Friday, 26 March 2010

The Price Of 3D

Breathtaking. Immersive. Amazing. Game Changing.
These are just a few of the terms you may have heard bandied around in the last couple of months regarding James Cameron's record breaking Avatar. No doubt all of you will have seen it by now and have an opinion on it - and most of you will have an opinion on 3D itself too. But here's the thing. One of my biggest problems with 3D so far is the expense. Is it really worth the extra money to have a film essentially turned into a theme park ride?
So far it seems the answer to that question has been yes, especially in America, where the masses flocked to Avatar for months, making it the most successful movie of all time. But now Hollywood has caught onto their new form of exploitation. Since the release of Avatar every mainstream blockbuster from Alice In Wonderland to the upcoming Shrek Forever After has been converted into 3D, to become more appealing to audiences. Now, firstly consider the fact that James Cameron has actively spoken out against the conversion of films into 3D, stating that if you're going to do it - do it properly. These movies obviously aren't what he intended when he set off the 3D craze. Also consider the failure by the Academy to award it in anything but the technical departments at this years OSCARS. But I think there's another, bigger factor just thrown into the mix that could well see a drop in 3D attendance in the masses, even if it doesn't fall off the map completely.
In a recent article on Yahoo Finance (original article here: 'The Wall Street Journal' revealed the increase in 3D ticket sales, that takes effect as of today in the US. For those of you that want to get down to the numbers, here's how it works:

The increases will vary from cinema to cinema, but lets say as an average, each 3D ticket costs $13.00. That price will now rise to roughly $16.00.
The average Imax cinema will rise 3D prices from around $16.00 to $19.00.
Now, if this is successful there's no doubt in my mind that these ticket prices will travel overseas into your local UK multiplex, so here's how it will work there:
Standard cinemas will rise 3D ticket prices from £8 to £10, more depending on what you're already paying (I think that may be a little generous for the larger chains).
And for the full Imax 3D experience, you can expect to pay up to £12, £2 more than the standard £10 (again, slightly generous).
So, on average, a family of 4 in the US is paying between $64 - $76 and if it does travel overseas (which it will) we will be paying between £40 - £46. And remember, this is still, in my opinion, being a little generous.

So my question to you is this:
Despite what you think of 3D, love it or hate it, is a trip to see the 'breathtaking, immersive, amazing, game changing' Avatar really as good as a trip to an actual theme park?
I'll leave you with the trailer to the upcoming Clash Of The Titans, to help you decide...

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