3D films are the next big thing again

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3Dcinema.jpgJust like they were in the 1970s and again for a while in the 1980s. This renewed optimism for 3D films is, of course, down to everyone making a whole load more money out of it all.

Analyst Screen Digest says that exhibitors not planning to move to 3D risk being left behind, with “premium content” – more expensive tickets – making 3D showings good for cinema owners the world over.

“Digital 3D screens generate on average three times more revenue” reckons Screen Digest, which is why they’re rocketing in popularity – at the end of 2006 there were 258 digital 3D screens worldwide and already this has risen to 750, as operators froth themselves stupid over the extra cash they can charge for showings of 3D versions of Hollywood blockbusters.

By 2009 Screen Digest forecasts that there will be over 5,000 digital 3D screens worldwide – five percent of all cinema screens.

And with cinema admissions stabilising over the last few years, Screen Digest reckons 3D is a good way to get people back to the cinemas and away from those dodgy shakycam Bittorrent bootlegs.

“Digital 3D has the potential to give the cinema industry a shot in the arm to counter flat admissions over recent years. Just as the gap between cinema and home cinema seemed to be getting smaller, the cinema industry has again proven that it can reinvent itself in the face of competition…” says Charlotte Jones, Screen Digest Analyst.

“Superior box office returns from early digital 3D releases point towards a strong business case for a rapid roll-out of 3D screens.”

And if you want proof, try seeing Superman Returns at the iMAX. The 3D action scenes were staggering, even though the huge 3D glasses they make you wear are a bit awkward. And the non-action bits of the film sucked.

Screen Digest (no relation)

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Gary Cutlack