I try to refrain from rant-like posts, but it's becoming harder and harder to watch a movie in 2D. I'm an avid movie goer. I try to see at least one movie a week at the theater, especially during the summer. Among my social circles, I'm known as the "movie guy." My friends usually ask me my thought on a movie before seeing it themselves. To be honest, not having an exorbitant cash flow is really the only thing limiting how many movies I watch at the theater. With that being said, I have noticed a trend this summer that I didn't in previous years. I'm not sure who to blame for this trend, studio heads, the producers, the theater chains, or the managers. The trend that I'm alluding to is disproportionate showtimes between 2D and 3D.
For an example, these stats are based off my local theater (AMC Showplace 12). The premiere opening on Thursday night for Suicide Squad has two showtimes for the 2D viewing and two showing for the 3D viewing, not bad 50/50 split on the showtimes. Friday and Saturday it gets worst. Suicide Squad has five showtimes all day, one matinee showtime in 2D and four showtimes in 3D, on of which is a matinee. Based on the law of averages, the average person is done working around five in the evening, because of this the pique time for theaters is just slightly after dinner, which for the average person is right after they get off work. Therefore the evening showtimes have more weight because there are more people available to watch a movie. So the 20/80 (2D/3D) split, reflected from Friday and Saturday's showtimes, becomes a 10/90 split. On Sunday, Suicide Squad's showtimes have a 0/100 split. Meaning 100% of the showtimes are 3D. That very annoying. This isn't the first time this has happened. All summer I have seen at least 25/75 split on almost every major movie released, including family movies like Finding Dory.
With those numbers, the average family of four is paying at least fifteen more dollars at the box office. I'm not necessarily mad at 3D movie pricing. I'm irritated that someone is forcing the average movie going audience to buy the "premium priced" ticket, even though they don't want to. It seems like there are only three options at the theater: watch a 3D movie, don't watch a movie, or watch the latest crapfest that has twice as many showings.
I'm not caught up on the latest facts, but the last time I checked 75% of movie goer disliked 3D movies. If I remember correctly that percentage increased with the age of the demographic. Which make sense. Out of the twelve "Real 3D" movies made in 2016 only three of them are live-action, one of which is The Jungle Book, a primarily CGI film. On the "Fake 3D" side of things, every movie was live action. A third of the "Real 3D" movies made last year, 2015, were live action, and none of the "Fake 3D" movies made last year were animated. Even looking through the history of 3D films, they seem to be heavily marketed towards family films, which are typically animated.
I personally don't enjoy 3D movies in general. For me, the 3D effect doesn't add anything to the film. From my experience, the 3D shots are usually forced and are fairly cheesy. Now, I may be more inclined to watch a film in 3D if it was made as a "Real 3D" film. I'm the same way with IMAX. I rather watch a movie filmed with an IMAX camera, than a film that is just projected on a larger screen. When available, I watch movies in the format that it was attended to be viewed. The Hobbit films were created to be viewed at 48fps. My local theater doesn't have the capabilities to show a film at that frame rate. The close theater that did wasn't within a reasonable driving distance. Therefore, I had to view the film in 24fps, but that wasn't a deal breaker. When my local theater has all digital projectors with the capabilities to either show 2D or 3D prints, I should have equal opportunities to view it in my preferred way.
To the studio heads and producers, if you want me to watch your movie maybe make a few more 2D versions. To movie theater chains, and managers, if you want me to spend dollars at your theater how about you schedule showtimes where I have choices. Right now, my choices are to spend money, don't to spend money, or spend money on crap. I like watching movies at the theater, so please STOP forcing me to watch 3D versions.