Sci-Fi Fodder

Why So Many 3D Movies?

Have you noticed the big jump in 3D movies this year?

First, it was "My Bloody Valentine 3D" and "Coraline". Then, there was that Jonas Brothers Concert movie in 3D. After those three releases, I thought that something was going on. When I realized that "Monsters vs. Aliens" will be in 3D, I was sure.

Check out this list of upcoming 3D movies:

"Monsters vs. Aliens" (March 27th, 2009)
I saw the 3D Super Bowl commercial, but never made the connection that the movie was going to be in 3D. I'll still be there in the theater for this one, but I am now a lot more curious on the reasons that "MvA" was made in 3D, since it still would have been a blockbuster in 2D.

"UP" - (May 29th, 2009)
"UP" is another movie that I did not realize was in 3D. I loved the preview during the Super Bowl with house floating under balloon power. The kids and I have already decided to see it.

"Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" - (July 1st, 2009)
Another Ice Age movie, but in 3D. It will likely be 'aight'.

"G-Force" - (July 27, 2009)
A rich guy tries to take over the world with household appliances. A group of guinea pigs is our only hope, it seems. I'll have to see a preview before I make a judgement on this one - but it sounds kind of dumb. Hopefully, it will be funny.

"Final Destination: Death Trip 3D" - (August 21st, 2009)
Horror movies continue to get the 3D treatment. The initial "Final Destination" movie was pretty strong, but the remainder of the series were pretty much just formula. Not bad, but still very formula.

"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" - (September 18th, 2009)
Call me crazy, but a children's book titled "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" screams for a 3D adaptation. I can just imagine the food fights that this will spawn.

"Toy Story" - (October 2nd, 2009)
Yep - a re-release of the original, in 3D. It's still good.

"A Christmas Carol" - (November 6th, 2009)
A remake of the classic. This version will be animated, featuring the voices of Gary Oldman, Cary Elwes and Jim Carrey.

"Planet 51" - (November 20th, 2009)
A human astronaut crashes on another planet and he realized that he is the alien here. The astronaut will be voiced by the former "Rock", Dwayne Johnson.

"Avatar" - (December 18th, 2009)
"Avatar" is an original science fiction animated movie created by James Cameron. It is *not* the "Avatar: The Last Airbender" adaptation that is also in production. In "Avatar", a retired Marine who has has been paralyzed undergoes an experiment that will make him an avatar. In this story, an avatar is like another version of a person that is actually an alien. It sounds confusing, but looks pretty cool.

"The Princess and the Frog" - (December 25th, 2009)
The Princess and the Frog is based on the classic story "The Frog Princess". Correction: the comment below is correct - the movie is not in 3D, just good old-fashioned 2D.

That's *THIRTEEN* total 3D movies in 2009. And, in my opinion, most of them do not *need* 3D to be successful. Somebody must think more people will come to the movies if the show is in 3D. Or, more likely, somebody cornered the market on 3D glasses and is going to make a killing on DVD sales. I am not sure of the reason, but the facts are clear - there is a deluge of 3D movies on the horizon.

I think the big test will be James Cameron's "Avatar". He has been working for a long time on that movie and has likely perfected that technique. If that movie flops, 3D will still be a cool gimmick, but nothing that we require for a trip to the movies. "Avatar", I think, has the chance to change our opinion of what one can do with the 3D technology. I am looking forward to it!

3D cannot fail!!
Just ask these two idiots:

-- Posted by: Big Red at March 17, 2009 3:27 PM

"Even when promoting Cloverfield 2, JJ Abrams himself is wearing an Avatar shirt."

I knew it was a conspiracy. "Avatar" hype is just going to get more intense, now that "Watchmen" is already out. There isn't anything to share the spotlight!

-- Posted by: Fred at March 17, 2009 4:28 PM

Just to let you know, The Princess and the Frog is not a 3D movie, its not even animated via 3D means, its animated as a 'flat' 2D animated film, like The Lion King, as opposed to a 3D animated film, like Toy Story or Shrek.

And beyond that, its far from an actual 3D, stereoscopic film, like Monsters vs Aliens or Avatar.

-- Posted by: Chris G. at March 17, 2009 5:14 PM

Actually this whole 3d thing has been growing for several years. Polar Express, Chicken Little, Beowulf, Journey to the center of the earth, and Bolt all had limited releases in 3d at the same time they came out in 2d. They did so well in moving tickets compared to the 2d releases that now more 3d films are coming out. Even though there are fewer 3d showings they are moving more tickets. For My Bloody Valentine Six people saw the 3d version to every one person who saw it in 2d, and the other 3d releases did as well or almost as well. With those satistics they are bound to release more 3d films.

-- Posted by: Tony Robertson at March 18, 2009 4:08 AM

The Princess and the Frog is NOT in 3D. One of the bigger things about this movie is that it is done entirely in 2D, and specifically will not be looking at the 3D medium for anything down to inspiration.

-- Posted by: jack at March 18, 2009 10:53 AM

Thanks for the catch on "The Princess and the Frog"! It has been noted and corrected, and I am now in the process of tracking down and flogging my source.


-- Posted by: Fred at March 18, 2009 11:22 AM

Did you miss the announcement last year that all Pixar/Disney and Dreamworks computer animated films from now on will be released in 3D? Obviously the studios are looking for ways to get people into the movie theaters instead of their home theaters - in fact, there are internal struggles in the major studios between the home video and feature film divisions. As home technology advances, the feature film divisions are fearful of their markets disappearing.
3D is just one avenue being explored to get butts in seats. Other ideas being tried in limited markets include more upscale theaters with table service, roomy comfortable seating, alcoholic beverages, etc.

-- Posted by: Steve at March 18, 2009 3:19 PM

Sorry guys but Monsters vs Aliens shown in 3d did very well, moving more tickets than the 2d screen where able to do. Sure to see more 3d screens installed over the next few months. Can't compete if something is sell more than something else. How people vote in a free economy.

-- Posted by: Tony Robertson at April 13, 2009 4:40 AM