8 years after James Cameron revived the format, cinema-goers in the Western part of the world have seemingly abandoned 3D. IMAX intends to play fewer 3D version of movies to focus more on 2D, according to a report by The Wrap.
Less 3D, more 2D
The comments were made by IMAX CEO after reporting declining revenue and a loss for Q2 2017. The company has identified two initiatives that that should spur growth in the coming years. One of the initiates is to phase out 3D.
- “It’s worth noting ‘Dunkirk’ was showing exclusively in 2-D, which consumers have shown a strong preference for,” said Greg Foster, CEO of IMAX Entertainment. “We’re looking forward to playing fewer 3-D versions of films and more 2-D versions.”
The other initiative is to be more flexible when it comes to the “length of play”. He remarked that some movies may play for as little as 1 week. On the other hand movies made for the special IMAX format will likely be screened for longer periods of time.
Parts of Christopher Nolan’s ’Dunkirk’ were filmed in the IMAX format. Nolan has also used the format in the past. However, to date no movie has been produced in the IMAX format from start to end. ’Avengers: Infinity War’ will be the first production to be filmed exclusively in the format.
- "We intend to shorten the length of play that we allot many films, which helps keep the content on screen fresh," Greg Gelfond added.
3D still popular in Asia
While the Western world has seemingly abandoned 3D at home and in the cinema, the third dimension still draws crowds in China and other parts of Asia, according to The Atlas.
The number of screens capable of showing 3D was tripled in Asia from 2011 to 2015, whereas it remained more or less constant in the US during the same period.
IMAX is using two different systems to project 3D. ’Digital 3D IMAX’ uses two 2K projectors to recreate the 3D effect, whereas ’IMAX with Laser’ uses two 4K laser projectors in combination with Dolby 3D.
Most manufacturers of TVs have also abandoned 3D in recent years. Panasonic is selling a single 2017 model with the technology included but glasses will have to be purchased separately.
’Blade Runner 2049’ will screen exclusively in 2D when it premieres at IMAX later this year.