Could COVID-19 Be the Final Nail for 3D?

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3D has survived many troubles.  It's survived $3-$4 surcharges on ticket prices.  It's survived 3D TV's dying.  It's survived the Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios going 2D.  IMAX still shows it (however infrequently).  Every year there are at least a few articles written about the 'death of 3D,' and every year passes and the format is still a common occurrence in movie theaters and theme parks.  What's more, foreign markets have kept the format alive and well, and with glasses free 3D TV's  making remarkable progress, it seemed like the format would never really go away, it would taking it easy for awhile.

However, COVID-19 could actually change that (and I'm not being hyperbolic either).

Because while it's nice to see 3D TV's without glasses make some real headway, the reality is that until they are perfected, glasses will be needed to continue to properly see 3D.  3D will need to be projected in order to keep enough interest in it for glasses free 3D to still be seen as a worthwhile pursuit.  The problem is that as we slowly begin to reopen the world (and this includes our theaters and parks) there is going to be a 'new normal' for a period of time until a vaccination can be made (or until the cases are so small it's not worth worrying about).  Since the pandemic started we now know that the virus primarily passes through the droplets people spew when they talk, laugh, pant, and scream (AKA: Wear a damn mask everyone), however a small amount of cases can be caused by the virus being on the surface of something.

Touch a handle that has the virus and then wipe your face a few seconds later and...yep, you can get Covid-19.  Now, most 3D glasses come individually pre-packaged, so you would THINK this wouldn't be a detriment!  However, there is so much going against 3D right now.  Ticket sales are still down.  People will question whether a pair of IMAX glasses are "clean" if they are coming off a rack.  Theaters will be capped when it comes to attendance.  This means (when theaters reopen) we'll be entering a world where glasses that aren't pre-packaged will be seen as suspicious, demand will still be down, and theaters might really not want to dedicate screens for a format that isn't high in demand as it is (never mind the unanswered question if most will even want to return to theaters at all)!  

It's not just 3D either; I question whether 4DX will be hindered as well (is it really "safe" to see a movie where wind effects can spread things in the air?).  I know that the world is a very different place these days.  It's going to be different for at least a couple of years. We already know many businesses that closed will not reopen and people will move away that never return.  Some things we used to do might go away as well.  Though I suspect 3D will be given another shot ten years down the road, I do genuinely worry that Covid-19 might actually knock 3D down for a good while.  There hasn't been a lot to talk about in the world of 3D, but as long as it exists in some form I will update this blog.  Updates might not be frequent though.  

Just saying (the world is changing)...


  1. SFMike said...:

    And since theaters won't be showing 3D,which they don't seem happy to do anyway, there will be no reason for studios to pay the cost of conversion. I'll bet the conversion houses will all dry up very quickly. So yeah I think 3D is officially dead. The sad part is it still works great using a VR headset like the Oculus Quest and as VR resolution increases will get better and better. The app Big Screen rents many 3D movies and they look great. Sadly without new media this to will become problematic. Sadly my Sony 4K 3dTV died and there is no replacement so VR and my personal 3D blu-ray collection is what gets me through.

  1. Casey said...:

    The fact that we got Trolls World Tour after not being in the theater is promising that at least some studios think 3D is still worth it in some parts of the world even without a theatrical release so there is still hope. I'd be more concerned about China or the other markets where 3D is still relevant. However in the states while I have the same fear, I think that 3D will always have a place in the IMAX, AMC Prime and Dolby houses that have the ability to really show a big, beautiful, 4K like 3D picture as long as the theaters schedule the shows at decent times. That 4k like (3840x1080p) 3D is also possible at home with MadVR processing, but even some DLP projectors that have the tech baked into the same chip are dropping 3D. SMH!

  1. KCW0LF said...:

    This blog might need to change to save physical media after Covid is said and done!

  1. Seo Leena said...:

    A quick check of the paper tray and paper hopper is in order as well. These should have a sufficient supply of fresh paper in them. 3d models

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