×

Five 3D myths that will not die

ShowEast 2011

If you only listened to the press about 3D, you’d think it was about to go the way of the dodo bird — for at least the second time. But exhibitors say media coverage of 3D doesn’t begin to tell the real story. Since exhibs see what’s happening in theaters firsthand,

Variety asked some to name the biggest media myths about 3D.

  1. “3D is dead or dying.”
    Just because ticket sales for 3D movies are down from last year, that absolutely doesn’t spell the beginning of the end of 3D, says Greg Marcus, CEO of Marcus Theaters. “I don’t think 3D is going away any time soon. What we’re really seeing is that 3D is settling into what will be the normal level of ticket sales for that format when there’s a movie that the audience wants to see in 3D.”

  2. “Each time a big 3D movie fails, it’s just another nail in the coffin.”
    When a 3D movie flops, it rarely has anything to do with 3D. It’s more likely that the movie was just plain awful, says Jeff Kaufman, senior VP of film and film marketing for Malco Theaters. “The audience isn’t stupid, and they know that a bad movie isn’t going to be made better by 3D,” he says. “When the movie is terrible, you could show it in 10 dimensions — never mind 3D — and people still wouldn’t go see it.”

  3. “Any problem today means bigger trouble to come.”
    When 3D glasses don’t work perfectly every time, tons of ink is spilled reporting on the problem. Predictions of doom and gloom are fast to follow. But the reality of the situation is completely different from Marcus’ vantage point, and there’s almost no coverage when problems are solved. “You have to keep in mind that 3D is really about an evolution in exhibition — not a revolution,” Marcus says. “And this process means there will be bumps in the road as we retool things and try to figure out the best way to bring 3D to audiences.”

  4. “It’s all about 3D when you’re trying to lure audiences into theatERs.”
    Early on the press crowned 3D the new king of exhibition. But 3D was never going to be the sole savior of exhibition, says John Ellison, COO of UltraStar Cinemas. You actually need a fantastic film to fill theater seats. “We all keep talking about ‘Avatar’ because it was the perfect combination of an event movie with a great story that had incredible 3D,” Ellison says. “It made the best use of the technology while never forgetting the one thing that you must do if you want people to see your movie — you must be entertaining.”

  5. “Upcharges will kill you.”
    Journalists and moviegoers both gripe about upcharges. But everyone pays them when they think they’ll have a great time. Just take a look at the box office receipts for “Avatar” and you’ll know how quickly audiences will open their wallets for a premium experience. Ellison thinks reasonable upcharges are fine — if you earn them. The backlash will only burn you when the movie doesn’t deliver. “We’re showing movies in 3D with D-Box motion seat technology, so when someone comes to see a movie that way they’re paying two upcharges,” Ellison says. “People keep spending money with us because they think that the experience is worth the money.”

HIGHLIGHTS

MONDAY Oct. 24
8:30 a.m. International Distribution and Marketing Presentations. Presentations from Paramount Pictures Intl., Sony Pictures Releasing Intl., Twentieth Century Fox Intl., Universal Pictures Intl., Warner Bros Pictures Intl.
1:45 p.m. Keynote: Monique Esclavissat, exec VP, Warner Bros. Pictures Intl., with International Day Awards Ceremony.
5:45 Opening Night Party

7:30 p.m. Screening: “The Muppets”

TUESDAY Oct. 25
8:30 a.m. Breakfast & Seminar: “How Facebook iss Helping to Drive Patrons to the Movies.” Speaker: Matt Jacobson, head of business development, Facebook.
10:00 a.m. Specialty Showcase. Presentations from Focus Features, Fox Searchlight, Pantelion, Roadside Attractions and the Weinstein Co.

WEDNESDAY Oct. 26
1:00 Hall of Fame Luncheon
5:00 p.m. Screening: “The Adventures of Tintin”
9:00 Screening: “Man on a Ledge”

THURSDAY Oct. 27
10:30 a.m. Screening: “Carnage”
4:15 p.m. Screening: “The Descendants”
8:15 Banquet and Award Ceremony

SHOWEAST 2011
Five 3D myths that will not die
Honorees
Show “E” Award: Jim Amos | Al Shapiro Distinguished Service Award: John C. Hall | Salah M. Hassanein Humanitarian Award: Kurt Hall | ShowEast Hall of Fame 2011

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Mission - Impossible - 1996

    Stan Australian Streamer Inks Content Deal With Paramount

    Stan, the Australian streaming video firm owned by Nine Entertainment, has signed a content supply deal with Paramount Pictures. The multi-year agreement adds to Stan’s line up of arrangements with Hollywood suppliers that already includes MGM, Disney, and Lionsgate. Subscription video has taken off hugely in Australia, where there are now an estimated 12.3 million [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    ‘Good Boys’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Good Boys.” Ads placed for the comedy had an estimated media value of $4.42 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Janice Lee

    Asian Streamer Viu Adds Wattpad Development Deal

    Multi-territory Asian video streaming service Viu has struck an original content deal with tech-driven story firm Wattpad. Together they aim to develop film and TV series under the Viu Original label. Canada-based Wattpad hosts a vast library of user-generated stories, with a claimed user base of 80 million, including 22 million in the Asia Pacific [...]

  • Oculus Go Product Shot

    Former Oculus Head of Mobile VR Max Cohen Leaves Facebook

    Early Oculus staffer Max Cohen, who at one point led mobile product for the VR unit, has left Facebook this week, Variety has learned. Cohen’s departure is just the latest staff defection for Facebook’s VR team, which recently also lost its head of VR product, Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell. A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment. [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Reportedly to Stop Targeting Ads in Videos for Children

    YouTube is finalizing a plan under which it would no longer serve targeted ads in videos that are popular with kids, Bloomberg reported, citing anonymous sources. The move is intended to appease U.S. regulators that have been investigating whether YouTube violated privacy laws that prohibit online services from collecting data on children, according to the [...]

  • Facebook

    Facebook Looking to Hire Journalists for Curated News Section

    Facebook is looking to assemble a small team of journalists to help curate a news tab within its app. The team of 10 media professionals will complement algorithmic curation, and highlight the top stories of the day, according to a New York Times report. “We are building a new surface for news that will give [...]

  • Best Podcasts: 14 Podcasts You Should

    14 Podcasts You Should Be Listening to

    Here are a few of the informative, funny, thrilling and downright addictive podcasts that deserve your listening attention. Read Variety’s cover story, a deep dive into the podcast revolution with Conan O’Brien, right here. CaliphateThe New York Times Rukmini Callimachi’s reporting about the Islamic State is harrowing boots-on-the-ground journalism at its finest. Conan O’Brien Needs [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content