The one-two punch of the 3D juggernauts that were “Avatar” and “Alice in Wonderland” convinced Hollywood to go all in on the 3D craze. 2011 saw a record number of 39 films released in (mostly post-converted) 3D, but by then many speculated that the public’s appetite for 3D had already reached its maximum potential, with the late Roger Ebert even declaring the stereoscopic format dead. Three years later and while not exactly dead, 3D’s best times appear to be behind it.
According to a Morgan Stanley analyst that Deadline spoke with, this year’s 3D screenings may account for only “39% of the total box office for films released in 3D, the lowest ratio in seven years and down from 42% in 2013 and 53% in 2012.” Before you dismiss this as the doomsday ramblings of some Wall Street charlatan, the studios have noticed this downward trajectory in the U.S.—3D is still popular in foreign territories—and some have even changed their release strategy to deal with American audiences’ lack of excitement.
THR reports Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming biblical epic “Noah” will get a 3D version that will be seen in 65 countries that include “Russia, all of South America and most of continental Europe.” Notice anything missing from that list? That’s right, the U.S.—and Australia, the U.K. and France—will only get the 2D version. The reasoning? Paramount is banking on audiences’ desire to see “the combination of the pedigree of the director and the cast and the dramatic elements of the story” without anything popping out of the screen. Could this be the start of a new trend where U.S. studios blow $10 million on unnecessary 3D post-conversions that will never be seen in a domestic theater? We can only hope.
In the meantime, rejoice, for the plain 2D Aronofsky-helmed “Noah” will arrive stateside on March 28th. And you can check out a couple of new international TV spots, pics and a fresh poster below.