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. 

Product Review

Canon democratizes full-frame with the EOS RP, but keep your expectations low

At just $1,300, the RP is Canon's least expensive full-frame camera yet, but it was born into a world of high-end, high-cost lenses where it doesn't yet feel at home.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Business

‘Lego Movie 2’ wins the box office amid slow start for 2019

The slow start to 2019 continued, but animated sequel The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part still won its opening weekend, holding off challenges from several other new releases to become the highest-grossing film of the three-day span.
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

Apple will reportedly launch its new video-streaming service at March 25 event

The rumors about what Apple will announce at a March 25 event continue to swirl. A new report suggests that it will debut its much-anticipated video-streaming service, which will compete with Netflix and Amazon's Prime Video.
Home Theater

Bose’s technology patents could save an earbud’s battery life

Possibly taking a cue from Apple's popular AirPods, Bose filed a patent application for earbud IR technology that could save battery life, improve sound quality, and possibly help people locate lost earbuds.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Home Theater

ATSC 3.0: The next-gen TV update explained

ATSC 3.0 is the next major update to the broadcast standard we use today. Will this be the second coming of free, over-the-air TV? We're here to explain everything about the new standard.
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny, muffled TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

Samsung will stop releasing new Blu-ray players in the U.S.

Samsung, the first company to produce a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, is now exiting the Blu-ray market entirely in the U.S. The move comes after Oppo Digital also dropped out of the market last year.
Movies & TV

The Breaking Bad sequel might air on Netflix before it arrives on AMC

A Breaking Bad sequel starring Jesse Pinkman (and, possibly, Walter White) is on the way from series creator Vince Gilligan, and you might get your first look at it on Netflix, not traditional cable.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…