Thursday, January 06, 2011

Financial Times US Reports Audiences Not Swallowing 3D

I was eating lunch and starting flipping through the paper when the tag-line "3D Gone Sour" caught my attention. I proceeded to read the article (sadly you need to be registered online in order to read anything...how lame) and found it amusing. The US film industry for attendance fell roughly 10% in 2010. Ticket sales fell around 3%. While the final dollars isn't bad, people are taking into account how much 3D has affected sales.

With 3D movies, it gives Hollywood and your local theater and opportunity to charge a higher price. Because you go for the "experience" and wearing those silly glasses that you may, or may not, return. And to help pay for the studio's shiny new 3D camera. Higher ticket prices and the onslaught of 3D have been keeping people at home, in a market where audience attendance has been slipping for the past decade. Some if it doing with higher ticket prices. The big winners of the year were Inception, no 3D available, and Toy Story 3, the 2D version. Everything else slipped or were flops in 3D.

Personally, I've always enjoyed going to the movies. But lately, the experiences haven't been the same. Theater's aren't staying updated. Every corner is filled with the old, moldy, burnt popcorn smell. Staff members stopped caring, including managers. When I go to a theater, I want to enjoy myself. Instead, the last 3 times I've had to leave during movies to talk to staff and managers or talk to parents bringing their crying newborns into R rated films to get them to calm down or leave. I really love to spend $12.50 for a ticket to do that. I no longer buy the overly-buttery popcorn that I use to love. The cheapest and smallest option is $5.50. $5.50 for a small little bag of popcorn? Highway robbery my friends. I have heard of some places that have removed water machines in the hallways to force people to spend money at the concession stand. >.> That's not the movie experience. Why spend $40 bucks for one person at a run-downed theater, with sloppy staff members, screaming children, and parents arguing for a movie? Thank you netflix for saving me.

While Hollywood is expecting 2011 to be a breakout year for 3D, many analysts are suggesting otherwise and expect more people to watch movies via the internet or their gaming console.

In another article, same paper, China's movie industry saw a 40% spike in sales in December 2010. Currently China has 5,000 screens across the country, about 1/8th of what the U.S. has. But it is currently expanding 3 screens a day and it's estimated by the end of 2011, all screens will be converted to digital format with roughly 100,000 screens in the country. That's a lot of eyes. Something the US is having a hard time with while needing to make necessary upgrades.

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