Eight 3D Films Nominated for 2019 Oscars

Yesterday the Academy of Motion Pictures Sciences reveled their nominations for the 91st Annual Academy Awards.  In total, eight 3D films were nominated (mostly in the Best Animated Feature category).  They are as follows:

Avengers: Infinity Way
Black Panther
Incredibles II
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Ready Player One
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Solo: A Star Wars Story

It should be noted that "Black Panther" actually made it into the Best Picture category.  The Academy has consistently nominated strong 3D films without actually acknowledging the 3D itself (there is still no Best 3D Oscar...though we could still imagine what that would look like), and many people may be looking at this list and wonder if that's changing.  To my knowledge this is the lowest amount of 3D films to be nominated in five years, so it would be easy to think that Hollywood is cooling on the format altogether.  I would argue that what more than likely happened is that there were simply few visually strong films up for Best Picture (the most visual ones being "Black Panther," "Roma," and "The Favorite," and two of those films have strong visuals mainly because of the ascetics and costumes).

3D movies that get nominated for Oscars are usually big budget blockbusters these days, which is the kind of movie the Academy normally doesn't faun over.  For that matter, the days of film makers like Martin Scorsese, Wim Wenders, and Werner Herzog using 3D for more experimental purposes seems to have cooled for the time being.  Also, despite being renewed for a long term deal with RealD, 3D showtimes are on the decline, and studios might not want to throw too much money into a format that might have a limited appeal (for the time being).  So really, the lack of 3D films getting too many nominations isn't too surprising.  But as we enter 2019, there are still some positive things to take away from today.  First of all, 3D is still a huge part of film, and, as such, is still getting nominated.

For that matter, "Black Panther" is the first 3D film to crack the Best Picture category since "Mad Max: Fury Road" from a few years ago.  Also, it should be noted that while it wasn't nominated, Peter Jackson's "They Shall Not Grow Old" was a fascinating World War I documentary where the film maker took old video footage, colored it, converted it to 3D, and then released it to sold out showings for several special engagements.  I have conflicting feelings about altering old footage that way, but the fact that a documentary was sold as a '3D event' film and actually made a good amount of money in that limited release shows that the format still has life in it.  For that matter, "Alita: Battle Angel" is being heavily advertised as a "3D event" in the previews, so the format is still being played up when the studios feel it can make money.

And yes, one year a 3D film will win Best Picture.  It might not happen this year (I think "Roma" is going to be the big winner), but it will happen, and possibly sooner than we expect.  In the meantime, I will continue to update this blog, write about the format here and there, and see every 3D film in theaters that I can!  Also, I guess I'll be buying "The Grinch" in BluRay 3D next week, because...who the heck thought that Universal would dip back into the format with that movie of all things?!