President Koch and I lunched with an industry person today, and the subject of 3-D came up. One of us questioned whether cinema in three dimensions was a Fad or a Permanent Phenomena. I offered the opinion that it would soon be as prevalent as color.
Full confession here: I was one of those people who was skeptical that 3-D had staying power, but day by day, I'm becoming a believer:
... Disney-Pixar's 3-D toon "Up" has enough lift to likely become the second-highest-grossing Pixar title at the domestic B.O. after "Finding Nemo."
Through Sunday, "Up's" domestic total was $187.4 million -- the second best of any summer film to date. Par's "Star Trek" has cumed $231.9 million.
"Up's" boffo run is the latest example of how 3-D runs can boost a film's bottom line through higher ticket prices. The film's 3-D runs make up only 40% of the total screen count, yet they contribute 60% of the gross ...
Forget for the moment that Pixar's latest uptrend blows Jim Hill's theory of Emeryville's ever-declining revenues into a raggedy hand-basket. Think about what 3-D is doing to animation just now. Not only did it aid tremendously in making Monsters Vs. Aliens a dmoestic hit, but it's goosing Up's overall numbers in a major way.
This continuing shower of legal tender insures that 3-D will keep expanding geometrically. It won't be long before a majority of theaters have dimensional capability, and at that point, producers will be shooting most pictures in 3-D because it will be increasingly risky not to.
I'm betting in a couple of years 3-D will be close to critical mass, and live action in three dimensions will be as widespread as Cinemascope was half a century ago. At that point, bins of cheap polarized glasses will be everywhere, and you wouldn't be able avoid them if you wanted to.
So get ready for darker screens (because those viewing glasses reduce light) and View Master panoramas. You'll be seeing a lot of them.