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The Great Gatsby - Greater In 2D?

Friday 17 May 2013, 12:31

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

The Great Gatsby opened in America with great box office figures - but not in 3D. The studio is saying this is because men like 3D and women don't - really?

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Just watched the brilliant code of conduct (which I agree should be shown before every film in the cinema)
    One question, what's wrong with my knitting? I don't make a noise and can do it in the dark. I don't even have to watch the process, being female multitasking is not an issue.

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    Comment number 2.

    Having seen the film in 2-D, I felt that 3-D would have been largely a gimmick. It seemed that the only scenes to which another dimension could have contributed were the kitsch, over-choreographed parties - even in these scenes I felt a nauseous discomfort from the fast cutting close-ups and gaudy colours (surely what Luhrmann intended) which 3-D would only heighten. The highlights of the film are the performances of the central characters, particularly DiCaprio, Edgerton and Mulligan, despite Luhrmann's efforts to distract the audience from them in the early stages of the film. I would be interested to hear a response from anyone who has seen the 3-D version.

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    Comment number 3.

    I'm not a fan of ThreeD and to be honest, neither are any of the small number of people I go to the cinema with, male and female.

    The light loss bothers me, as does the wearing of glasses and the extra expense. What ThreeD brings to the party can't outweigh even one of these things, let alone all of them together.

    Personally I can't see why, everything else being even, you'd make Gatsby in ThreeD. If as a filmmaker you think Gatsby needs it, then you're rather missing the point of the film.

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    Comment number 4.

    Re 2D versus 3D box office sales, I went to see 'Star Trek - Into Darkness' this week and my local multiplex was offering 8 screenings of the 2D, compared with only 3 screenings of the 3D version, which seems to suggest that they were expecting more people to want to see the 2D version. At the 2D screening I went to the majority of people in the audience were male.

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    Comment number 5.

    I am a middle aged female who's not a fan of 3D - but my hang up may be because I am short sighted - which means having to wear 2 sets of specs which is a bit annoying. I also do find it makes all films so much darker. However my testosterone fuelled 13 year old son and 10 year old daughter - both like the idea of 3D in theory - but both of them admitted that Iron Man 3 and Star Trek into Darkness weren't helped by the 3D - as it made the film too dark in places. However we did all love the Life of Pi - but I'm not convinced that the 3D enhanced this and I think we would have fallen under its spell without stereoscopy. I find 3D can give me a headache and have put it down to the double specs effect - but 20/20 vision kids - have said that they find it does make them a bit headachey too. When it's done well and for effect the 3D can be fun - we all squeaked and ducked during Star Trek's spear chucking. I haven't seen Gatsby yet and freely admit that the 3D has put me off. There are some films it may well suit (big action extravangzas) - but for others it seems an oddly disconcerting idea - as if someone decided that what was missing from the Mona Lisa was a diamante encrusted frame.

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    Comment number 6.

    I'm a bloke Mark and I find that 3D is annoying me. I indulged when Avatar came out as I thought it was the part of the story and to most of it, it worked. Hugo was the same. A subject that used 3D to tell a story about the birth of film. It's when I started to go to see films like Pirates in an Adventure with Scientists that I realised that it was all a bit pointless in most feature releases. I sat there for 90 mins and only once did I realise that it was in 3D. The rest of the film, I sat there watching a film that would not use 3D as a plot device but still with oversized glasses on my face. Now I look for alternative cinemas that show films in 2D unless like in the case of Avatar and Hugo, I know its going to serve some purpose. I avoided The Hobbit in 3D because I just just didn't see how 3D would serve a purpose to the story and in my opinion, I was right. It is a gimmick, an over-used one and I am a bloke saying this for reasons mainly to do with the way the story is told.

    I think a lot of male audiences don't think about this when they pack in on a Friday night and just expect the glasses to improve the entertainment factor and the women moan mainly about the glasses but also back to my point in a roundabout way that there is no point wearing this ridiculous things if they can just see the film normally without.

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    Comment number 7.

    Ironman 3 has taken 1 billion dollars and it was in 3D... I saw it in 3D and I was happy to you know why? It is just a film. Nothing more nothing less. Why cant we have both versions? If there are two versions of the film I dont see what the problem is. Am I not aloud to see the 3D version just because some people like you dont like it? Have you EVER thought about the other side to this argument? That there are people who DO want to see it? Do they not have the right to? Who are you to try to deny me the right or ability to see a 3D movie? Anyway, yet again you desire/hope to see 3D gone is premature which is what you are hoping for with this frankly minor film release which will have NO effect one way or the other as to whether 3D stays or goes. Big blockbusters NOT taking money will be the demise of 3D and NOTHING else. I dont understand why you keep banging this drum. Im sorry but you are just demonstrably wrong about this. In case you missed it I will say again, the latest film to pass the 1 billion mark was Ironman 3 and it was in 3D. It clearly is not going anywhere. Executives will look at that figure, rub their hands and say 'more of the same please'. My point (As with all of your posts about 3D) is that I get it. We ALL get it that you dont like 3D. SURELY there are other more interesting things to talk about? You have this amazing platform and you refuse to stop beating this dead horse. Please please please talk about any other of the MULTITUDE of issues that are in film today. I had no intention of seeing TGG. I will now go and see it and make sure that I get a 3D ticket to do my part to boost 3D sales and make sure that it stays just that little bit longer.

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    Comment number 8.

    This is probably the most idiotic statement I've ever heard! Is Warner's statement for real!? Personally I think its all down to personal tastes, and to the demography of how many screens are playing the film in 2D and 3D.

    I hate 3D but these days to find a 2D screening of films such as Star Trek - Into Darkness (which I enjoyed immensely) are pretty scarce and I'm glad that such a major film like Gatsby is proving a point that 2D can still hold its own against 3D. This statement is another example of how Hollywood studios are so far behind the times and are trying to stick it to an audience who just couldn't care less. The statement in fact is so dated that it's almost as if Scott Fitzgerald took time out from writing The Love of The Last Tycoon and wrote this drivel. Now I know why Tycoon was never completed.

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    Comment number 9.

    Gender stereotypes exist for a reason: they are often based on accurate generalisations. The Warner Bros. statement is probably - in broad strokes - quite true. Big dumb blockbusters tend to skew male. Sweeping romantic epics tend to skew female. This is, I repeat, a massive generalisation, but a valid observable pattern nonetheless. Gimmicks, event movies, visual whizz-bang and, yes, 3-D tend to skew male. At least in my experience.

    By the way, I saw Iron Man in 2D and will be seeing Star Trek into Darkness the same way. I also like a good romantic comedy. Like I said - generalisations. But valid ones.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    I don't like 3D, but I don't think you can generalise about gender unless you have an equal number of 'spectacle' films being put out for men and women. Most movie spectacle these days is about explosions and things going whoosh and stuff that's heavily coded 'boy' (even if in reality some guys don't like it and some women do). I'm not even sure what a 'spectacle' film for women would look like. But when it comes to 3D, films where big visuals are a major selling point are the only place it's going to interest anyone because that's what 3D is, a way of exaggerating the spectacle. They just don't have enough 'female-friendly' films with equivalent spectacle to do a sensible comparison.

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    Comment number 11.

    I love 3d, but the gatsby didn't need it and the whole thing struck me as a bbc 4 drama with a bloated budget.
    I would even say that some of the acting in the new Star Trek and the 3d incorporation was far superior.

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    Comment number 12.

    Oh well trek is a "sort of" terrorist with a leaky plot movie rushing headlong and gatsby is a "sort of" mardi gras with a thin plot movie rushing headlong. Meh, I was hoping to watch both, but I think I'll pass: Too much spectacle at the sacrifice of story.

    3D is just extra spectacle(s)!

    My impression is that women love the party, music, costumes, songs, festival stuff in Baz's movies mixed into a cocktail of melodrama/tragedy romance (from Moulin Rouge conversations) and the spectacles and 3D would impair their immersion into that? Conversely I would not want to watch a strong story with 3D based on characterisation, script, complex plot and subtle acting. So I think 3D is neither needed for The Great Gatsby nor enhances it for it's main demographic audience? In the first place it's obviously a replacement: That car chase sounds like the Phantom Menace pod race: Possibly the most tedious cinema experience I've ever had the misfortune to bear. That was the end of Star Wars as enjoyable narrative.

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    Comment number 13.

    I'm male. I tried 3D (several times), and I don't like it. For me it actually decreases how immersed I get in a film: it just keeps reminding me I'm watching a special effect/gimmick in a film, and distracts me from the actual story. Special effects should be unnoticeable (as effects).

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    The comment itself is hilariously stupid. Women aren't any more or less discerning of 3D than men. The likely reason for the smaller sales for 3D is probably to do with the fact that I can't really see what 3D can do to The Great Gatsby. With an action blockbuster, it (is intended to) improve the spectacle, but Great Gatsby is a drama, what is it gonna gain from 3D? It seems like audiences in general are discerning of that fact than anything else. However, he is right that women seem to like Great Gatsby more than men: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1343092/ratings?ref_=tt_ov_rt It may not be the most reliable source, but imdb's user ratings breakdowns can be very helpful. Granted, the number of women rating the film compared to men is a lot smaller, but the sheer difference in score more than makes up for it: an average of 7.1 from 6700 men, and an average of 7.9 from 2800 females. That's a big difference in imdb terms.

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    Comment number 15.

    I do agree with Warner Bros' view that The Great Gatsby is aiming at more of a female audience, as it is a Baz Luhrmann romance film. However, the view that females aren't into 3D as much as males sounds like an excuse from Warner Bros to justify the disappointing 3D sales. It sounds stupid, but seeing as 3D screenings do generate more profit (based on a single ticket), they're going to try to defend 3D as much as possible, even if their excuses make little sense.
    Nonetheless, I honestly still don't get the reasoning for 3D hatred. Sure, it's more often than not inferior to 2D, but if you don't like it, just don't see the 3D version. With Dr. K I can understand his annoyance seeing as he usually has to see the 3D version anyway, but nonetheless I'm getting bored of listening to the same "3D's always rubbish" argument over and over and over and over...

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    Comment number 16.

    Well. If you accept the notion that women are more drawn to romance and drama films, you can argue that because 3D is less dominant in these genres, they care less for the gimmick of 3D, or that it doesn't add anything to these sort of films so therefore the extra cost of 3D is unnecessary. On the other hand you can argue that because it is not common in these genres, their audience is more curious to see how 3D would be used in these instances.
    Nonetheless, I don't believe the possibility that The Great Gatsby has a more female audience is the reason it underperformed in 3D. Although it is possible that the availability of 2D showings played a role, I believe the main reason is that 3D is perceived to be a technology aimed at films with action set pieces and seems out of place anywhere else.
    Hopefully, 3D goes away from most films and stays where it is most useful: Cirque du Soleil movies, which was my first 3D experience and the only positive one to date (although IMAX might have played a role).

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    I don't like 3-D, and I do every thing I can to avoid it. My brother isn't a fan either, but my sister loves it. I'd be surprised if there is a big differance between the genders. I think there is more chance of seeing a differance between the age groups.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    My brother (who's male) likes 3D more than I do (I'm female) but I've always assumed that's because I need glasses and he doesn't - he can literally see it better than I can (I don't notice it half the time).

    I actually liked the 3D in Gatsby, I thought it was the best I'd seen since Hugo (by which I mean I actually noticed it without things being thrown in my face). Shame the whole thing was out of focus (a common problem at Cineworld, my brother tells me - again, he can see better than me!) and two different groups of people kept talking and laughing through all the quietest, most dramatic moments, which led me to snobbishly and unfairly wonder if there's a perception that 3D films are always action-y things that you can talk through...

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    This whole argument sounds like something a football manager would come out with after losing a match. Next time executives will be claiming that 3D receipts were poor because the glasses keep falling off when people look down to eat their popcorn or that the trailers were too long giving audiences eye strain. Eventually they'll blame that blasted Mark Kermode, telling everyone 3D is rubbish. The truth is that audiences resent paying extra for something which at best adds little and for the most part detracts from the experience.

    I personally have find that 3D makes it very hard to focus on the action when there's any rapid movement like running or fighting, this wasn't a problem during The Hobbit, as whenever there was any fighting i just took the glasses off. But when i recently watched Star Trek, the picture was out of focus and i had to put the glasses back on to see properly and i left feeling that i would have enjoyed the spectacle more in 2D.

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    Mark is a bloke?

    Blows all those rumors then.


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