Want to see "The LEGO Ninjago Movie" in IMAX? Good Luck Finding it...


"The LEGO Ninjago Movie" is not exactly my most anticipated movie of the year.  I LOVED "The LEGO Movie" (so much so I gave it a rare five star review and listed it as one of the best films of the year), and I reasonably enjoyed "The LEGO Batman Movie," but to do a second round of these movies in the exact same year is stretched it for me!  I know continuity is not a big issue for this (now) franchise, but it just seems like Warner Bros. is churning these out as fast as they can before people get bored with them.  They are taking something that was unique and special and Shreking it up, where soon the supply will at outweigh the demand (which, I want to add, doesn't mean the products won't be good, only that people will be so sick of them they will be passing them up even if the final product is good).  "The LEGO Ninjago Movie" was originally announced to be coming to IMAX 3D.  The '3D' part was still in question for me when IMAX made the strange choice to strip "The LEGO Batman Movie," "Despicable Me 3," and "Cars 3" of their 3D presentations, so I figured this would be a 2D only showing.

Well, turns out if you wanted to see the movie in IMAX you may be out of luck altogether.  Unfortunately for "The LEGO Ninjago Movie," it is sharing a release day with "Kingsman: The Golden Circle."  IMAX made a deal to project both movies.  Despite the previous two LEGO movies opening number one at the box office and being far bigger hits than most analysts could have predicted, the company is choosing to show 'Kingsman' at the vast majority of their theaters.  In fact, none of the IMAX's in the LA area is even showing "The LEGO Ninjago Movie."  Thankfully, a lot of regular theaters are showing it in 3D (with even a few XD and RPX screens projecting it), so people who want to see the movie in 3D have the option to do so.  If you want to see it on the REALLY big screen though...eh, looks like your out of luck!  Also, if you have an IMAX that DOES happen to be showing it, I wouldn't expect it to be in 3D! 

Despite the huge success of the re-release of "Wonder Woman" and the utter bombing of "Inhumans," IMAX Corporation is still going forward with scrapping 3D for most of their future showings.  At the moment they are going to be offering future Marvel movies in both formats, but I think we'll just have to wait out their business rethinking.  At one point they will realize that 3D isn't what's keeping people away from their theaters, and I assume it will be back at some point.  Hopefully it will be before we miss out on too many 3D worthy films, but we'll have to wait and see on that one.  In the meantime, I hope everyone enjoys "Kingsman: The Golden Circle," which is one of the few sequels I've been looking forward to seeing.


"The Emoji Movie" and "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" Both MIA in BluRay 3D?


Not going to lie: This is a tough one for me.

No, not in the sense that I want either of these movies in 3D (or at all), but the fact that I must condem the lack of a domestic BluRay 3D release for either "The Emoji Movie" or "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets."  Neither of these movies are very good.  One is clearly a little better than the other, but neither of these are movies I want to buy.  I don't even want to rent them.  Heck, I don't want to stream them.  Not getting domestic 3D releases of these movies should (in theory) be no big deal because these are movies I don't want to watch again.  I did see both of them in 3D in theaters and felt the effects were nice, but since the movies were terrible it was all a moot point.  "The Emoji Movie," in particular, is a movie that is bad in such a unique way that you can't help but wonder how it got off the ground in the first place.

"Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" is at least directed by Luc Besson, who has a huge following as a visually good director (though I must admit I find most of his movies to be boring and logistical messes at the end of the day).  It may be why this movie is being released in 3D in the UK as an Amazon.com exclusive.  I need to warn people that there is no promise of this being a region free disk, so buy at your own risk (if this exclusive version is made available in the US I will make note of it).  For me, it's disappointing that fans of these movies don't have much in the way of a choice if they want to see the movie in 3D.  I might not want to buy these movies, but there are some people who do, and they should have the right to do so.  For that matter, I did not buy "Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie" this week because of a lack of 3D release (even though it is something I clearly want to watch again).

I'm starting to think that the movies that get 3D releases and those that do not are being picked by throwing darts at a board.  That's all I can go by these days, because very little is making sense anymore.  Right now I'm just thankful that "War of the Planet of the Apes" is getting a domestic BluRay 3D release.  I mean, yeah, that's a good movie that deserves to be bought in 3D, but who the heck knows what the criteria is for making that decision anymore?!

For those curious, I DID write a review for "The Emoji Movie" that can read here!


"Thor: Ragnarok" to be Showin in IMAX 2D AND 3D (Also, it has a Pretty Exclusive Poster)!!!


Well...it looks like IMAX isn't ready to give up 3D just yet.  I wondered if they would.  Their announcement that "Blade Runner 2049" was going to be shown in 2D only got them LOTS of negative publicity from fans (in all fairness, there were lots of people who also were on board with the choice)!  There are signs that IMAX may be having some second thoughts about the new policy in regards to certain movies.  Maybe "Blade Runner 2049" is a movie they think they can get away with testing a 2D only release on, but they certainly aren't pulling the 3D version of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."  Furthermore, their four biggest hits of the year were "Wonder Woman," "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," "Spider-Man: Homecoming," and "Dunkirk."  What may stand out is that three of those movies are in 3D and all three are superhero movies, which means they might not want to throw that audience out to the curb just yet (especially when the re-release of "Wonder Woman" was in 3D and did very well).  So, they are compromising...

As you can see, at the three IMAX's in my area that have confirmed "Thor: Ragnorak" will be showing at, the theaters will be showing both 2D AND 3D versions of the movie!  No doubt they will do this for the next few superhero movies to see which versions sell more tickets.  I also have no doubt that the 2D showings will be given the more time friendly showings, with the 3D versions showing first thing in the morning and last thing at night.  It might also make good market sense though.  3D fans will go out of their way to see the 3D versions, so putting them in undesirable timeslots might just capitalize on that "niche" market.  That said, take note of the IMAX only poster for the movie above.  Notice how it only advertises the film as being played "in IMAX" and omits the 3D part?  That is deliberate, believe me.  They don't want to commit to showing 3D films anymore.  They want an out, so they won't advertise it anymore.

I suspect this to be the case for at least a little while.  My prediction is that this experiment is ultimately going to be a bust.  I don't think peoples viewing habits are going to change much, and something tells me that since the biggest barrier people have with 3D is the cost (which IMAX cost the same regardless which version you are watching) I believe both versions will sell roughly the same amount of tickets.  The good news for us is that this means 3D will still be carrying its weight at the theater.  The bad news means the IMAX Corporation won't have that excuse anymore when it comes time to explain falling ticket sales again, and they might have to address the REAL reasons people aren't going to IMAX anymore: Smaller screens, high ticket price, and bad movies that don't benefit from being on a giant screen!

Good luck guys.


IMAX's Big "Inhumans" Blunder

IMAX believes that the main reason people are going to their theaters less this year is because audiences would prefer to see movies in 2D rather than 3D.  This is SUCH a misguided belief that I'm still working on a multi-part series on why this is the case!  What baffles me though is after this (very unfounded) claim was made, IMAX decided that to help turn their fortunes around they would turn to television.  No, seriously, the biggest new release theaters received this weekend was "Marvel's Inhumans," which is NOT a movie, but rather the two episode pilot to a TV series that will be airing on ABC in a few weeks.  Reportedly, the first two episodes were filmed with IMAX cameras in a deal IMAX struck with Marvel to help fund the series.  The pilot grossed about $1.5 million dollars in the opening weekend.  That is (if my numbers are correct) the lowest opening of ANY IMAX release this entire year!

I just want to pause and ask if anyone at IMAX noticed that this isn't in 3D?  No?  Alright, moving on...

So, IMAX decided that it wanted to invest heavily in "Inhumans" so that they could have the first two episodes exclusive to their screens.  Marvel - in an attempt to curb the cost of the series to make it more likely to be picked up by ABC - decided to cut the deal.  There is no word on what would have happened if the deal had gone through and ABC decided to pass on the project.  Look, I know on paper this probably sounded a little good.  And when I say it sounded good I mean it sounded good to have something on your screen that was exclusive to you that had Marvel in the title.  That must have sounded like a good deal.  Also, "Iron Fist" hadn't premiered yet, so people didn't yet realize that Marvel could make a TV series that was really terrible yet.  None of that changes the fact that this is a TV SHOW that is being put on a HUGE screen!  A TV show is going to have a MUCH lower budget than a movie and it will SHOW on an IMAX!

Heck, they already tried this with a season final of "Game of Thrones" a few years ago, and if THAT wasn't going to work on IMAX, what the heck made them think "Inhumans" would?!  So...why am I talking about this on the site?  This doesn't really have much to do with 3D, I will admit, but IMAX is on a  special list for me.  I'm going to be watching their box office VERY closely because I don't for a second believe 3D is the reason IMAX attendance is down!  I believe it is the movies they decide to show.  I believe it is because the screens are getting smaller while the surcharge is going up.  I believe it is because when you compare those smaller screens to RPX and XD (both of which are a couple dollars cheaper) there is virtually no difference.  Heck, I believe they are suffering just like all the other theaters out there due to lower than expected ticket sales in general this year.  In an attempt to spin it though, they saw the success of "Dunkirk" and decided 3D was the problem.

Now though...now, they have given me a gift.  They invested MILLIONS of dollars in this deal with Marvel to get "Inhumans" on IMAX screens!  A show that (now that I've seen it) is average at best and looks cheap on the giant screen.  The box office was less than $2 million dollars for it's entire week.  This is the LOWEST grossing IMAX release of the year!  So low was this figure, that a last minute limited release of "It" for IMAX is getting a considerably bigger rollout today.  Yet, not only was "Inhumans" in 2D, but it's a production IMAX wasted valuable money in.  Money, I'm certain, they could have probably used to help get through the ticket drought.  Also, "Wonder Woman" came back in IMAX 3D for a week and did VERY well while a 2D only engagement of "War for the Planet of the Apes" left no impact!  However...there is something else IMAX isn't getting, and it's something we can look at in a future post.


"Spider-Man: Homecoming" Confirmed for BluRay 3D

With Pixar reportedly prepping "Cars 3" without a BluRay 3D in mind, it is nice to see Marvel still appears to still be in the game, as "Spider-Man: Homecoming" has been announced for a statewide BluRay 3D release.  What's more, ads of the movie appearing in Best Buy ad's are very interesting to the trained eye.  If you look closely, while most movies are advertised as being flat on the TV, Spider-Man is seen jumping OUT of the TV, giving people who see the ad a subtle nod that Marvel has meant for the film to be viewed in 3D!  That said, I do need to mention that there is no ultimate combo pack that will contain both the 3D AND 4K version of the film, so you will ultimately need to choose which one you would rather have!  I don't know about you, but the choice it pretty obvious for me.


Retailers Selling Heavily Discounted BluRay 3D's

Last night when I was in a 7-Eleven, I saw two things I didn't think I would ever see: Crystal Pepsi back in stock and a BluRay 3D combo pack for "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters."  A couple months ago I found a BluRay 3D combo pack of "Epic" at a Big Lots.  While these sightings aren't common, they are out there.  Some may ask what this means for the format.  Frankly, it means nothing more than these are old disks that didn't sell very well, and whatever retailer originally stocked it, decided it would be more profitable to sell them to these stores at a heavy discount.  This was not the only movie that 7-Eleven was selling.  There were brand new copies of "Die Hard," "Field of Dreams," and "A Good Day to Die Hard" (among other title) the store was selling.  All brand new, all at $5.  Really, go by your local 7-Eleven (you may find something you've always wanted to get cheap).

Why this makes me chuckle (and why I decided to write this blog post) is that this is actually not a terrible thing for the format.  The idea that there were BluRay 3D titles out there that had enough copies made that some of them are winding up in bargain bins is sort of a good thing.  Because these are combo packs no one is going to think twice about buying them.  At $5 what are you really losing?  At most the digital copy might have expired, but there's still a BluRay and DVD you can watch.  What this does do is put 3D disks into peoples hands that are affordable.  Affordable disks was a natural evolution the format needed.  The way you got people to think more about buying a 3D TV was to get them 3D content.  Most 3D content was priced out of the regular consumers hands though.

I bought "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" because it was a cheap addition to my 3D collection, but I knew deep down that if there were more cheap releases like this, then more people might want a 3D feature in their future TV purchase to watch it in the format.  Discounted movies is not something a studio wants to have but is an evil necessity to helping grow formats and selling disks that might otherwise not get sold.  In another year or so more of these BluRay 3D's will be popping up in discounted forms.  People will buy them.  Sooner or later, some of them will get curious about watching their 3D disks.  Will there be any TV's they can get that will give them that ability when the time comes?  Who knows?  Would have been a good time to have them on the market for the audience that will inevitably want to watch these disks though.  Sort of sad to think about, no?


CORRECTION: Vudu will RENT 3D Version of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (It's NOT for Sale)

Notice anything...missing, on this page?

I wish I could say I noticed this myself, but I didn't.  A reader by the name of Ragan pointed out that she went to Vudu to buy the 3D version of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" since (like many others) she did not manage to get one of the elusive Best Buy steelbook collections.  In one of my previous articles on the matter I mentioned (very passive aggressively) that it was nice to be able to buy the 3D through Vudu at least.  This is not the case though.  When Regan attempted to buy the 3D version, she could not find any option to do after.  After some back and forth with their customer service, they confirmed that they did not have the rights to sell the 3D version (but they could rent).  This is very likely because Best Buy paid a lot of money for the exclusive rights to the 3D version.

Then, of course, they deliberately shorthanded the item, and have made it nearly impossible for people to get the item unless they pre-ordered months ago (and, yes, I WILL be saying something about that at some point).  So, I'm sorry guys, but for those who have one of the two devices Vudu streams 3D content to want to buy "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" in 3D, I'm disappointed to report you will only be able to rent it, NOT buy it!  This just keeps getting better and better...


"Cars 3" Unconfirmed for BluRay 3D?

According to The Digital Bits.com, "Cars 3" is going to be Disney's latest UltraHD release (and Pixar's first).  The movie is going to be released day and date with the DVD and BluRay version of the film.  Not mentioned is the BluRay 3D version.  This might not mean anything, of course.  So far, all the Pixar films have gotten localized BluRay 3D releases, and none of the other releases have even been confirmed.  This is just some Rumor Mill gossip the site is known for, and sometimes the information is incorrect when things are reported before anything is finalized.  That said...if there is a 4K release on the horizon and no immediate announcement of a BluRay 3D release, keep an eye on the Best Buy site for another steelbook exclusive debacle.  Not saying it's going to happen, only that you can never be sure anymore.

My full review of "Cars 3" can be found here.