Enough with the 3D movie fad already

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By Jon Parton

The 3D movie fad needs to die again. Although technology for 3D films has existed for many years, its recent resurgence is costing moviegoers more money. In the 1950’s, several films were released by studios that used the gimmick to draw people in.

The reemergence of the 3D movie is due, in large part, to the release of James Cameron’s “Avatar” in 2009. Cameron’s work with 3D cameras in the filming of the movie was quite an accomplishment. Not only did the movie win three Oscars, it went on to become the highest grossing film of all time.

Quick to ride on Avatar’s coattails, studios began to do postproduction work on films in order to convert them to 3D. A movie that is shot in 3D has to account for viewing angles, color level, and movement. As many people can attest to, 3D films can induce headaches and motion sickness.

Films that were later converted often had muted effects or featured low levels of brightness that made the 3D experience worse than watching the original version. Moreover, the expensive 3D technology requires a premium price from moviegoers.

On the weekend at local AMC theaters, it costs $14 to view a 3D film, $16 to view an IMAX 3D film and $10 to see the 2D version. The premium is there to cover costs, but the premium isn’t worth it when filmmakers don’t take time to ensure that their movies are worth seeing in 3D.

Joe Paletta, CEO of Spotlight Theaters, recently announced that their theaters would eliminate the premium charge on 3D movies and increase the price of 2D movies so they would be the same. This is clearly the move of an industry that isn’t making money on 3D movie technology, something they expect their customers to pay for.

Soon, it won’t be a matter of whether you want to see a movie in 3D or 2D. It will be a matter of whether you want to pay a premium or wait until the film comes out on DVD.

Contact Jon Parton, news editor, at jparton@jccc.edu.

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