Led by families, interest in 3D is plummeting among U.S. consumers

sony-active-3d-glasses

Detailed in The Hollywood Reporter this week, attendance of 3D versions of films is dropping due to exceedingly high ticket prices and a lack of interest from the average American family. For example, the percentage of revenue that comes from 3D versions of Pixar films has fallen dramatically over the last two years. When Toy Story 3 was released, the opening weekend box office take was over sixty percent 3D viewings and the 3D revenue from the entire run was responsible for 56 percent of all revenue. Moving ahead in time, 3D revenue from the opening weekend of Cars 2 was 40 percent of the total revenue. Even more recently, 3D viewings during the opening weekend of Brave only accounted for 32 percent of all revenue.

Ice-Age-4-Contiental-DriftBeyond Pixar, Dreamworks Animation is seeing a similar trend. 3D viewings of Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted only accounted for 38 percent of the revenue collected during the opening weekend. Likely one of the main contributing factors, families are losing interest in 3D movies due to rising ticket prices.

At the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, the cost to view Ice Age: Continental Drift in 3D during a Saturday matinee runs $52 for the average family of four. Prices vary across the United States as well. At the AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13  in New York City, the same viewing is $65. At the AMC Studio 30 in Kansas, the price would be about $44. If a family of four chooses the 2D version of the film instead, they will reduce the total cost by 25 to 40 percent depending on the theater.

According to a 2011 study of theatrical market statistics conducted by the MPAA, box office revenue from 3D movies dropped by $400 million between 2010 and 2011. Despite the number of digital 3D screens in the United States increasing by 50 percent and the number of 3D films released increasing by nearly 75 percent, movies studios took in 18 percent less revenue than 2010. However, domestic revenue during 2012 is at an all time high. This is being supported by attendance of 2D movies such as action blockbusters like The Avengers and The Hunger Games as well as comedies like Ted and 21 Jump Street.

AvatarFor the moment, it appears that the movie industry is relying on extreme fans of comic book films and action movies to prop up 3D ticket sales in the United States. In addition,  studios are having better luck with 3D in markets such as China, Brazil and Russia. The release of the next three Avatar films is also expected to be a boon for 3D technology as 3D revenue from that box office release topped 85 percent of all revenue.

However, the first Avatar sequel won’t be released until 2014 and the draining interest in 3D films at the box office is already having an impact on the sales of 3D televisions. According to a recent study conducted by the NPD, only 14 percent of U.S. consumers consider 3D to be a vital feature that will motivate them to upgrade their existing HDTV in the next six months. Even more recent, DirecTV announced plans to scale back on 3D content development due to a general lack of interest from subscribers. 

Computing

Over a million veterans now eligible for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program

Comcast's low-cost Internet Essentials program, which provides internet access for just $10 per month, has expanded to include U.S. veterans. One million veterans now qualify for the service.
Computing

Microsoft Surface Studio 2: Everything you need to know

Microsoft's Surface Studio 2 comes with a new CPU, new graphics card, and a brighter display -- but is all of that worth the higher cost? Here's everything you need to know about the Surface Studio 2.
Photography

Full frame or 4K for less than $1K? These 4 older cameras still have a lot to offer

Looking for a great camera deal? Sometimes, you might be better off buying one that's a few years -- last generation's professional models may not cost much more than today's entry-level models.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Home Theater

Learn how to calibrate your home theater speakers for sheer audio bliss

Make your home theater rumble just right with our manual speaker setup guide, a simple, step-by-step walkthrough to getting the most from your audio equipment without needing to rely on imperfect automatic calibration.
Home Theater

How to make your TV squeaky clean for not much green

Not sure how to clean the LCD, OLED, or plasma display that's the cornerstone of your living room? You don't need to buy expensive cleaning solutions to clean your TV -- we'll teach you how to do it with simple household items.
Product Review

These AirPod look-alikes are better in every way but one

With silicone eartips, water resistance, and a more palatable price tag, Mobvoi’s Ticpods Free are impressive AirPod doppelgangers. But for all the great things they have going for them, there’s one flaw holding them back.
Home Theater

If you've got questions about Ultra HD Blu-ray, we've got answers

Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players are a killer way to beef up your home theater. Here's everything you need to know about one of the most significant advances to hit home entertainment in years.
Deals

All the Best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Deals

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…
Home Theater

From game consoles to 4K UHD spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

Streaming may be popular, but the disc isn't dead yet. To get the very best picture and sound quality from your system, you need to be watching Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, and these are the best Blu-ray players you can buy.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (December 2018)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in November and December 2018, from new original series to classic films.
Product Review

Hisense’s new H8E 4K TV serves up a pretty picture at a very nice price

Budget TVs continue to get more attractive and that includes the latest from Chinese TV maker Hisense. The company’s new H8E, which offers 4K resolution, HDR, and a slick design for well under $500.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.