The 3DMovie Interval

Benjamin Bouwman (original  07/09/2012   –   Edited on 26/03/2013)

Today I wanted to talk to you about 3D movies.

So let’s get right into it and start with the first fact of the day. Avatar is not the first 3D film aldo James Cameron is taking all the credit for it.
Granted he made 3D films popular again, but then again he did steal the whole story of Avatar from Dancing with Wolves.
The patent for 3D film was filed in the late 1890’s, but it will take some time for normal audience to see it.
The first 3D film for a audience played in 1922 it was a little film called The power of Love.
A little less than 30 years after the first real cinema film.

And then you see something interesting happening. 3D movies come and go. Of course there always be a view now and then, but you can clearly see highlights.
The first highlight for 3d movies was the 50thies. With all the horror and scifi coming out, bringing 3D back to the cinema’s was not a long stretch.
Classic films like Creature from the Black Lagoon and Dial M for Murder where all shown in 3D.
In the 50thies you can see two waves. The first one reentered 3D movies back in cinemas and the second, a few years later, technology finally caught up the demand and 3D movies weren’t so expansive to produce anymore.
3D’s final decline was in the late spring of 1954, as it was hard to repair or rerelease 3D film because of sync issues, it was expensive and slowly but surely the widescreen format was taking over the cinema’s.

So all in all it will looks like a hype, it surly has all the things that make a hype a hype. But no, this is a trend. Because, 3D movies are always there, they might not be in cinema now and then (the hype), but 3d movies have been made since the 1950thies, and they still come out. The majority of the moviegoers responds to the hype. But that doesn’t mean that the 3Dmovies themselves is a hype, the popularity of it is the hype.
It’s a trend because it’s a film, a film leaves its mark. Specialy big releases like Avatar or The Hobbit.

So after the decline in 1954 it almost killed the 3D movies, but when something in movieland is going down there is always one place to turn to. To test new technology and to make a new generation ready for the invention of something new.
And that magical place is soft core porn and B-horror films.
More perfectly a combination of the two. Back in the 70thies the finally figured out how to get a 3D film on a single film, instead on two like it was done in the 50thies. And after some try’s, and with the success of x-rated films like The Stewardess. 3D was back!

Between 1981 and 1983 the new 3D craze started with the western Coming at ya!( A very cheeky title for a 3D movie) The third Friday the 13th was released in 3D and very successfully. Hollywood was afraid though that if people had to say “Part 3 in 3D” their head would explode. That’s why they left out the part 3 part in old titles, so you just got titles like Jaws 3D and Amityville 3-D.

And then in 2003 a movie changed everything. As 3D was now and then used in IMAX documentaries like Ghost of the Abby, but this was for a small audience. One movie brought it back to the cinemas. Shot in new technology, it blown the mind of millions.
And that 3D movie of course was Spy Kids 3D – Game Over.
3D movies in cinemas slowly started to climb, until its highlight in 2009/10. 2009 was of course the year that Avatar was released.  A year later then the 3D movie Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert, somehow Avatar marketing was so good that the boxoffice reached an all time high. Never in the history of cinema made a movie such a high profit. And it was a 3D movie! This woke Hollywood up, as now suddenly 3D movies had a dollar sign attached to them and they started to change 2D films in 3D.
But the success wouldn’t last, if you just look at the box office earnings of Kung Fu Panda 2, only 45% was from the 3D movie the rest was of the 2D film. Cars 2 opening gross only was 37% from the 3D releases. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 and Captain America: The First Avenger were major releases that achieved similar percentages: 43% and 40%.
The Dark Knight Rises was the first big movie not to be released in 3D. And it made a lot of money.

At the moment it’s a megatrend because 3D movies have been around for so long, and 3D movies have all the characteristics of a Megatrend, but if you start counting from the impact. So since Avatar. Its still very young, therefore a Microtrend.
As you can see from the paragraph above, for me the Trend is already starting to decline. Just between the last followers and the laggars. But its hard to predict, as for new films the trend seem to be over, but with the release of Jurassic Park in 3D, it will get a bit of a burst again. But only with the old movies, we already know and love.

For me 3D was the answer to the question nobody was asking. It started as fashion, and it might still be one, but from Avatar on it was a craze within a trend. A craze that is slowly killing itself (Piranha 3DD).
3D will be gone in the next 3 years is my prediction. Why 3 years? As there is still one powerful audience who will keep the 3D movies alive for a little while. The fan boys.
They’re going to re-re-re-re-release all Star Wars movies in 3D and the cinemas will be full.
The same goes with Star Trek 3D conversion and the old horror films like Firday the 13th or Nightmare on Elmstreet. They are coming I’m sure of it.
Of course the internet buzz is already getting us ready for Jurassic Park 3D, and yes I will go and see that.
But after people not accepting the 48 frames 3D in The Hobbit, I’m sure we are in the downslope of the lifecycle.
But it will be back, it has always come back.
So do yourself a favor and go watch some porn or B horror flicks in like 2017 and you will see the next step in 3D films.

So what do you think? 3D movies any good? Will there come a time that the trend stays?





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