Is 3D Dying Out?By James Cook on Tue, 02/19/2013 - 14:22
The most recent re-invention of 3D film has attracted throngs of viewers to cinemas all over the world. Hugely successful blockbuster films such as Avatar have made vast sums of money and it would be easy to assume that the technology is here to stay. However, with 3D film revenues falling year on year, as well as a historical lack of stamina for 3D viewing amongst consumers, perhaps it is dying out once again.
The release of James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ in 2009 coincided with the most recent revamp of 3D film viewing. There was an enormous amount of hype around the film, nearly exclusively because of the new technology. In its opening weekend it took in $77 million, a very respectable figure. What is troubling for 3D film makers is that there has been a steady 1% drop in revenues for 3D films each year since its release. Big releases for 2013 such as Jurassic Park 3D may not match the expectations of the film makers. One indicator of falling enthusiasm can be found in Yahoo’s list of the most anticipated films of 2013, of which only a third will be in 3D.
This may be because technology now allows us to watch 3D content in the comfort of our own living rooms with televisions that are capable of showing our favourite shows, sporting events and video games. Samsung spent £8 million on its marketing campaign to encourage us to buy 3D televisions but the jury is still out on whether or not it will capture the imagination of the public.
Other big brands such as Panasonic and Sony are following suit in the hope that it will gather pace and become the next big thing in home entertainment. However, recent figures from the USA reveal that there are only 120,000 people watching 3D channels at any one time. However, Ken Hong of LG Electronics believes that there is nothing to worry about, “We’re not going to be able to change people overnight, these things take time. How long did it take high definition to get into every home?”.
The fate of 3D viewing in our local cinemas and living rooms is in the balance. What was once touted as a replacement for traditional 2D viewing may soon have to settle for being simply an alternative.