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3D Movies Losing Steam, Analyst Blames Pricing And Eye Fatigue

Posted by: , 15:50 AEST, Tue May 24, 2011
Tags: 3D, HD, Movies

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Analysts can't agree on whether 3D is hurting the film industry due to high prices and eye fatigue, or if it's helping thanks to the 40+ movies available in 3D in the coming months

It seems 3D is no longer enough to make mega bucks at the box office, and it may actually be hurting the bottom line, according to analysts. Box office results for Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides suggest that the 3D craze, which has helped cinema receipts, may be on the wane.

Only 38% of all ticket sales revenue for the latest PotC movie came from 3D screenings, down from the 50+% results for past movies such as Shrek Forever. This is despite children oriented movies such as Shrek Forever usually being less popular when it comes to 3D due to children not wanting to wear the glasses, and so, under normal circumstances, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides should have performed even better.

BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield believes that eye fatigue with the format, as well as higher ticket pricing, is responsible. 

Citing ticket prices for the upcoming Kung Fu Panda 2 movie, where the 3D screening costs 40% more than the 2D version, Greenfield believes that by gouging cinema-goers for 3D screenings, exhibitors are actually losing money when it comes to filling seats and selling premium priced popcorn (and drinks, and snacks).

Greenfield believes that had Disney promoted the 2D version of PotC: On Stranger Tides over the 3D version, box office receipts might have been higher. And as such, Greenfield is recommending studios stop focusing on 3D productions.

However, rival analyst Richard Schackart of William Blair & Co. believes just the opposite, that thanks to 55% more movies being shown in 3D, that this summer (U.S. time) would be the best ever for 3D.

And possibly the most eye-fatigue-iest as well.

Have you lost interest in 3D, or do you not mind having to pay up to 40% extra for the full 3D experience? Post your opinion in this news article's comments section, or in this forum thread:


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