Technology

Falling flat with 3-D

For most of the films that were offered in both two and three dimensions this summer, the enhanced versions accounted for less than 50% of opening weekend revenues.

Back in 2009, the release of James Cameron’s Avatar brought a tidal wave of hype for 3-D films along with its record-breaking box-office revenues. Pundits predicted an era when every film exploded from the screen in three glorious dimensions. But since then, its shine has significantly dulled. While 3-D accounted for 85% of Avatar’s more than $700-million box-office revenues, the opening weekends for subsequent blockbusters tell a different story. Even as the number of screens capable of showing 3-D films has increased, the revenue gleaned from those screens has plummeted. For most of the films that were offered in both two and three dimensions this summer, the enhanced versions accounted for less than 50% of opening weekend revenues. The financial effects for companies invested in 3-D are evident. RealD, a leading firm, saw its stock drop from $35 to $27 after Kung Fu Panda 2’s opening. It dipped to $18.04 after Harry Potter’s debut. Below, we track 3-D’s growth—and its shrinking box office.


 

Infographic by Glenn Taylor
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