In case you were wondering whether this new resurgence into 3D movie viewing was just another flash in the pan, think again: Tim Burton’s “Alice In Wonderland” reimagining has broken the world record for biggest Winter opening, bringing in $116.3 million dollars in the U.S and Canada. This makes it an even larger debut than James Cameron’s “Avatar“, though credit should probably be given to that film for paving the way for audiences to take a chance on the new 3D paradigm.
This is clearly seen by the fact that the main part of revenue for “Alice” came from theaters with 3D-enabled screens — IMAX was first place, then regular 3D screens. With the next potentially big (though maybe not in these numbers) 3D movie on its way — DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon” — expect to see far more 3D content than you might even want to watch.
This is also huge news for makers of home 3D TV sets, as studios are betting big that you’ll want to carry the immersive experience of the movies home with you. What this means to you as parents is yet another device that needs feeding of batteries in the 3D glasses. Expect to lose and/or break these things, as my recollection is that they look and feel pretty flimsy. This is fine for in-theater use, as they need to be light enough to wear over an extended period, and then you just hand them to the theater’s employees, but home users might want something more sturdy for long-term viewing.
Another thing to watch for: updated versions of movies you already own. The 3D process can be added to existing content, though my understanding is that the result is a more heavy-handed approach. It looks and feels tacked-on, as opposed to integrated. Also down the road: development of a new breed of eyestrain/neurological dysfunction based on prolonged 3D glasses use. To paraphrase Michael Crichton: “Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should.” This 3D thing won’t go away soon, and it’s just picking up momentum. Someday we’ll be able to tell our grandkids “Back in my day, you couldn’t walk around talking with the characters! They were flat and ignored us! And we liked it that way!” If you’re still on the fence whether or not to take your kids to the new “Alice”, check out our review and don’t forget our giveaway!