3D movies : great, suck or somewhere in between

Let us not forget that commercial, user experience for 3D holographic production was established for The Haunted House at Disneyland in August of 1969. So the fundamental base technology has been around for 50+ years and has still yet to be adopted and in place, by major cinema vendors.

It is also important to note that the Disneyland 3D holographic projections did not require 3D glasses either.

Will these “Laser projectors” still require glasses?

Moore’s law increased from 10,000 operations/transistors to 20,000,000 in that time. An increase of 2,000x in that time period.
Processor speed has increased from 0.043 MHZ to 4.0 GHZ. Nearly a 100,000x increase in processing speed (and that does even count for multi core processors).

So we are saying it requires a 100,000x increase in processor speed and and a 2,000x increase in number of transistors to do holographic 3D projecting, in the best case scenario, if the above technologies no longer requiring special glasses.

Seriously. All that power increase and speed increase and 50+ years to work on it, and high res color is essentially the hurdle. I won’t even get started with memory speed or flash drives.

It seems they (3D, color, no glasses) have been missing a market opportunity for some time.

Why is that? The issue is certainly not computational, or chip speed to process required bits. or even memory size/speed since you only need to send the bit changes.

I remember seeing Bolt in 3D, I wear glasses for far vision. The 3D glasses thing just gave me a headache. When they get non 3-D glasses required, then I’ll give it a serious go again.

I have had no issues with 2D “blockbusters”, my brain is perfectly capable of converting a 2D image to 3D all on its own. I, like most everybody else does this all the time. The human optical system gets data in 2D and the brain processes it into a 3D image. Look up the history of perspective geometry in both classical and renaissance art work to see how they “fooled the brain” into seeing paintings that mimicked 3 dimensional space.

Well the Rea D Cinema & Luxe laser projectors are 3D 8K HD 240 refresh rate that do Trillions of colors.

A university has found a way to archive glasses-free 3D without reducing the resolution of the image by using mirrors. I assume it works it any projector. This was back in 2016 and mentioned again in 2017. And went silent ever since, so safe to say they still have kinks to work out.

As for holograms, that seems expensive and unnecessary. I’ve seen an hologram show in Hollywood, its more like a Broadway play if the people were high resolution images. But it looks more like Broadway and less then cinema.

I can see hologram technology being used for ones surroundings in the cinema room for a 4D experience that surpasses MX4D.

iPhone 11 has a 3D camera. Safe to say iPhone 12 will have a glasses-free 3D display. Android will most likely release such phones around the time Apple does.

All 8K cameras are Stereoscopic cameras. And the new 8K TVs will be Glasses-Free 3D with trillions of colors. But energy efficiency standards is why we don’t have these TVs yet.

Luckily the consumer market has move in the direction of 3D. The PS Vita vs. 3DS was the precursor. Old people are set in their ways to stay out home and stream everything, they will not buy 8K TVs, they won’t upgrade their last smartphone (unless its an iPhone). The consumer market is ever increasingly Millinnials & Generation Z, which is what will push more 3D & 4D screenings in theaters.

Businesses can be stubborn all they want, but they really don’t have any other demographic to sell new things to, except mostly the young.

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The problem of receiving headaches from 3D has been fix with Laser Projectors in theaters and HDR for TVs.

Upcoming 8K TVs will be Glasses-Free 3D with HDR. Both that and the iPhone 12 seem to be your earliest options for 3D sans glasses. There’s also the New Nintendo 3DS XL with its face-tracking 3D that you can get now (make sure its the “NEW” 3DS XL for the face-tracking function).

The only unknown is when glasses-free can be done theaters. I wouldn’t hokd your breath on that one. But if headaches are your only problem, then laser projectors fixed that, and you got such options as:

ArcLight cinemas

El Capitan theaters

IMAX with Laser

If you do try Laser 3D I would recommend any Disney Live-Action movie (Mulan, Black Widow, Artemis Fowl) and Wonder Woman 1984.
As well as Godzilla Vs. Kong and Dune.

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I must confess I find 8k, 60+FPS and especially trillions of colors to be rather amusing. The eye can only take in so much information especially for a moving image. Motion blur is a real life event.ask anyone who seen a Formula one car going 170mph+ right by your your face.

We only actually see 85% of what we think we see and the brain fills in the rest. At some point higher resolution becomes meaningless, unless you are looking at your tv with a microscope. But, that never stopped the tech sector before and it won’t stop it now.

Just as they know as they draw nearer to 7nm circuits and know below 7nm the physics of flowing electrons within silicon breaks down. They know they are running towards a wall and Moore’s law simply stops.

The question for consumers is how much is enough, or at least the law of diminishing return. But, tech companies can’t think like that or their economIc model collapses. Especially in the consumer space. The reality is that personal, consumer level computers and laptops are plenty fast enough for 98+% of the market. Just look at how many cpu cycles your typical laptop doesn’t use.

The thing many people forget is that our bodies and their ability to consume data inhabit an analog world, not a digital one.


I’m with ya here. I have astigmatisms like crazy PLUS retinopathy. I can already barely tell the difference between 1080 HDR and 4K HDR. I’m currently experiencing diminishing returns.

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I misunderstood the question, I thought this was about 3D animated versus 2D animation :rofl:. You can nullify my answer and put it in the “limited” section.

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So many of the “young people do this” and “old people do this” arguments are blowing my mind. My state leans toward an older and wealthier demographic, so the three movie theaters I frequent are constantly packed with senior citizens in 3D and 2D showings alike. Older people I work with, the parents of friends, and my local Best Buy’s shoppers are also constantly seen with high-tech TV hauls that I salivate over from afar.

No one person’s experience is universal, but I also struggle to imagine I live in a special snowflake oasis of geriatric trendsters.

And I’ll admit to not having read all the arguments and studies above (my impatient millennial mind at work), but statistics are worth looking at under a microscope. Who funded the studies provided, how were respondents or control groups chosen, are those conducting the research fully unbiased, yadda yadda.

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Certainly in the US, a breakdown by economic demographics would be nice to see. 3D tickets are generally more expensive, are they not?

@DeSade-acolyte locally 3D movies have a $3 charge added. With normal (excluding matinees) first run tickets average $12, so a 20% increase.

It’s ludicrous to think, as some have suggested, not you, that 3D can double the box office. There may be the odd exception.

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I’m supposed to believe that the older generation buys 8K TVs. Some of them sure, but not over 90% of them at minimum.

When I talked about movie going I said the 2D only demographic. Almost all the old people who watch movies in Monoscopic 2D only stop going to theaters after Star Wars trilogy ended.

The old people who watch movies in 3D have no incentive to stop going to theaters, they’re actually into new things. Not much of the old people who see movies in 2D only will ever go back to theaters ever again, there’s no reason for them to do so.

@shahaneh-star.11392 I’m gonna respectfully back out of this conversation here. I’m not sure if you intend it to be so, but a lot of those assumptions are borderline rude. We definitely don’t look at facts and studies the same way, and the topic isn’t of enough interest to me to continue.


Alita: Battle Angel and Maleficet 2 Mistress of Evil made half a billion dollars each.

Hellboy 2019 made $44 million worldwide (including China). A Monoscopic 2D only movie.

Look at Aliens prequel. Prometheus (3D) made $400 million, that shouldn’t have been possible to do that good.
But Alien Convenent (2D only) made $140 (this movie should have made more).

Terminator Genesys (3D) made $480 million.

Kingsman 2 Golden Circle made over $200 million internationally (never released in China) but only made over $50 million in the U.S. & Canada. It was in 3D internationally, but in Monoscopic 2D only in America and Canada.

Birds of Prey is successful in the international box office were it released in 3D, but not in the domestic box office were it released in Monoscopic 2D only.

2019 saw 3 CGI movies released in Monoscopic 2D Only, and they all bombed. (They won’t try that again)

3D makes a difference. The box office numbers speak for themselves.

You miss use statistics and declare it proof. Those box office amounts are most likely 2/3D combined totals. You don’t give the breakout. What sources are you using. I find it impossible to believe the foreign market is as skewed as you want us to think. Movie companies are not stupid, there would be more released here in 3D, if they thought there was a market. The fact is locally anyway people didn’t think it was worth the money with the need to wear glasses. With few exceptions 3D showings just didn’t fill enough seats.


And yet, in the domestic box office alone; CGI movies shot up from 33% 3D Screenings to 51% and then 71%.

Yes, the box office numbers I mentioned are more like 75% 3D. But I was never suggesting 100% of it came from 3D.

Prometheus saw probably $255 million from 3D and $145 million from Monoscopic 2D.
Alien Convenent (2D Only) made $144 million.

Terminator Genesys made $480 million.
Terminator Dark Fate (2D only) made $200 million.
And thats the Terminator franchise.

Maleficet 2 Mistress of Evil made a lot of money worldwide but got 85% to 90% of it from 3D screenings. (75% only if you are talking about domestic box office only)

2019 released the first Monoscopic 2D Only CGI movies, and all 3 of them bombed including in the domestic box office.

2019 was a test of 2D only CGI movies.

2020 is a test of Live-Action movies that would be in 3D being in 2D Only, or at least releasing in 5 countries in 2D only (it seems their not confident enough to try this worldwide for a bunch of movies. But some of them will be 2D only worldwide).

Unfortunately since they always release more 3D Live-Action movies then any CGI movies each year, the effect is felt more greater, like maybe around 10 movies.

I think all these test will bombed for the Live-Action movies this year, like they did for the CGI movies last year.

It is sort of an obvious statement, but there plenty of movies that aren’t “CGI” movies.

If 3D matters so much to box office, just how much of Joker’s $1 Billion revenue was 3D ticket sales exactly?

You are saying some movies would have made much more if in 3D, some bold claims. But not backed up by anything more than your opinion. And saying that “international” has more 3D and that’s what inflating numbers, the international market for US film has been growing steady for decades. And it can be argued it those increases in international revenue are being driven as much, if not more by social media than display technology.

Over 68% of Joker’s revenue was from the international market.

Does 3D help the likely ticket sales of a CGI heavy movie, sure, I’ll give you that. But it is hardly the sole reason why international money is such a big part of total film gross. If anything, if their is a premium on 3D ticket prices over 2D ticket prices in the international market it should be accounting for even more revenue. Also, let’s say you are correct and 3D is more popular internationally what is your breakdown of the 3D vs 2D ticket sales for a film in any individual geographic market.
How many international theaters are saying “just give me the 3D version“ and this is giving more weight to 3D being popular overseas if 2D isn’t an easily available ticket option?


You have repeatedly mentioned Hellboy, Power Rangers and Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, scratch that Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey in your argument of why 3D is essential to the profitability of a movie. There is a huge thing that you are failing to mention, the marketing. The marketing or pre-movie controversies for each of these movies killed the movies before opening weekend. Hellboy, I had no idea this was coming out. The commercials were limited and the word of mouth of people who saw this was not good. I personally liked the movie but it was a step down from Guillermo del Toro’s movies. Power Rangers was seen as another movie that was not needed and it had backlash for changing an established character into a lesbian. This was another movie that I enjoyed and I would love to see a sequel for but once again 3D or lack of 3D did not hurt the movie.

Now for the current movie, Birds of Prey. This was a marketing disaster on multiple levels. First, no one knew if this was a sequel to Suicide Squad or not. Suicide Squad is not widely loved outside of a very niche audience. A sequel to that movie is not something that people have been asking for. (It will be interesting to see how the James Gunn Suicide Squad will do). Another big issue with this movie is that a certain character is missing. There has been confusion on why Oracle is missing from this movie on my Twitter feed and these are comic book fans. Then we have the name. They have changed the name of the movie due to failing in the first week at the box office. This only shows that they know that marketing has dropped the ball. If 3D was the issue and you have stated they are 3D copies in other countries wouldn’t they release 3D here? Which leads to your entire argument being a dead end. If 3D was the issue and they have 3D in other countries why wouldn’t they release a 3D version the week after a movie has a disappointing opening? Wouldn’t that make sense? It is digital so they aren’t rushing stuff through Fed Ex like they once did.

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I’ll add on to @DeSade-acolyte and @darkstarz25 with my original set of questions. They boil down to the final question, if 3D magically adds 40% additional revenue (and I’ll narrow it to heavy CGI movies) why would the studios and theaters NOT release and heavily promote 3D?

Perhaps you are confusing correlation with causation.

Correlation-Large blockbuster movies have lots of action and CGI so they also generate more 3D revenue.

Causation-3D movies always increase box office revenue independent of other factors such as storytelling, cinematography, etc.

I also provide this news report from April 26, 2019 showing a 20% worldwide decrease in 3D sales for 2018 compared to 2017.

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If 3D action/comic book movies make an additional 40% revenue why do the theaters not demand 3D to be made available in the US?

If 3D movies make an additional 40% revenue why would the studios not push 3D to the theaters and consumers?

Time Warner was just purchased by AT&T, wouldn’t they want to show their new owners how much more money they can make with 3D movies?

Heck, doesn’t any publicly traded want to maximize profits?

I could see if Warner Brothers didn’t have faith in BoP and didn’t invest in the 3D processing as an additional cost, but if it is being offered in 3D outside the US it is a sunk cost, why not 3D for everyone?

Does Warner Brothers pay a licensing fee per country or territory for 3D technology?

I agree that Millennials and Gen-Z attend more movies as a percentage of their demographic versus Gen-X and the Baby Boomers. I’m a late Boomer, and yes I don’t see many movies at the theater. It has to be a movie I want to see and that takes advantage of the big screen. I get that you are a proponent of 3D films, but in some cases a 2D film can make as much or more money.

If all the statistics and information you present points to 3D is always (or much more often) more profitable than 2D films why wouldn’t every studio release every action/comic book movie in 3D?

It seems the studios have done some kind of ROI (Return On Investment) or cost benefit analysis that has made them decide to not release movies like BoP in 3D.

Lucy ‘splain to me about 3D and why the studios and theaters are leaving and additional 40% revenue on the table?



Kingsman 2 did over $100 million in the US. It’s considered a minor success when the international grosses are factored in.

Alita’s world-wide release is far less than half a billion, closer to 400 million than 500. Streaming, pay-per-view, blu/DVD and TV sales will have put it into profits-- and Fox might have made a sequel on those grounds-- Disney-- who knows with Disney. Technically, it is considered a bomb domestically due to the high budget.

My goodness you love 3-D!


Joker 2019 was released before Star Wars 9 and not after.

It had a hugh 2D only demographic that returned to theaters in December 2015. This old 2D only people people are responsible for half of Joker’s global and domestic box office.

If Joker released in 2020 or beyond, it would have only made $300 million to $600 million worldwide (most likely $500 million to $600 million I think).

Thats half a billion dollars 2D Only demographic is not going to theatres ever again. Even a good chunk Generation X and Millinnials who are 2D only people have stop going to theaters for the rest of their lives. 70+% of the 2D only demographic is done with the theaters, they will never go to cinemas ever again.

A lot of factors have lead to this. 4K Streaming and advance 4K TVs and Dolby Atmos home theater speakers and so fort.

You can buy Frozen 2 to watch via amctheatres dot com right now. That only took 2 months after release.

Landmark & Regency went the Monoscopic 2D only route and they are dying.

Most of the remaining 2D only crowd that continues to go to theaters see’s 99% independent and foreign films only, at their local Laemmle theater :movie_camera: .