Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Permanence of 3-D -- Part VI

After Avatar, the momentum picks up for viewing in three dimensions.

Piper Jaffray estimates the 3D market will grow from $5.5 billion this year to $25 billion by 2012 at a compound annual rate of 50 percent. ...

Good news, yes? But then there is this.

A new PricewaterhouseCoopers report concludes that every industry sector must make adjustments over the coming 18 months to meet the creative and financing demands of such expensive, complex production. Similar challenges involving creative and tech-related compatibility also will confront game studios and game consoles, TV station operators and broadcast and cable TV networks, Internet companies and consumer electronics manufacturers.

“Among the other issues studios must find answers to are the integration of special effects in a 3D movie ...

And what's the sub-text to the above? It's that the congloms are muttering to themselves:

If we lay out major bucks for all this pricey technology crap, are we going to recoup our investment? Or are we going to lose our butts?

I've read other think-pieces -- and thought myself -- that when we reach the point where 100% of the movies we love are in glorious Three Dee (in the same way that 100% are in color), that the fine companies who rule us will find it tough to charge the movie-going public a premium for watching stereo presentations.

Because nothing will be special if everything is special.

And if Viacom and/or Warner Bros. break ranks and drop ticket prices on their 3-D extravaganzas when market pressures become intense, won't every other company follow suit to stay in the game?

Or am I missing something?


Anonymous said...

Drop ticket prices "when market pressures become intense"? What kind of market pressures are you talking about? Why would they drop ticket prices at all? Is there any historical precedent for movie tickets getting cheaper, at any time, ever? And, wouldn't the theater owners get kind of upset about that?

My prediction is that the industry will use this as an opportunity to make the price hike permanent, the way Coca Cola used the "new Coke" switcheroo to convert regular Coke from real sugar to corn syrup.

Steve Hulett said...

Uh, we seldom buy full-price tickets. We buy passes at five bucks a throw. In clumps of twenty or more.

What makes you think that people won't go to low-cost alternatives? Many won't, of course, but many will.

Price resistance happens all the time. And Prices do indeed go in both directions. Just ask American homeowners who bought into the fantasy (1996-2006) that "home prices only go UP."

Anonymous said...

I seriously doubt all movies will eventually be 3D. I mean, can you imagine watching something like "Marley and Me" or "Up in the Air" in STEREOSCOPIC 3-DEEE!!!?!?!

I think 3D will be somewhat limited to movies that can be plussed by eye-popping visuals.

Anonymous said...

Except for Coraline and MvA, I've opted for 2D with every film that's been released in both formats. I refuse to buy a new pair of glasses every time, and I'm not a fan of theater hopping. Once I can bring my own glasses and not be charged a premium, I'll start going to 3D shows.

Anonymous said...

Stop throwing your glasses away. The premium is not for the glasses anyway it is for the extra dimension.

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