Ever since DVDs really got popular, people have been spending less and less time at the movie theater. For the past couple of years, box-office sales have been down and continuously declining. And it’s not only from DVDs anymore. There are many other things that contribute as well. But most primarily come from the internet. Through many peer-to-peer sharing sites, bootlegged films are distributed daily.
Bootlegging usually consists of someone recording a film with a digital camera when it’s release in the movie theaters. It’s an illegal process that’s, unfortunately, very simple to accomplish. Once the film is bootlegged, the person can then copy that film to DVD and sell it on the streets or through eBay, or he can put it up online for download.
But it’s not just illegal activity that’s contributing to the weakening box-office sales. Much has to do with DVDs and home theater systems. Years ago, having a big screen TV and a surround sound system was something rarer. Nowadays, it’s sometimes hard to find upper-middle class Americans without a big screen TV and surround sound. If people can watch movies at home where they can pause it whenever they like and can sit on their comfortable couch, why would they want to deal with movie theaters? Well, to see 3-.
That’s right, if you’ve noticed, just last week, Columbia Pictures’ animated film, “Monster House” release into theaters. However, not only did it release in standard 2- version, it also released in 3-D. When box-office sales were recorded, it was confirmed that the movie sold more tickets for 3-D than they did for the standard 2-D.
Some studios and filmmakers alike are thinking about adopting more 3-D into their films because it would be a good way to get people to come back to the movie theater. James Cameron, acclaimed director of “Terminator” and “Titanic,” released his 3-D IMAX movie, “Aliens of the Deep” and then in 2003 he released his Titanic 3-D IMAX movie, Ghosts of the Abyss.” Cameron himself said that he would only work in 3-D and never regular film again.
Now, Dolby Laboratories, usually known for their surround sound systems, have developed a new, cheaper, Infitec-based 3-D system that is more flexible than the leading 3-D company. The new technology was developed for theaters that are throwing out their old 35mm projectors for digital projection systems.
The new technology is an improvement on the standard 3-D technology. For a film like “Monster House,” audiences have to wear bulky, expensive, battery-powered glasses in order to get the 3-D experience. Not only that, the projection requires a special silver screen to reflect the 3-D image.
Dolby’s new technology is different. It allows the 3-D image to be projected on a standard white movie screen and it allows its audience to wear inexpensive polarized plastic glasses. The new 3-D technology will be available by Spring of 2007.
Although Dolby has optimized the 3-D experience, it’s going to take a lot more than 3-Dimentional images to get audiences back to the theater. A 3-D image means very little if there’s no story to back it up. Audiences want quality, and, unfortunately, that’s not what they’re getting with the current films.
And did anyone ever think about the overpriced tickets or the sticky floors or the burry screens or the broken speakers or the ridiculously expensive food? Going to the theater cost a lot of money and it’s simply not worth it anymore. 3-D movies are not going to fix that.