Ever since Avatar released in 2009 to monumental success — particularly in 3D — studios have been cranking out as many 3D-centric films as they possibly can. Over the past eight years, there’s been an enormous influx of movies either filmed or post-converted into the 3D format. Once IMAX theaters became a staple of the movie-watching experience, the almighty 3D format bled into those theaters as well. But is 3D really the future of theater-going as so many filmmakers have predicted?
IMAX says no, and they have the numbers to prove it. IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond says they “will play more digital 2D versions of Hollywood movies domestically, given a ‘clear preference’ from consumers for 2D in North America.”
3D has always been an easy way to boost ticket sales; but with Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk released solely in the IMAX 2D format and garnering a large amount of box office revenue, studios are beginning to reassess what the general movie-going audience actually wants. As such, Bladerunner 2049 will opt for IMAX 2D when released this October.
Additionally, IMAX is showing preference to movies that utilize their own camera equipment. For films that are post-converted, they’ll be given a one week release in order to make room for other movies, whereas movie that are filmed using IMAX cameras (such as Dunkirk and the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War) will be given longer theater life.
Christopher Nolan Filming With the Bulky IMAX Camera
As a film enthusiast myself, I have always asserted that IMAX would one day envelope the dying 3D format. While 3D has always seemed more gimmicky, IMAX seems more like the natural progression in the evolution of cinema. No longer are selling points for home televisions “3D compatible,” but rather “4K compatible.” People are no longer interested at images flying towards you, preferring clearer picture instead.