There is no question that, since the premiere of James Cameron’s Avatar, which grossed US$2.7 billion worldwide, 3-D technology has become a major part of Hollywood movies. And the surge in 3-D films has bolstered the box office draw for all genres, from Clash Of The Titans to Toy Story 3 to even Justin Bieber’s documentary and concert film, Never Say Never.
With worries about declining theatre attendance on the rise as viewers enjoy more options at home, 3-D has created a ray of hope for distributors — at least until 3-D televisions become affordable. It also gives theatre owners the chance to make more money by charging more for 3-D: A single movie ticket for a 3-D presentation in New York City can cost as much as $18. A regular ticket costs $13.
Cameron, like many, is sticking with the new technology. “I’m going to make all my movies in 3-D, no matter what the subject matter,” he says. “We’ll see if other filmmakers rise to that challenge.”
Other filmmakers certainly appear to be, including veteran horror movie maestro Wes Craven.
“Everything I’m reading about it is that this is not something from the ’50s that they’re just trying again for the hell of it,” Craven says. “I think we’re into a world where 3-D is emerging and it’s going to be here. I want to be the man that’s on the boat, not standing on the dock when the boat sails away.”
Tim Burton, whose Alice in Wonderland has grossed more than US$1 billion worldwide, thanks in a large part to 3-D ticket sales, is also on that boat.
“It’s not a gimmick,” Burton says. “You could do My Dinner with Andre in 3-D.”
But not everyone is jumping on board the 3-D bandwagon. One notable holdout is director Gore Verbinski, who made a point of not using 3-D for his latest animated feature, Rango, starring Johnny Depp.
“I don’t think there’s a dimension missing,” he says of the finished product. “I don’t watch it and go, ‘You know, it’s flat,’ or it’s missing anything. We talked about it early on and it just didn’t seem like we needed to go there.”