Where Does 3D Go in a Post-Covid World?

I know there hasn't been a lot of activity here as of late.  That is partly because the world of cinema more-or-less came to a halt this past year.  Movie theaters were closed for most of the year.  The future of our favorite chains are still in peril.  The historic Cinerama Dome and ArcLight went dark (and there is no word on who will save them).  The Oscars just had their lowest ratings in history (despite the fact that the nominees were widely available on streaming sites for anyone to see).  Movies were either delayed a year or two or sold to Netflix to recoup some of the money that was invested.  With all this chaos in the film industry, not many people were wondering what was going to happen with 3D, a format that has had diminishing returns for a long time.  Yet as I sit here - the only guy who even bothers to keep a blog dedicated to the format (as far as I know) - 3D is in no better or worse shape than it was before.  Despite "Trolls: World Tour" being the start of the 'day-and-date' release strategy, the film was still released on BluRay 3D both internationally and in the states (something the first film still has yet to do).

You never know when you'll be able to buy these at Best Buy.

What's more, even though "The Croods: A New Age" did shockingly well in theaters, there were virtually no reports of 3D screenings anywhere (despite advertising it on the poster).  Yet the movie does have a BluRay 3D release here in the states.  "Wonder Woman 1984" was basically given away for free on HBO Max while it was released in a 2D only format in theaters, yet a few BluRay 3D copies were made for purchasing in the states (not internationally as far as I'm aware).  Strangely though, Disney films "Soul" and "Raya and the Last Dragon" not only didn't have any 3D screenings in general, but there are no release plans for BluRay 3D's despite both films having 3D versions available.  While it looked like Covid would put the final nail in the coffin for 3D movies in theaters, "Godzilla vs. Kong" DID receive 3D dedicated screenings at AMC Theaters (who continues to advertise how safe the 3D movie going experience is) while people who saw the two monsters duke it out in 4DX and select RPX screenings also got to experience the film in three dimensions.  3D TV's are still not in production, but glasses-free 3D is making nice progress.  Finally, while 3D display was taken out of the new XBox Series X and PlayStation 5, the format survives through Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR (as well as Nintendo 3DS to a certain extent).

In short, nothing still makes sense, and we are in no worse a place than we were before.

Is 3D still in a place where it has more to drop, or are we in a position where we've hit rock bottom and there's nowhere for the format to go but up?  It's hard to say.  I can't exactly say I'm an expert in these things (and I certainly didn't see a global pandemic that would almost destroy the very industry I love coming).  I can't even tell you if the 3D screenings of "Godzilla vs. Kong" sold out because people genuinely wanted to see the film that way or if the 25% capacity cap forced people to see it in a format they would rather not.  Heck, did we not get theatrical 3D releases of "The Croods: A New Age," "Raya and the Last Dragon," and "Wonder Woman 1984" because it was still too early to even toy with the idea, and did the release of "Godzilla vs. Kong" come along at just the right time as people were getting vaccinated, so theaters decided they'd give it a go?!  Were there contract obligations to follow?  I don't know.  I truly don't know.  Here's what I do know: 3D - for all its ups and downs - is still something that fascinates people every other decade or so.

Despite not being released in theaters, the 3D version
still found it's way to BluRay 3D in America and other territories.

Technology keeps looking for new ways to experiment with the format.  Artists still want to use it.  BluRay 3D fans are dedicated mother f*&kers (enough so that three movies with NO theatrical 3D releases got home video releases)!  The theatrical experience is NOT dead and people will ALWAYS want to go out to see movies!!!  In short...we're at another transitional period.  We honestly won't know where 3D really is until "Black Widow" comes out.  Marvel movies lean heavily on 3D for extra money, so how that is released will determine where we are.  Will we get a theatrical 3D release with import BluRay 3D?  Will we get a theatrical 3D release but no physical release?  Or will we get neither?  Or, what about the fourth option: that Disney is putting all their eggs into the (3D free) Disney+ and don't care all that much about theatrical or physical media anymore, so we really shouldn't base anything on them?!  

Nobody truly knows anything at this point.

The reality is that in the grand scheme of things, 3D isn't much of a concern for anyone.  We're just now getting vaccinated and the world might be back to normal in another year or two.  A niche visual format isn't too many peoples top priority (I include myself in that category).  That said, as I have clinged to hope throughout the past year, so too will I do so going forward.  I am happy that we are still getting BluRay 3D releases (in the states none-the-less)!  I happily paid money to see "Godzilla vs. Kong" in 4DX and RPX 3D (and IMAX...what, it's been awhile since I've been to the movies; I was going to watch anything in these formats)!  I also take comfort in the fact that key blockbuster movies coming out in the next few years have completed 3D versions, meaning the format will likely be around in some form for awhile.  As for this blog I will still update it once in awhile.  No one really reads it anymore (and there's not enough news to keep it updated on a daily basis), but I enjoy returning to it here and there, and hopefully a day will come when updates are more frequent!  By that time maybe we can look back at posts like this and laugh, wishing that we could reach through our computers and give past me some comfort for what's to come.  Who knows (not me, that's for sure)?!

This was awsome in 3D and totally worth seeing in theaters!


  1. kdo said...:

    I really enjoy this sight..I love 3D and have 4 3D TVs..I sure hope GvK and MK as well as others do come to 3D blu ray..thank you for keeping up this sight

  1. Bjorg said...:

    Love your posts! Please keep up the good work!

  1. kdo said...:

    please keep updated..awesome site..have 4 3d tvs, ps3 and samsung 3d player I use..thx for the updates

  1. Rogertick said...:

    I'm reading. Please dont give up yet !!!

  1. Unknown said...:

    One more enthusiastic reader here! You're not just shouting into the ether.

  1. Unknown said...:

    I notice you keep saying Raya was never released in 3D. It was, theatrically only. I saw it that way at an AMC.

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