While producers Jeffrey Katzenberg and James Cameron have argued that 3D will revolutionize the movie business, Wall Street BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield disagrees. A longtime critic of the popular trend, Greenfield argues that 3D is actually harming the movie industry because consumers no longer want to cough up extra bucks for a 3D ticket.
Greenfield bases his claim on recent attendance figures for the new film, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Greenfield argues that attendance for the film would have been higher had more theaters offered the movie in a conventional 2D format. Approximately 38% of the $90 million Pirates of the Caribbean brought in came from non-IMAX 3D screens, while 54% of last year’s Shrek Forever After and 57% of How to Train Your Dragon came from non-IMAX screens. So why the drop in revenue? Greenfield says its prices. Theaters charge around $14.85 for an IMAX 3D ticket, $10.85 for non-IMAX 3D, and $7.60 for a conventional 2D ticket, and he argues that families just aren’t willing to spend the extra money on 3D films. Greenfield’s advice for the movie industry?
"Focus on making consumer-desirable films rather than worrying about the technology," he says.
Sounds like good advice to me. What do you think of 3D films? Worth the extra price or easy to live without?
As a side note, I saw my first 3D film a couple weekends ago (Thor) and the movie was quite blurry, so much so that I had trouble reading text at the bottom of the screen. Perhaps it was a faulty theater, but if that experience is the norm I can’t imagine why anyone would want to pay extra for 3D films.