Could 3D Save The Hollywood Blockbuster?

from the back-to-the-future dept

It's been clear for some time that the big challenge for the movie theater industry is to make the experience of going to the movies much more enjoyable. Otherwise, people will choose to stay home and watch movies on their 60" plasma TVs with surround sound. Some theaters don't seem to understand this at all, while others are smartly experimenting with new ways to get people in the door. In what might sound like a blast from the past, many in Hollywood are revisiting the idea of 3D movies, complete with sleekly-designed 3D glasses. Proponents of 3D movies insist that today's 3D is nothing like it used to be. It's not about an object flying at the audience and making everyone duck. Instead, they say, it's about creating a truly immersive experience. Apparently, the concept has a lot of backers as future Shrek movies will be done in 3D along with some stuff being done by James Cameron and Peter Jackson. In a way, the concept still seems gimmicky, but that doesn't mean it's a bad idea. As long as studios insist on making $200 million movies, they might as well pull out all of the stops to make them as fun to watch as they possible. And while they're at it, how about adding Smell-o-vision as well.


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  1.  
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    Davis Freeberg, Mar 26th, 2007 @ 6:00pm

    Suvey Saaaaaayyys . . .

    No. People don't really prefer 3d, otherwise it would have been even bigger in the 80's. The technology is just annoying. If it makes them feel better to spend millions doing it though, I won't be the one to stop them.

     

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  2.  
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    RandomThoughts, Mar 26th, 2007 @ 6:13pm

    3D? I would rather see something like a VR movie. 3D just sounds kind of dumb.

    Course, I know a lot of people (Hi Mom) that can't even take IMAX movies because it gets them sick, so doubt 3D or VR would sit well with them.

    Think about the market for VR Porn!

     

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  3.  
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    Rick, Mar 26th, 2007 @ 6:15pm

    3d movies five me a headache at the theater for some reason. Hollywood and the theater industry still have no concept of how to do it properly on top of that.

    The last one I went to see, Superman: Returns in IMAX-3D, was disappointing. For a 30% premium on the ticket price, we got 18 minutes of a 2+ hour movie in 3D. I expected a superior viewing experience and I got low quality 3D with oversized plastic glasses I had to take on and off constantly, in a noisy and stuffy theater. It was almost 100 degrees outside and the A/C couldn't handle the full theater capacity, so it was over 90 degrees inside by the end of the movie. This was at a new 30 screen AMC theater with stadium seating. The nice chairs weren't enough, I have a great lazyboy at home already.

    Actually, after that experience I have not been back to any of the theaters. I rent or download now, with no intention of going back.

    They had their chance and can go the way of drive-ins - theaters can become weeded unused lots - for all I care.

     

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  4.  
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    Ben, Mar 26th, 2007 @ 6:39pm

    Smell-o-vision

    I cannot imagine anyone REALLY wanting smell-o-vision in a theatre. Would you want to go to a zombie movie and smell rotting flesh? I remember Nickelodeon doing this with a Rugrats movie and scratch and sniff cards, but having it be an everyday experience seems implausible and not enjoyable.

     

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  5.  
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    jon, Mar 26th, 2007 @ 6:53pm

    angles

    Most 3d only works well if you're sitting directly in front of the screen. 3d never works at home because for it to work, you essentially cut the resolution of the picture in half. Now that we have 1080p tvs, 3d may actually work well, but only at home where you can sit directly in front of the screen.

    Unless they've come up with something better than the polarized 3d that has these drawbacks.

     

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  6.  
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    Joe, Mar 26th, 2007 @ 7:25pm

    Not a terrible idea

    If theatres give us an optional 3D experience, that's using technology newer than Jaws, and for the same, albeit monster, price... then what's the problem?

    At least that would be an attempt at innovation, which we all know is light years ahead of that other dinosaur, the record industry.

     

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  7.  
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    Scott, Mar 26th, 2007 @ 7:45pm

    These people get it

    This is a theater group that gets the idea of selling a total experience. Notice no kids and how many kinds of beer. http://www.drafthouse.com/

     

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  8.  
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    Scott, Mar 26th, 2007 @ 7:45pm

    These people get it

    This is a theater group that gets the idea of selling a total experience. Notice no kids and how many kinds of beer. http://www.drafthouse.com/

     

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  9.  
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    Kyles Mom, Mar 26th, 2007 @ 7:49pm

    I want to see girls gone wild in 3d!

     

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    Sanguine Dream, Mar 26th, 2007 @ 8:04pm

    I would like to add...

    that big Hollywood movies wouldn't cost so much if it wasn't for paying the actors/actresses so damn much.

     

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  11.  
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    Don Burkett, Mar 26th, 2007 @ 8:16pm

    3D movies

    If Hollywood wants more people to view thier movies. CUT THE DAMN PRICE!!! quit tying to make such a huge profit. I don't go to the Movies because it cost a fortune. Who wants to pay 10 bucks to get in and then pay 4 bucks for popcorn. The public is not stupid. We know when we are being taken Hollywood dosen't need fancy special effects. they only need to make if affordable.When I was growing up we got to watch 2 movies and a cartoon. now we get 1 movie and comming attractions, and advertisements. It is no suprise that America is staying home to watch DVD's

     

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  12.  
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    Joe, Mar 26th, 2007 @ 8:26pm

    Re: These people get it

    That's what I'm talkin about.

    In Raleigh we have a theatre that serves beer, food, and allows smoking in certain seats. Add 3D and you're in heaven... or vomiting on yourself.

    The point is, they also "get it".

     

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    Norman619, Mar 26th, 2007 @ 8:33pm

    WTF?

    Hmmm... Business isn't doing so good so let's try an old idea which already failed. Yup sounds like Hollywood reasoning to me...

     

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  14.  
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    Mike Lawson, Mar 26th, 2007 @ 8:41pm

    Another Idea

    Only Tim and Eric can save the hollywood blockbuster.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Zyyg_mzx7c

     

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  15.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Mar 26th, 2007 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Re: These people get it

    Raleigh, NC? Where is such a theater?

     

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  16.  
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    Hudey, Mar 26th, 2007 @ 10:23pm

    The Future of Movies is Already Here...

    They're called video games! Imagine if the crew that created Saving Private Ryan teamed up with the crew that created the Call of Duty games and created Saving Private Ryan as a video game before anyone saw the movie or knew the story... you'd be in the game, playing out a superb story, the rest of the soldiers in your unit would be acted by superb actors (Tom Hanks??), the score would be done by world-famous composers... it would be the most engrossing video game ever.

    Movie execs need to understand that the Movie Theater of the 80's is D-E-A-D! They will never have that kind of success again. They need to move the movie experience, even the FIRST RUN movie experience, into our homes. Then they'll start to see a return to the popularity they used to have.

    Interactivity, as in a video game, would be the icing on the cake!

     

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  17.  
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    thecaptain, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 5:57am

    No thanks

    Yeah...that's what I want.

    For the price of a movie to go up even HIGHER AND to have to dish out for a pair of 3D glasses, because it'll either be:

    1 - the glasses are pricy, so you'll have to buy them yourself before going to see the movie

    2 - the glasses are pricy, but they will roll the price of them into the movie ticket

    or

    3 - the glasses are cheap but it will be an excuse for a cash grab.

     

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  18.  
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    Mike4, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 6:17am

    A few months back, I finally broke down and got a nice 50" plasma. Since then, I've been a little spoiled with watching anything in HD that it's actually hard for me to watch standard tv.

    I rarely go to the movies as it is, but I decided to go about a month ago. It wasn't until that moment that I truly realized how crappy the picture quality is in a regular theater. It was like they took my crappy old tv and just blew the picture up immensely. I could barely enjoy the movie (which wasn't even that good) because I couldn't stop thinking about the picture quality.

    I have never been to an IMAX, but I understand it's much better. (I guess it's HD?) The closest one is Manhattan and I live in Central Jersey, so even though it's not far, I don't want to travel 45 minutes to go see a movie on a regular basis. I do plan on going at least once (maybe for Transformers) to check it out, but why can't all movies theaters be in HD? If they were, I would probably start going again.

     

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  19.  
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    Benji, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 7:31am

    Re: These people get it

    Scott, right on, I was browsing the comments looking for a Draft House reference. I don't do normal theaters anymore (I've got a 102in screen at home and I can lounge in my underwear on a couch), but I love going to the Draft House. Fortunately for me, there's one just around the block. I went to the sneak preview of Shooter there with a bunch of IPSC shooters. It was a blast :)

     

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  20.  
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    Sea Man, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 7:42am

    3D would work for me. If I could find a draft house with 3D then that would be even better.

     

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  21.  
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    FLLBoy, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 7:47am

    Anyone know of a cinema/draft house around south florida? We used to have one in FLL but it's closed.

     

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  22.  
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    Cyclops, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 8:20am

    What about us!

    Not everyone has 2 eyes!. Not everyone has 2 perfect 20/20 eyes either. Fake 3D on a flat screen is useless for us. We await the holideck type projection to happen.

     

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  23.  
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    bshock, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 8:40am

    3D? Who cares?

    Improve the technology of movie-viewing all you want, and Hollywood movies will stick suck. Rotten-but-popular actors will be paid too much in the mistaken belief that they're bankable commodities. Immature, under-educated, talentless (and cheap) writers will write the scripts that the even more talent-free directors will ditch, in favor of "cool" sfx or stunts. The soulless accountants running it all will stifle any notion of creativity in the condescending belief that people won't pay for anything new.

    Saying that 3D technology will improve Hollywood movies is like saying you're improving a paraplegic's quality of life by painting his wheelchair.

     

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  24.  
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    Technopundit, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 11:21am

    New Frontier

    Think about the market for Smell-o-vision porn!

     

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  25.  
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    |333173|3|_||3, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 7:20pm

    Not all 3D is bad qualtiy

    I have seen a 4m 3D screeen with pretty good pictire quality, in a room which seated 40 or so, and which gave good 3D even at an angle to the screen. this was in Addeelaide Universitty, and apparently they have an even better one in another room.

    The computer it was attached to was pretty impressive, and ran a form of Linux, so if someone made WINE run on that, and used software rendering, you could have a pretty good gaming session.

     

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