Get Ready to Pay More For 3D, Effective Immediately
The 3D-cinema boom is, at this moment, as hot as any fad to ever hit Hollywood. It sounds like kind of an intellectual flatline -- perhaps even a bit of stating the obvious -- until you realize the implications, from bleeding-edger Jeff Katzenberg pouting about too much competition to Michael Bay being the lone voice of reason in a race to three-dimensionalize everything. But in all this media hyperspeed, expect viewers to witness the most dramatic consequences starting tomorrow -- before they even enter the multiplex.
And you can thank exhibitors for this one: According to one analyst's survey of 10 major-market multiplexes, those theaters are hiking 3D ticket prices by an average of 8 percent this weekend. Make it 10 percent for IMAX 3D, and tack on another 2 percent for children's tickets for the same format. Boring old 2D is going up as well, around 4 percent for adults and 2 percent for kids. The same analyst told the LAT that "about one-third of the 10 percent rise in box-office revenue so far this year is due to higher prices for 3-D movies, and two-thirds is due to higher attendance."
This is maybe too little too late for theaters who bristled at Disney's window-narrowing strategy for the mega-blockbuster Alice in Wonderland, but they have a good shot at making up for it with How to Train Your Dragon and Clash of the Titans opening back-to-back over the next two weekends. Meanwhile, expect Bay's phone to ring any minute now, with DreamWorks execs asking if he's changed his mind yet about making Transformers 3 in 2D. In the end, though, as evidenced by the brilliant photo accompanying the LAT, there really is only one question worth answering in this whole complex schema: What does Wim Wenders think?