Gravity proves that sometimes, it really is worth seeing a movie in 3-D, but those movies are few and far between.
Warner Bros. Pictures
Ever since Avatar made all the money ever, Hollywood has had a passionate and problematic love affair with 3-D, converting pretty much every major tentpole release to the stereoscopic format to squeeze out as much extra revenue as possible. Audiences, in turn, have increasingly looked askance at 3-D releases — we’ve gotten good at smelling out when a 3-D ticket is nothing more than paying for eye-strain and headaches. According to The Wrap, two films this summer, Turbo and The Wolverine, notched record low 3-D ticket sales, and several others did not fare much better.
On rare occasion, however, a movie actually is worthy of putting on those 3-D glasses and shilling out a few extra dollars, largely because the filmmakers behind them — like Martin Scorsese with Hugo, and Ang Lee with Life of Pi — approached making the films in three dimensions from the start. In these uncommon cases, the 3-D format (when the screens are bright enough, and the glasses are calibrated properly) really does enhance the movie-going experience.
Case in point: Gravity. Director Alfonso Cuarón dropped audiences in orbit along with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, and 3-D added to the thrilling scope of floating in space. Audiences responded in kind: Eighty percent of ticket sales for the film were for 3-D showings, besting Avatar‘s 3-D numbers.
Still, there are precious few upcoming movies in the next 12 months that look like they are truly worth seeing in 3-D. And, without further ado, here they are:
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Like James Cameron, Peter Jackson is a sucker for the latest in film technology, and shot all three films in The Hobbit trilogy with specially rigged 3-D cameras. But its the second film, featuring the giant dragon Smaug (as performed by Benedict Cumberbatch), that promises to make the most of three dimensions, especially when he breathes fire directly into the audience.
Release date: Dec. 13, 2013
Warner Bros. Pictures
The Lego Movie
Playing with Legos is an innately three dimensional and tactile experience, and 3-D should bring that feeling to this animated Lego movie starring the voices of Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, and Morgan Freeman.
Release date: Feb. 7, 2014
Warner Bros. Pictures / Via youtube.com