Are You Looking Forward To 3D Movies?

Published 6 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 7:22 am,

monsters vs aliens02 Are You Looking Forward To 3D Movies?

3D.  I remember the 1D headaches from watching some older 3D movies.  Yet the entertainment industry thinks 3D is the new tech that will help sales.  Not only is it coming to a theater near you, it’s coming to computer games and some TVs that are already set up for 3D movies.  Or will this newest effort end up in the warehouse with the massive unsold collection of 10,000 Segways?

The Potential of 3D:
3d glasses super bowl 2009 Are You Looking Forward To 3D Movies?Anyone remember trying to sit through a 3D movie with those totally dorky cardboard “glasses?”  Do you also remember the massive eye-ripping 1D headache that came from using those things, or was that just me?  I remember the headache because I just got it again after watching the Monsters vs. Aliens 3D movie trailer commercial that came in after the 2nd quarter of Super Bowl XLIII.

Yet 3D does have its fans.  That is if you look at some ticket sales.  3D is considered to be a success because 3D versions of movies like Meet the Robinsons and Beowulf sold twice as many 3D version tickets than their 2D version counterpart.

On a scary note, they also tout the success of the 3D flick, Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour. The Disney 3D film shattered records for a limited release movie.  Groan.

Are There Enough Theaters?
3d glasses p Are You Looking Forward To 3D Movies?As studios start to pump out 3D products, theaters are starting to add the necessary projectors for the approximately 40 upcoming film projects coming down the pipe.  But will there be enough theaters for this big plan?

It was estimated that there would be around 5,000 theaters with the proper technology installed when Monsters vs. Aliens comes out, but the true estimate is that there are only 1,500 theaters ready to show the movie in 3D.  That’s a sobering number for the hopes Dreamworks had, considering that making a 3D movie costs much more to make than a regular film.

Then again, is this an example of studios pushing their own schedules on everyone before they’re ready?  And I presume that the costs to upgrade are on the theater chains who are already struggling with the finance balances of showing a film.

Some 3D Projects Noted:
Of the 40 planned 3D projects, a few of them you may have already heard of:

There’s already been Journey to the Center of the Earth, the previously mentioned Dreamworks’ computer-animated film Monsters vs. Aliens which is due out next March and James Cameron’s Avatar.

Journey to the Center of the Earth was the first ever live-action film that’s been shot entirely in 3D, but it also had a 2D version out.  Pixar studio is now making all of its computer-animated films in 3D.

On top of that, in the “Is Nothing Sacred” category, Disney’s Pixar is redoing Toy Story (I & II) in 3D, and George Lucas is hoping to keep his Star Wars franchise alive by redoing that in 3D.

The Home Viewing Industry:
With the home viewing industry being a nearly $36 billion industry, some big names are looking at how to get 3D into your home.  Some of the companies include Disney, Universal, Philips, Samsung, Sony, Thomson and IMAX.

Some sports telecasts have already taken place in 3D and there’s a push to develop TVs where you won’t need glasses at all.  (That confuses all three of me.)

The idea is that since Hi-Def made such an impact, 3D HD will be even bigger.  Right now we already have some 3D products in the home.  An estimated 1 million 3D-ready HDTVs made by Mitsubishi and Samsung are already in U.S. homes.  The basic concept from the Philips brand is to place a lens over the screen to create the effect.

Even The Computer Is Not Immune:
Madden NFL, Tiger Woods PGA Tour and FIFA Soccer are coming to the 3D world, and Bioshock can now be transformed into 3D via a package from DDD (Dynamic Digital Depth) and their TriDef 3D Experience.

Do I even want to touch on the process being pitched to make Blu-Ray discs viewable in 3D?  Nah, not right now.

What do I think?
3D needs to be watchable.  It needs to be able to be experienced without the headaches, or more precisely, without the glasses.  It needs to not be a distraction.

What does a 3D platform add to a story?  Most 3D scenes seem to be extraneously injected camera angles to take advantage of a spear being thrust in your face and other such moments where scenes, people or objects are filmed.

Pointing to the successes of 3D sales from a teenage pack of swarming Miley Cyrus fans or Meet the Robinsons and Beowulf may be giving these movies more credit than they deserve and sending a lot of serious funds down the wrong entertainment avenue.  Or are they?  Is this where they think the fan base is really heading?  Yeesh.

As far as that 3D trailer during the Super Bowl, I was impressed… NOT!  There were maybe two moments that looked cool.  The very opening with the paddle ball moment, and then later on in the SoBe commercial that followed it up, when a lizard smacked the screen.  OK, those did look cool, but the rest of the air-time just seemed dark, fuzzy and confusing to me.

A closing note on a very scary development that most of us probably didn’t see coming:  The Huffington Post reports that a Hong Kong “production” company is looking to create the first ever 3D porn movie.  Oh my, the possibilities are just way too frightening to even try to consider.

Back To You:
So is it me, or are you feeling the same, underwhelming emotions about this potential process?

Sources: USA Today,,, Huffington Post, /Film,

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  1. Why are you guys even discussing the red/blue glasses? The 3D movies now-a-days don’t use that and the proposed “future” in 3D movies will not use that, that’s why they have to go digital. I think digital projection is the way to go anyhow, much cleaner, and no problems with syncing or anything like that. I don’t know why theaters don’t convert to digital. The projector is quieter too… :-P

  2. Yeah, and 3d porn. Why would ANYONE have ANYTHING against it? :) heh

  3. @Ken J

    Because they used red/blue in the big promotion for the Super Bowl commercial, and DVD versions of 3D films use those crappy old glasses.


  4. Right, but modern TV’s and computer monitors are being built with the 120mhz speed, which enables polarization, etc.

    So this Red/Blue gimmick before the big switch is just silly.

  5. Wow! There is a lot of misunderstanding and confusion about 3D out there. There are several extensive web sites including Wikipedia that can shed some light on the various processes. And there are more than you’d think.

    I wouldn’t attempt to correct the many misconceptions here but I feel obligated to say that Dreamworks did a hugh disservice to the 3D process with their pathetic attempt to advertise “Monsters vs. Aliens” during the superbowl on Sunday. They chose the worst possible form of 3D presentation, anaglyph, to advertise a film being released in the best possible 3D presentation process to date, digital 3D with circular polarization.

    Before the uninitiated criticize 3D because of that crappy commercial, at least see one digital 3D presentation at a theatre. I think you will be both surprised and impressed.

    And as for those who say the process adds nothing to films I suspect you are not the person who would attend the types of films 3D is presently being used for. Just as I have no interest in “chick flick romances” I don’t criticize them because they have their appreciative audiences. So how about you non believers give 3D film fans a break and let us enjoy the current crop of 3D without all your nay-saying negativism.

  6. Hey Philbert… thanks for coming by… did you check out some of the comments preceding yours? That’s why one of my own comments was asking folks to tell us what was good or bad for them. They enlightened us and yes, DWs did, for some strange reason, pump up their ridiculous 3D ad for those stuuupid glasses indeed.

  7. @Philbert

    I agree completely. It’s the equivalent of an expensive steak restaurant advertising by giving away McDonalds cheeseburgers.

    That’s a big, fat fail for Dreamworks/Paramount.


  8. Especially since an ad during the superbowl costs how many million??? lol

  9. LOL Ick, good point, what does 2D bring to the story??? Hmmmm? Answer us that! :-D

  10. I see that there was some confusion about red and blue glasses that was cleared up but I just wanted to add something. All the 3d movies coming out in the 50′s starting with Bwana Devil in 52 were polarized, not the 3d that uses red and blue. It was the 3d comic books at that time that did red and blue. Since then it has been color tv that has done the red and blue because televisions can’t do polarized. Some time around 1982 or 83 our local television station did Gorilla at Large in 3d and the station provided the red and blue glasses at local supermarkets. I have seen so many comments about red and blue glasses of the 3d movies form the 50′s on other websites. Jaws 3d in 1983 was polarized when I saw it in Springfield Missouri at the time. Also I wear the 3d glasses over my glasses and it doesn’t bother me at all, I think it only would bother you if you just sit there a dwell on it, just like it might hurt your eyes if you sit there and dwell on they fact your having to narrow your vision when something in the movie seems to come closer. However it doesn’t seem to hurt peoples eye when looking at something close up in real life, at least I’ve never heard anyone complain about it. I think it has more to do with the fact that people aren’t used to it so they dwell on it to much so it then in turn bohters them, but if they just relax a little bit that bothering effect would probably go away. All 3d glasses do is filter light, it should not bother the eyes of the viewer.

  11. Also I should to the above comment that the red and blue glasses will bother your eyes because those colors just plain clash.

  12. I just saw Coraline in 3D and have a massive headache and intense pain in one eye. I do not wear glasses and have 20/20 vision.

    Anyone have any idea why this happened?

  13. You do not wear glasses AND you have 20/20 vision? Wow, I don’t wear hearing aids and I have perfect hearing! :-D

    lol, just kidding with you man.

  14. Coraline is stop motion. Depending on how much digital smoothing they did inbetween the frames, the rapid transition of objects from frame-to-frame will be jarring.

    Also, stereo 3D only works well if the director uses it well. Since you have control over depth through focus and parallax (you control how the viewer will focus), you can really hurt someone’s brain by making sudden changes or by slowly adjusting the different settings to different extremes.

  15. Loved Coraline – not a headache in sight? You may want to go to an eye doctor.

  16. It’s most likely to do with the framerate thing. 3D or 2D, if you watch something at a lower framerate than your eyes and brain likes (the range is different for everyone, some people have lower tolerances than others) you will end up with a headache, or worse, motion sickness. 3D movies have to show one frame for left, the other for right, so in essence, your brain interprets these TWO frames as ONE, essentially cutting the actual framerate of the movie in half. So watching a movie in 2D is kind of like a 30fps movie, while in 3D it becomes 15fps to your eyes and brain. Some people can’t take this low framerate. I’m borderline. If it’s in first person view (such as games), I’ll NEED a minimum of 30fps, but if it’s not in first person, like in movies or 3rd person games, then 15fps is fine.

  17. I saw My Bloody Valentine and even with the new technology wearing a pair of glasses over a pair of glasses just didn’t work.

    I got a headache and it really makes me want to cry that Avatar is going to be in 3D because it really sounds like an awesome movie.

    I think it would be great if they could have 2 versions. One in 2D (for people with glasses and for those that don’t want to pay another 5 bucks) and the other in 3D for everyone else.

  18. Where do you live. All Cinemark theatres in the Bay Area in San Francisco show both versions. They also only charge 2.50 extra if you want to see the 3D version.

  19. re: Philbert

    I live in Anchorage Alaska. There isn’t even an IMAX up here. :( And there is only one new theater (as in built in the last 5 or 6 years)

  20. Amalthia,

    According to The Cinemark website there are at least three places showing Up in 2D

    Check out these schedules for Anchorage.

  21. Re: Philbert

    Finding 2D Up isn’t the problem. It’s finding the best 3D experience that’s the problem. There are no IMAX theaters up here and apparently from what I’m reading if you want the best 3D experience you really need to see the movie in a true IMAX theater, not the mini-IMAX theaters.

    I think I’m just irked about Avatar coming out and not knowing if there will be a 2D version.

  22. due to an accident, I have only one eye I can see clearly out of. Hopefully movies will not come in 3D only. but my home theater is advertising Avatar on the 3D screen only.

  23. @Monty F

    Since not all theaters have 3D capability right now 3D movies are also released in regular old 2D.