IMAX Is Moving Away From 3D: 'Audiences Don't Want 3D Anymore'

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It was everywhere. It seemed as if every film coming out since 2009 was available with 3D glasses. That, of course, had a lot to do with money. Ever since James Cameron's groundbreaking "Avatar," the studios wanted to take advantage of the 3D medium by releasing every mediocre effort with an extra pair of $3 glasses included with your ticket. When conceived, most of these movies were not meant for 3D viewing, compared to James Cameron's film which was born and bred as a 3D experience. I kept saying on this site "Don't waste your money watching 99% of movies in 3D, it is not essential & the film does not benefit in any way shape or form from it."

I would add that I can count on a single hand the number of movies that have come out since "Avatar" that actually benefited from the 3D treatment: Cameron's "Avatar," Ang Lee's "Life Of Pi," Martin Scorsese's "Hugo," Robert Zemeckis' "The Walk" and Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity." That's it, that's all. 3D is otherwise a major studio scam that hasn't materialized as planned in terms of artistry, that's why, supposedly, Cameron is trying to find another way to attract people for his "Avatar" sequels. In October he teased that the films might be in 3D without even having to wear the glasses

IMAX is now leaving the 3D game. The giant-screen exhibitor says "domestic moviegoers prefer 2D versions, compared to 3D."

Here's the Hollywood Reporter quote that's been causing a ruckus today, from IMAX Entertainment CEO Greg Foster: The demand for 2D films is starting to exceed 3D in North America,” Foster said, adding that audiences have a “clear preference” for 2D over 3D, at least in North America."

The bottom line is this: IMAX is in TROUBLE. Looking at their financials this past quarter, their revenue from the U.S. dipped slightly but in China it absolutely bottomed out. This mirrors the trend in global theatrical sales in general, but, unlike Disney or Universal or the other major companies, Imax gets all of its revenue from movie ticket sales and theatrical licensing, so dips in the market really hurt them. They've been planning on entering the in-home space for a while now. Better hurry.