3D: The Film Industry’s Hero

We have all seen the TV spots and billboards: 3D films have arrived and they’re here to stay. 3D technology has even infiltrated the home entertainment business and if it continues to spread we will soon be watching soapies and even the news in all its 3D glory. And it could not have come at a better time for the film and broadcast industry.

The rise and fall

It is no state secret that movie ticket sales have started to dwindle over the past years and, although piracy might be a big factor, there seems to be another underlying factor, especially if one compares it to other mediums that are as susceptible to piracy. Between 2003 and 2007 the sales of movie tickets have dropped by 6% and DVD sales have remained flat. But they are not alone – the record industry took a knock. with sales falling with 12% over the same period. So have book sales.

While these mediums have been on the decline, the internet has grown with 130% from 2003 until 2007 and gaming has climbed by 40% in the same time frame. To put that in terms of income; Avatar, the highest grossing movie to date made $ 27 Million dollars on its opening day, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the highest grossing video game to date forked in $ 77.4 Million on its release date. How can an industry that is a little older than 20 years outperform an industry that is over a century old?

But why?

There are many factors that have influenced the rise and fall of these mediums, but if one looks closely at the defining differences between these mediums there seems to be a general difference between the two camps; it is in the way that they engage their audience. The film, music and book industries refer to their consumers as viewers, listeners and readers respectively. These terms are more observational than that of internet users and gamers which are more participatory.

Humans like to be in control, we have more choices available to us in terms of food, transport, fashion and lifestyle than ever before. On top of choices between brands we also have options on top of individual items; we love to be in control. It is obvious that entertainment will follow suit and it seems that the older mediums are too linear and scripted for our appetites of control.

The future in 3D

Since the launch of 3D technologies at cinemas the movie ticket sales have climbed a little, but it might not be enough to remain competitive with the internet and gaming industries. When 3D technologies become available and supported online and in games, the chances will be slim. One thing is for sure; once websites are displayed using 3D technology, pop up adverts will become a whole dimension more annoying.