Moviegoers are constantly trying to decide between 3D and 2D movie experiences. Without question, the ticket prices for 3D showings scare some people away. But if legendary directors Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson have anything to say about it, all tickets would be created equal - except IMAX.
Studios are making a fortune on 3D ticket prices these days. Five of the top seven grossing films of 2011 so far included 3D releases and Harry Potter just smashed almost every record in the books with its opening weekend take. As 3D continues to become the industry standard for blockbuster action movies, our eyes turn to its future. Where will ticket prices go as the medium becomes even more customary?
During the press conference for The Adventures of Tintin, both Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson addressed the issue. Both are making major strides into 3D territory, with Peter Jackson's The Hobbit pushing the boundaries on multiple levels - just like James Cameron's Avatar did recently.
Listen to their 3-minute response to a query on the future of 3D:
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It's refreshing to hear two of the most renowned filmmakers of all-time embracing the new technology with the right mindset. The format is still in its experimental stage and even Martin Scorsese is giving it a try with Hugo. But only a handful of filmmakers have put the effort in to shoot 3D the right way - and refrain from the easy post-conversion path.
Still, not all "shot-in-3D" movies are great:
Peter Jackson: "With the right movie, 3D can enhance the experience. Absolutely it can make a good film a great film and a great film a really amazing film to see and that's what I hang on to. But certainly the projection brightness issue needs to be addressed."
Peter Jackson: "The audiences have now come to realize that there are bad movies that can be in 3D as well and on top of that you being charged an extra $5 to see a movie that was as bad as one you saw in 2D. [The increased ticket prices] are starting to backfire a little bit."
Spielberg: "Not every movie in my opinion should be shot in 3D. Little love stories I wouldn't shoot in 3D. But there are movies that are a perfect for 3D. I think the last great 3D movie I saw that enhanced the experience for me was the last Transformers."
Spielberg's main goal with 3D seems to be full integration in entertainment. He wants it to be the norm and prices to reflect it. If you are a Spielberg fan, you may become even more of one after his comments on 3D.
Steven Spielberg: "I am certainly hoping that 3D gets to a point where people do not notice it. Because once they stop noticing it, it just becomes another tool and helps tell a story. Then maybe they can make ticket prices comparable to a 2D movie and not charge such exorbitant prices just to gain entry into a 3D one, with the exception of IMAX - we are getting a premium experience in a premium environment. But to show a 3D movie in a similar theater in a multiplex next to another similar theater showing a 2D movie, hopefully someday there will be so many 3D movies, prices will come down - which I think will be fair to the consumer."
There is no question that 3D is here for a while. If it goes away, it won't be for a few years. A number of high-profile movies are planned for 3D and as long as the money is coming in, the Hollywood landscape won't be changing. Still, it is a difficult environment to live in as a consumer because some films really do lend themselves to 3D, leading to massive box office numbers.
Discuss the state of 3D in our comments section and let us know if you agree or disagree with Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg.