cinemas.
The former has certainly happened. Since ‘Avatar’ (and before), films as diverse as ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs’, ‘The Final Destination’, ‘Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience’ and even arthouse doc ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams’ have been shot – or converted – into the format, in the hope that you, the public, will pay more to see them in the cinema.
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As Alice Enders, who did the study, said: "A few years ago people went to 3D films just to see what it was like. [But now] that period of experimentation is over. The reality has set in and the momentum has gone. The recession is a factor and families are pushing back against 3D."
And that’s the problem – 3D has made going to the cinema even more expensive. A pair of 3D glasses can set you back as much as £3.15 (in the Vue Leicester Square). Add this to the £13.25 adult ticket, plus popcorn (around £4), and you’re looking at twenty quid per person to see a film. Some might argue seeing ‘Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore' in 3D perhaps isn’t worth that.
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It doesn’t help that the 3D in some films has been fairly ropey to say the least. 2009’s ‘Clash of the Titans’ was heavily criticised by reviewers for the shoddy 3D that was put in after filming had finished (through a conversion process). The same with Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’. It could be argued that the 3D actually made these films worse.