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RealD struggling, 3D not as popular?

3D.jpgI scanned over this article to be honest but then a single quote from the CEO of RealD caught my eye and the way it was worded had me thinking. It looks as though 2D is outperforming 3D films, more than the 3D industry expected, but the speechwriters have been out and spinning like mad.

RealD are the company behind 3D in our cinemas and have just reported a drop in revenue in the last quarter. What does that mean? Audiences are watching 2D films more than 3D films.

However this doesn't toll the end for 3D as the earnings for films on RealD enabled screens has increased from last year from US $532 million to $643 million, explained by the increase in the number of 3D films available by one and the number of 3D enabled screens by a rather large thirteen percent, that means there are now twenty-two thousand, two hundred 3D screens worldwide. Interesting facts but I wonder how many screens there are in total?

The story from The Hollywood Reporter doesn't really sound that bad for RealD, in fact it sounds positive but with the large increase in the number of screens and an extra film up from last year it seems that they expected more, and according to the story they delayed the results for this quarter by an extra ten days. Despite all this the expected earnings are down and the CEO of RealD had this to say about it:

"2D films generated an outsized share of global box-office receipts during our third fiscal quarter, which limited our financial results for the quarter."

They "generated an outsized share"? Outsized? It means that 2D films earned more, 3D films earned less. That spun comment made me laugh, outsized indeed, the audience just opted to go and see 2D films instead of 3D.

Apparently the drop was some four percent losing some US $4.2 million whereas last year it was up by $2.8 million. It all goes into figures galore from there on but the hard fact is that people went to see more 2D films and less 3D films than expected, and that hurt the 3D companies.

It does mean a swing back to 2D films but is that just for a brief period? Is it because the films on offer aren't the ones attracting the audience? Looking at the current top fifteen box office films for last week from Launching Films the list only has three that are 3D:

£2,785,143 - Les Misérables (12A)
£1,696,391 - Django Unchained (18)
£1,401,214 - Flight (15)
£1,377,588 - Lincoln (12A)
£848,579 - Life of Pi (3D) (PG)
£758,024 - The Impossible (12A)
£655,689 - Zero Dark Thirty (15)
£485,160 - Monsters Inc (3D) (U)
£429,317 - Bullet to the Head (15)
£396,833 - Movie 43 (15)
£386,273 - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (3D) (12A)
£185,729 - Quartet (12A)
£155,395 - Parental Guidance (U)
£154,184 - Race-2 (12A)
£136,783 - Hyde Park on Hudson (12A)

Actually that isn't a bad list of 3D films, although Monsters Inc. released in 3D is a bit of a money earner rather than something for the audiences, but if Flight (Filmstalker review), Lincoln or The Impossible had been in 3D they would surely have had their revenues up. Is quality trumping gimmick?



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