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3D Movies: Experience Enhancer or Money Grabber?

Andy Ellis | A&E Editor| 4-5-2012

It seems like ever since Avatar was released into theaters in 2009, almost every other hopeful Hollywood blockbuster is released in a format that proved to work very well for the James Cameron epic: 3D.  This shouldn’t be surprising, considering how the movie fared at the box office.  With Avatar’s success, many of 2010’s summer movies were either filmed in 3D or put in 3D after production was completed.

When all is said and done, just one question remains:  Does 3D enhance the movie-going experience, or is Hollywood just trying to take more money out of your hands?

While it may not be necessary, it certainly can’t be denied that 3D helps.  The glasses used for these movies are more heavy-duty than the ones used when 3D first came out, which were made out of light gels and cardboard.  The last popular event to use these was the Michael Jackson tribute held on the Grammy Awards show following his passing.  Compare those to the ones audiences wore during Avatar, and it’s clear there have been some changes.

Another thing to look at is the type of movies that are using 3D.  Blockbuster movies like Transformers and Harry Potter have several intense action sequences where the added dimension is supposed to help bring the audience into the scene and make them feel as if they are in the midst of the combat.

It’s those kinds of movies that one would think are no-brainers when it comes to using 3D technology.  However, one thing has drawn suspicion to its real purpose:  The re-releasing of classic movies such as The Lion King and Titanic in 3D.

While releasing movies like Avatar in 3D can certainly be understood, there are certain newly released movies where many believe the added 3D effect is intended to grab more money from the audience, and not enhance the experience.

This suspicion comes with movies like Gulliver’s Travels, Yogi Bear, and My Soul To Take.  One of the main reasons people are questioning the necessity of 3D is because, while a regular ticket may cost between $5 and $10, one 3D ticket can cost up to $17.  You can expect to spend even more if you see it in an IMAX theater, and the price is expected to increase in the near future.

So whether or not you enjoy the 3D technology, it doesn’t look like it’s going to go away anytime soon.  Already it has been announced that 2012 will see the release of many of 3D movies such as Men In Black 3, The Avengers, Wrath of the Titans, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and many more.  You can relax though, because every 3D release is accompanied by its regular 2D companion.  So either way, be ready to be entertained.