Movies in 3D have been a part of motion picture cinema ever since the 1950’s, but
haven’t been mainstream until recently, with movies such as “Avatar”, “Alice in Wonderland”,
and “How to Train Your Dragon” gaining massive audiences. It raises the question of whether
watching a 3D movie really makes it that much better of a movie and whether it is appropriate to
convert 2D movies to 3D.
“They’re expecting the same result, when in fact they will probably work against the
adoption of 3D because they’ll be putting out an inferior product,” director James Cameron said
about the recent reaction to the success of “Toy Story 3”. His thought is that too many movies
now are based solely on making them 3D rather than on characters, story, and cinematography.
He’s not the only one, though. Many movie critics including Roger Ebert and Mark
Kermode are also criticizing 3D movies for being distracting and only being an expensive
element added to a film which doesn’t actually add much to the movie-going experience.
Further, in many cases, it seems that audiences would rather watch the movie in 2D. For
example, only 46% of the opening ticket sales were for the 3D version of the recent “Pirates of
the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”.
Some people find the nuisance of having to wear colored glasses throughout a full-length
movie both annoying and disorienting, ultimately distracting from the enjoyment of a movie.
However, the statistics show that 3D movies do sell. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
received critical acclaim for its 3D filming techniques. Furthermore, “The Lion King” was
number one at the box offices when re-released into theatres in 3D.
It is not clear whether one form will win out over another, or whether a new form (4D?
) will replace them both. For now, it seems that the value of 2D versus 3D movies is a matter of