3D Ticket Sales Slump as Audiences Tire of Third Dimension

Anyone who grew up wearing those cardboard 3D glasses can appreciate the 2013 models. The glasses are sleek and stylish, and the 3D effects they reveal are more convincing than anything popping off the screen in House of Wax or Jaws 3D.

It still isn't enough to convince movie goers to pay a $2 to $3 surcharge for that third dimension.

Ticket sales for 3D versions of films including last weekend's "The Wolverine" and the recent animated offering "Turbo" hit new lows for the format over the last two weekends, [B. Riley & Co analyst Eric] Wold reports, dipping to just 25 percent of the total box office in the case of "Turbo...."

Domestically, it had been expected to produce upwards of 40 percent of a film's box office gross, but that appears to be shifting as U.S. moviegoers are growing more selective about what films they see in the format.

The only surprise here is that the shift took so long to happen. For every filmmaker who took the 3D technology seriously, like directors James Cameron and Martin Scorsese, countless others watched as their films were post-converted to the format.

To put it bluntly, the gimmick is wearing off thanks to artistic indifference, and Hollywood has only itself to blame. By cranking out inferior 3D experiences, and insisting on that hefty surcharge, movie goers eventually learned two dimensions were more than enough.

A similar scenario happened on the home front, where the push for 3D television sets met an indifferent public.

3D famously disappeared for years before the current wave of films, and it's likely we'll keep seeing some 3D product in the future. It's plain to see, even without prescription glasses, that the 3D wave has crested.


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