"Alita: Battle Angel" Delivers a Holiday Miracle: A Genuine 3D Hit

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"Alita: Battle Angle" is (if nothing else) something that the cinema world hasn't really seen in a few years: a genuine 3D success story.  Yeah, the movie itself could have done better on opening weekend.  And yeah, it may struggle to make enough money to justify its existence (never mind justify a sequel).  The one thing that is not in dispute is that the film is a strong 3D success story, and shows that when done right, audiences WILL turn out to see it!  IMAX was pretty much forced by producer James Cameron to show the film in 3D.  While they may have done that begrudgingly, it resulted in them capturing 15% of the overall ticket sales.  For that matter, in regards to regular screenings, it has been reported that 3D showings accounted for up to 66% of tickets sold.

It was so crazy that when I went to buy tickets to see it again, one of the 3D screenings was sold out on a Tuesday.  This hasn't happened in so long I had to laugh.  I have a friend of mine who I debate the merits of 3D (and really anything) in film with frequently, and he always jokes "well, maybe James Cameron will be back to save 3D again?"  Now, he has said this in a joking manner, and he was probably referring to future 'Avatar' movie, but now we have "Alita: Battle Angel" tearing up the 3D world, and while Cameron didn't direct the film ("3D God No. 4" Robert Rodriguez did), with his name on it, it appears he's blazing the trail once again.  Its starting to make me wonder how many times this man has to show Hollywood that 3D isn't dead.  That if you make the right movie and use the format correctly, not only will people love it (and despite how the critics feel, there's no doubt most audience members fell over themselves), but they will GLADLY pay extra to see it!

I'm wondering how many people were regretting not picking up a 3D TV after seeing this.  Clearly this would have been something worth having at home, right?  Heck, this might even suggest that if you make the 3D seem like an event in the marketing, it will pay off if you actually deliver that experience.  I'm not certain what the future of "Alita: Battle Angle" is.  I'm not sure if word-of-mouth will be able to make this successful enough to justify a sequel.  Even if it does, I'm not sure Disney would be interested in one (they will likely own Fox by then).  However it has shown that 3D is not dead as many proclaim, and it is successful enough that many IMAX screens will be skipping out on "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" in favor of keeping this another week.  Speaking of which...I have some things to say about the release of THAT film later this week!


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