"Captain America: Civil War" Coming to BluRay 3D

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While it's release always seemed certain to me, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be happy to know that "Captain America: Civil War" is indeed coming to BluRay 3D.  Marvel movies have always been exempt from Disney's unofficial discontinuation of their BluRay 3D's, so this doesn't really surprise me too much.  Still, it IS always nice to get the all important confirmation, seeing that the company is still notoriously flakey about releasing their movies in 3D.  Please keep in mind that the confirmation comes from Amazon, as they have put up a pre-order page on their website (a link I won't share here because I don't like that site, but... eh, I'm sure you'll stumble upon it easily enough).  When Disney releases their press release I'll update this post, but for now be happy at the news!


3D Movies on the Rise in Theaters (So Why is it Still Considered in Trouble?)

I don't know if it's just me, but it honestly seems like 3D is having a bit of a comeback these days.  Part of it could be that some friends I know got a 3D TV recently and there's this thing where if your friends buy something it means that something might be catching on.  That's me on a personal level though.  The main reason 3D seems like its at the beginning of a resurgence is the fact that there are no less than three major movies in theaters right now that are in 3D.  "The Angry Birds Movie" just opened last weekend and took the number one spot away from "Captain America: Civil War." 3D tickets were a big part of that movies opening (as well as it's better than expected Chinese opening).  These two movies aside, Disney's "live action" remake of their animated classic "The Jungle Book" is still in theaters and doing very well.  Throw in the continued unexpected success of "Zootopia," and four of the top ten movies last weekend were 3D films.

If you poke around a little bit you might find a cheap theater still showing "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Ratchet & Clank" in 3D.  This week "Alice Through the Looking Glass" will be opening everywhere and it will be interesting to see if that film repeats the original film in 3D ticket sales (of which the first was one of the highest grossing films in the format).  Throw in the upcoming releases of "Warcraft," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows," and "Finding Dory," and one has to wonder why people are still claiming 3D is dead.  Not only are we getting more 3D movies than ever, but some of them are even doing almost half their business in the format.  This makes me wonder of course why people still think 3D is dead?  If that were the case, wouldn't we see less 3D movies as opposed to more?

The answer is so simple it's frustrating: TV manufacturers.  Many of these big electronic companies saw the big business 3D was doing at the box office, jumped heavily into the 3D TV business with high expectations, and have been shunning the format with great prejudice for the past couple of years.  Why is this though?  Well, first of all, electronic companies look at how people replace their smartphones every year and want that to happen for their TV departments.  Before when there was a home theater advancement every decade or so (color, widescreen, high definition) now there is an advancement every few years.  Companies like LG and Sony aren't selling as many TV's as they were in the old days, and they would obviously like to change that.

As I've stated in other posts before though, people don't buy TV's that way.  When people buy a TV they tend to keep it for ten years or more.  The some of first HD TV's were shown off at the California State Fair in 1995.  I personally didn't know anyone who had one of those TV's until 2000 (and my family didn't theirs until 2005).  Why get a new TV when the current one you have works just fine?  People were not going to replace a perfectly good TV just to get one with 3D display anymore than people will do for 4K.  There are people who are looking to get a new TV though, and now that they are upgrading, they want all the bells and whistles.  This includes 3D.  Heck, just look at the box office these days.  3D is still being widely embraced by the public.  TV manufacturers have every reason to jump on the 4K bandwagon.  The future is the future, and some film makers will make great use of 4K at some point in time.

They need to continue to support 3D though, because while it never became the standard, many movies do use it and use it well.  It's only a matter of time before a 3D film wins Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and superhero movies have it whether they need it or not (most of the time they do).  3D is a mainstay in movies at this point and time and TV manufacturers need to stop ignoring that.  The format is poised to have another record breaking year at the box office.  If it does, will the TV manufacturer's still have the excuse that 3D is on it's way out?  If "Alice Through the Looking Glass" is the hit Disney expects it to be, the answer will be no.  Oh, and "X-Men: Apocalypse" is also being released in 3D this weekend.  Great time to be a theater owner who projects 3D movies!


You Have a VERY Limited Time to See "Ratchet & Clank" in 3D!

If you are one of the few people who want to see "Ratchet & Clank" in theaters you might want to hurry: It bombed hard at the box office with a mighty "clank" this weekend.  Making under $5 million dollars in its opening weekend (to all the young kids out there: That isn't a lot of money for an animated movie), it just barely beat out "Zootopia" for sixth place at the box office!  The critical lashing the film has received also insures that this isn't going to become a sleeper hit.  I expect it to be in theaters for a few weeks at the most before it is quietly released on DVD.  So if you want to see the movie in theaters, you might want to hurry.  Also, if you want to see the movie in 3D, you really want to hurry because that's likely not going to last beyond this week.  Because "The Jungle Book" and "Batman v Superman" are still in theaters, many movie houses opted not to show "Rachet & Clank" in 3D at all.

The few theaters that do show it in 3D normally only have two showings of it a day (with most of them showing it in the early afternoon).  This sort of reminds me when "Avatar," "Alice in Wonderland," and "How to Train Your Dragon" were all fighting for space in the coveted 3D screens that were few and far between.  The situation is different now in the sense that pretty much every screen can project 3D if it's digital (which almost all of them are), but the demand for the format has gone down enough that theaters don't want to dedicate too much screen time to the premium format.  When it comes to family films they are probably correct in assuming most families would prefer to save $3 dollars a ticket rather than get an immersive experience, so unless a family film shows to have some strong legs with teenagers and adults (like "The Jungle Book") they would rather just show the movie in 2D instead of risk frugal parents not buying a ticket at all.

The fact that "Ratchet & Clank" got some 3D screens at all is to be commended.  This isn't the most eagerly awaited movie so 3D showings of the film were always likely to be played in empty houses.  It should also be noted that I live in the LA area where most theaters have at least twenty screens and there's a theater every five miles, so you can find ANYTHING here (including screenings of "Purple Rain" at the moment)!  If I'm having a hard time finding 3D screenings of "Ratchet & Clank" I can only imagine how rare it's going to be for people in less populated states in America.  Having seen the movie in 3D there are some nice effects and it was pretty clear the film makers intended the visuals to have a three dimensional punch to them.  Of course it doesn't make the movie any good and if it disappears without you seeing it you probably won't be missing anything.  However, in all fairness, if you do want to see this in 3D my suggestion is not to wait, because "Ratchet & Clank" itself won't last long in theaters (and the 3D version will be gone even sooner).