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Mark Kermode | 15:47 UK time, Tuesday, 7 June 2011

For many months I have been predicting the end of 3D and now it really looks as if this ghastly gimmick is in its death throes. But what does that mean for the long line of sterescopic films that are releasing later this year?

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  • Comment number 1.


  • Comment number 2.

    While I'm very happy to see you all cheery Dr.K I must respond to your comments about the "Suits" and the "Money Men".

    There is a very famous saying: "The most creative part of filmmaking is finding the funding"

    Now we all champion our cinema artists but the hard fact is that is not for the creative economics of the "Suits" you would not have Inception and other large scale cinema movies.

    3D was being pushed by the "Suits" because it WAS making money that in turn goes into the pot to fund other movies. The "Suits" are the guys who keep our cinemas going just as much as the filmmakers if not more so. In an age where piracy and new online media platforms are making it harder for Cinemas to survive financially - it's no wonder why the "Suits" were pushing the 3D fad because it was piracy proof and got the dollars in by allowing more money to be made per ticket.

    What I'm saying is, if 3D can keep our cinemas going then what's the harm - there will always be a 2D version for those who want it anyway!

  • Comment number 3.

    3D was a fad in the 50s when TV was killing cinema. It was a fad in the 80s when VHS was killing cinema. It's a fad now that the internet is killing cinema.

    Guess what, cinema will survive.

  • Comment number 4.

    Get a load of this smug guy - this is a relief though

  • Comment number 5.

    "I'm so happy for you, Mark..." he said, in a deadpan voice.

  • Comment number 6.

    On Conan O'Brian last night he was asked a question: 2D or 3D? to which he instantly responded: 2D. This was met with rapturous applause from the audience. Admittedly, this was an American audience who, apparently, will clap at anything, but it still struck me as historic.

  • Comment number 7.

    There's still the 3D Star Wars movies and Sir Ridley Scott's Prometheus to come. If they flop, THEN 3D's in trouble.

  • Comment number 8.

    It seems that 3D may not be dying off completely though; Sony is pushing hard for 3D gaming to be the way forward, which, as a gamer, fills me with dread.

    At their E3 conference yesterday they unveiled a 'cheap' 24 inch 3D capable Playstation branded TV with hopes it will speed up the uptake of 3D in the home.
    This unfortunately signifies more 3D film releases will be forthcoming from Sony...

  • Comment number 9.

    Actaully its dying slower than I had hoped .ha ha.

  • Comment number 10.

    Did you see the New York Times article about this? The writing is on the wall ... in 2D.

    I've only ever seen one 3D movie, and it wasn't my choice - the movie or the 3D. I went, I SAW 3D, I wanted my money back ...

  • Comment number 11.

    Even Michael Bay had artistic doubts about doing Transformers in 3-D, saying "you can't just shit out a 3-D film" - but the suits thought otherwise. However, my only hope is that the 3-D format might slow down the editing and make the 2-D version vaguely watchable.

  • Comment number 12.

    Thank you Mark - always want to know whether a film is retro 3D (as you always said - like pointlessly colouring a classic black and white) or just pointlessly in 3D - but now hopefully it won't be long before 3D will go completely

  • Comment number 13.

    I hate 3D. The only 3D film I've seen was Tangled, and that was because it was a free screening several weeks before it was released in the UK, and I decided I could probably cope with 3D for that.

    I vowed I wouldn't see another 3D film, but my local cinema seem set on forcing me to. They've stopped showing the big film releases in 2D. I'm happy to name and shame the Vue in Reading, which is only showing Thor in 3D (so I'll be waiting for the DVD), and, from the looks of it, is only planning to show Harry Potter in 3D. I've grown up with Harry Potter and want to go to midnight showings on the night of release, but my choice of 3D or 2D is being made for me. I think it's ridiculous that some of the biggest releases of the year aren't being shown in 2D as well.

  • Comment number 14.

    I'm not sure which makes me happier, the demise of 3D, or not having to listen to Dr K go on about it anymore.

  • Comment number 15.

    Was that Cheslea & Westminster Hospital in the background (the yellow building)? Oh....Mr Kermode was saying something "important"? Oops...I was busy looking behind him.

  • Comment number 16.

    If 3D was used more functionally, then it would be/have been more successful. Instead of wowing us with objects being tossed at us, using the technology to display and convey depth, such as in documentaries for underwater scenes, it would seem like an appropriate wonderful technology.

  • Comment number 17.

    It all comes back to Avatar for me regarding 3D (Which I am not a fan of! its a fad) I found it to be fairly average and a bit dull when watching it in a big screen cinema with 3D glasses, sure it was probably the best 3D film i've seen but thats not saying much frankly. However when it came down to watching Avatar on high definition Blu-ray it comes together so much better, whilst the film is still ho-hum the cinematography and effects are so vivid it creates a 3-dimensional vision that no amount of tacky glasses is going to better!

    This is why Chris Nolan has got it bang on with IMAX, it's all about the visual clarity of a film that allows the viewer to be immersed within the final piece which is something a gimmick like 3D cannot hope to achieve, the issue regarding light footcandles being one of the major contributors to that case! Also one of the fundamental things about 3D in the 50s/60s was that it was meant to be a bit tacky and a bit rubbish which is why the gimmick was endearing to so many but these days that essence of fun is being completely sucked out of 3D by the 'Suits' as you claimed....I mean the old red and blue 3d glasses are still kinda cool in a retro way!

  • Comment number 18.

    3D movies, hmm, it was never really going to work long term. Basically, it's a bit rubbish. 3D's future lies elsewhere.

    As development of 'glasses free' 3D continues to evolve in other markets, such as touchscreen interfaces, immersive gaming, operating systems and mobile devices, it will, I'm certain, becoming ubiquitous. Just not necessarily movies.

    I'm sure that James Cameron has already given the world it's best effort in stereoscopic 3D. Given his unique position, with Fox granting him enormous amounts of R & D as part of an equally enormous preproduction, production and post production schedule. Who else is likely to achieve such carte blanche status with a studio. Thus, much inferior 3D product has since flown from Hollywood with depressing rapidity.

    Personally, I would rejoice in seeing the back of this current trend. However, the third Transformers (shudder), 'Tin Tin' and next year's 'The Amazing Spider-man', 'Star Wars EP 1' and 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey', will no doubt appease 3D's ailing box office.

    I sometimes wonder what Stanley Kubrick (surely the ultimate tinkerer?) would have made of all this digital and 3D hoopla.

  • Comment number 19.

    3D needs a swift mercy killing!!! or as Rimmer says in Red Dwalf " take it the barn with a twelve bore, and just blow the mother away"

  • Comment number 20.

    I think every person wants to have the '3D experience' at least once. By now, most people have seen at least 1 3D movie and the gimmick is beginning to wear off.

  • Comment number 21.

    I have only seen two films in 3D. Avatar and Thor. It was a novelty for Avatar, it was terrible for Thor. I vowed after coming out of Thor that I wouldn't go and watch another film in 3D and I won't.

    @MIST I also dread 3D infecting the gaming market. My only hope is that it will be another experiment Sony have which goes the way of betamax and mini-disc.

  • Comment number 22.

    Mark Kermode is completely accurate based upon all of the present input evidence available added to which is his uncanny insight experience. The trouble with all of the 3D technologies out there is that they are NOT in 3D.They have been promoted as such, the reality does not live up to this.Even 3D television is rubbish.
    Not only have we all to suffer the absolute compulsion of having to wear these silly special 3D glasses and to pay for the priviledge , the result is far from3d and you are continuously reminded of the un-real by wearing them.They are polarised so the brilliance of the picture from the screen is dim , dull , almost prehistoric in technology,,and it gets better, the actual 3d is not whole ,it is like a series of these cheese slices cut up from a block without any sign of the original whole block.
    But there may be some hope in the horizon. No special compulsory expensive 3d glasses, no dull , dim pictures from the screen, apparently the curtains open and the result is similar to just looking out at scene through an open glassless specs, no separate double images , no extra charges , the production costs only some 5% above 2D production. Understand such is nearly ready...
    perhaps Dr.Mark this will make the difference wev'e awaiting for.
    Quality honest 3D like colour, widscreen and sound.

  • Comment number 23.

    I'll get the champagne ready to shout 'Yippeee'. 3D, as it always was in the past, is a fad. The only time when 2D is surpassed is when we can produce holographic imagary (think Holodeck in Star Trek: The Next Generation). Also 3D tv will soon die too, and that will, P*#@ rich people who have just bought a new £3/4'000 3D television. Yippeeee... oh I popped the cock of the Magnum already.....urgh it dripping down my trousers. Sheila...get the towel.

  • Comment number 24.


    Just wondering as to what you think about the BBFC's decision to ban the release on DVD of the Human Centipede 2? As a big fan of yours I'm keen to find out what you make of this decision especially considering how much you respect the opinion of the BBFC! Having seen the first movie I don't think I would be able to endure watching it's sequel although I'd still like the option! What do you think & have you seen the first movie cause I can't remember you mentioning it before.


  • Comment number 25.

    Any chance of putting together a codes of conduct-esque for 3D. This would cover the film types where 3D would be allowed. I would love to have horror slasher flicks included purely for selfish reasons as I have not yet seen one

  • Comment number 26.

    Mark, Mark, Mark!

    You really need to let this one go. Sure 3D is a gimmick 90% of the time, and 90% of the time it adds nothing. My kids (aged 4 & 6) don't like it and i'm not keen either. However films like Avatar and more significantly TT3D and Cave of Forgotten dreams (which I've seen in 3D and 2D, and felt really benefited from the 3D) have made me realise that given the right subject it has it's place.
    Like an excited teenager with an iPad full of apps, the industry has convinced itself that 3D is the future for everything. Soon it will come to it's senses, 3D will not die but pop up occasionally in films which suit it. And hopefully when that does happen you will stop continually going on about it at every opportunity....please!
    I like to hear you talk about film. Your passion and knowledge are contagious and inspiring. Sadly your 3D obsession is in danger of turning you into a bore.

  • Comment number 27.

    With all the soapboxing, you raise an interesting point hear. Because very few filmmakers are celebrating 3D, James Cameron and Michael Bay, audiences become less interested. Surrounding the whole press tour for Avatar, Cameron was selling the 3D technology that he shot with and which theatres had installed for it to be performed, which in truth wasn't actually that brand new when he was promoting the film. Yet he sold it as if it was.

    Now he's got two more Avatar films in the pipeline he's had to think of more ways of fooling the audience that the 3D experience will be better and new (the frame rate changes moving to 60 fps, if I'm not mistaken). This will no doubt follow him all the way through production and when he's promoting the sequels.

    Other than him I can't think of any other filmmakers, when promoting their films which have been shot in 3D, gushing about the 3D process. They just aren't interested, especially with animation considering the filmmakers very rarely get interviewed its mostly the actors, who provide no useful info on the 3D. This in essence does show that it is the studio heads pushing for this to happen.

    However the reason I think its failing comes down to a very simple one. Still, after two years, the cinema chains have not lowered ticket prices. Surely considering the amount of tickets sold they will have been able to pay back the amount they paid for installing the technology in the screens (which was the excuse I believe they gave before). So if it wants to continue, they need to lower the ticket prices to standard rates.

  • Comment number 28.

    Even if 3D is on its way out it'll take a few years, as every blockbuster in production right now is in 3D. Plus in the growingly important international (non-US) market is still greatly lapping up 3D fare, just compare pirates and pandas (limited release) foreign grosses to see how popular this 'gimmick' still is. Im not really bothered about 3D, I go for the cheaper option, but if 2D and 3D was the same price id pick 3D. The high ticket prices are the reason for the US decline.

  • Comment number 29.

    *The high ticket prices are the reason for the US decline I THINK.

  • Comment number 30.

    I've only seen one 3D film and that was a showcase 20 minute feature in an IMAX cinema ten years ago and I remember most of the effects made me feel slightly travel sick. The only effect in the film that impressed me was seeing a cartoon Homer Simpson walk down a live action street and climb into a skip. The effect worked because it didn't draw attention to itself. It seems to me 3D is being used in the wrong type of film. Direction needs to change to accommodate it. A film similar to a stage play, for instance, gives the eye time to linger and draw you in. It'll be interesting to see if 3D television catches on - Eastenders in 3D might be the way to go. At the moment using it for action movies with their flash cuts and jerky camera work must be horrific for audiences. I certainly don't fancy it.

  • Comment number 31.

    TRANSFORMERS 3 is going to be a mega-smash hit. I don't much want to say that, buy Bay's movies rake in money hand over fist at the box office and Cameron has thrown his full weight behind it, and whatever I think of Bay, instead of being a storyteller, he's a stylist and he himself referred to 3-D as "a new toy to play with" and the billions of box-office dollars and he loves new technology. Both films made nearly a billion dollars at the box office EACH and with the inflated 3-D ticket prices, this one could hit the mark. Bay manages to score MASSIVE, MASSIVE box office hits, and I'll bet that he'll have another one on his hands and his fans will have significant praise for the 3-D elements. Weather he'll save 3-D in the eyes of Hollywood I don't know (nor do I frankly care), but I'm betting that he'll score another of his massive hits.

  • Comment number 32.

    Let your predictions be right because 3D is the format that's ruining cinema viewing. I mean have the studio suits suddenly decided cinema audiences have to endure torture to enjoy a so called blockbuster that they commisioned in the first place!

    In my case to endure 3D I have to

    A) Balance an extra pair of specs on my nose.


    B) Invest in contact lenses.

    I tried both approaches and neither has paid off. And to pour even more salt into an already painful wound; a cinemagoer has to pay extra for the ticket of a 3D film and also pay an extra £1 for a pair of glasses! So not only you have to endure this torture, you have to pay for it!

    Thank heavens for the re-releases we've been having recently, otherwise there'll be no visits to the cinema this summer.

  • Comment number 33.

    Mark, you sound like that crazy guy in American heralding the end of the earth... only this time, everyone wants to believe you. I just hope you won't have to embarrassingly revise the doomsday-date and admit you read the signs wrong.

  • Comment number 34.

    HUZZAH!!!!! What I think annoys people more than 3D (in general) is not having the option of watching a 2D version of a film that is in the cinemas. When I saw Thor in the cinema not long ago there wasn't a single 2D showing. Fortunately my friend I still had our 3D glasses from when we saw Priest the week before so at least we didn't have to shell out any extra cash for the glasses.

  • Comment number 35.

    I am thrilled to hear of the long awaited demise of 3D. I'm also thankful one of my local cinemas has never converted (independents YAY!!!)

    I too have difficulty with 3D glasses on top of my regular ones. Plus the after effects of a headache. I'm just sorry I'll have to endure the final Harry Potter in this format.

    I love the 2D experience and prefer larger or surround screens. That is a far more immersive movie experience IMHO. And with more films being made in the digital format, the clarity will be simply stunning.

    Long live 2D!

  • Comment number 36.

    3d is dead, lets hope it is buried and stays buried. I've never seen the point of 3d, till I can walk in to a cinema and they project a 3d image that doesn't need glasses and doesn't give you perpetual eye strain I'll pass. Even Avatar with all it bells and whistles still manage to leave me less than impressed. So in the hope that the next time a movie is listed as 3d it results in snorts of derision it deserves so what next 3d sports?..

  • Comment number 37.

    All good news Dr K - except... Does this mean you'll never be coming to the Watershed in Bristol to eat your shoe? Dammit!

  • Comment number 38.

    Kermode , Kermode , why don't you stop going on about 3d.Youre only encouraging all the junk to write in following on with no knowledge whilst giving the impression they do.
    IT'S killing your honest reputation. 3D WILL NOT DIE..IT WILL CARRY ON ..IT WILL GET REFINED TECHNICALLY. Remember Colour at the beginning even before 1916 , Remember Sound , Remember 'Scope and only coming of age when
    Sinatra said for "Von Ryans Express" Cinemascope only Panavision.
    It will get better , it will become excellent.

  • Comment number 39.

    I'm not clear from your vid why those recent movies have been given 'limited' 3D release. I had observed that the audience (particularly kiddie/teen) would pay to see whatever they were fed. So, if 95% of the screenings were 3D, they'd choose that. Is this just the cinemas testing the market by seeing how many folks will still want 3D if they're offered mainly 2D screenings?

    I still believe there is unstoppable pressure from vendors of domestic TV/BluRay/cable and so on, who demand an increasing volume of 3D material. The suits will win.

  • Comment number 40.

    Sorry Dr K and wittatainment peeps I meant to type cork at near the end and not the similar but inappropriate word. Sorry for that again.

  • Comment number 41.

    First glad to note that SiJ has corrected the "english" great. HAS ANYONE HEARD of the Strong Rumour of a New Advanced 3-D SYSTEM which DOES NOT REQUIRE / NEED any type of These Krap 3-D glasses..they apparently will be OBSOLETE . No Double Image On The Screen. Brilliant Colour just like The Real Days of Real TECHNICOLOR. Wide cut offs , no blinking. Apart from all That..NO EXTRA CHARGES FOR A TRUE 3 Dimensional Solid View. Production costs very little extra from present 2 D.
    Anyone out there heard of this development..have you Dr.Mark , you of all people surely are in the loop of these things
    HOWEVER ANYONE ELSE HEARD OF ANYTHING with what may appear to be the "Holy Grail" of this technology..seems also to fit Tv and gaming as well.

  • Comment number 42.

    Having read eoins post and the comments on youtube about the human centipede 2. I went on to guardian unlimited and while the scenes described sound thoroughly nausiating, the BBFC objected because of the context.Now this is clearly exploitation trash nothing wrong with that in itself,yet when you compare it to other films released in recent years is it really so depraved. The director said that horror films should be horrifying, as a Dr of horror yourself mark you would be better qualified than most to comment. this also asks wether horror films should be frightening or horrifying.

  • Comment number 43.

    Dare I invoke the ire of the good Dr by saying that 3D isn't that bad if applied well? For example I have nothing against watching a 3D animated film like Tangled (which actually looked kinda cool) or Despicable Me.

    But what will/has kill/ed of 3D is the its misapplication to live-action films. Until the movie makers realise that either 3D looks naff (Titans Will Clash) or just doesn't work at all (Thor) on real people and their movments then the technology is doomed.

    So I suppose its eventual place will be as a gimmick, a bit like IMAX, for big animated productions - nothing wrong with that, I suppose.

    Also as someone who wears glasses, they have to get rid of the bad plastic sunnies. For a 90 minute Pixar film its bearable, but for a Martin Scorcese/Peter Jackson epic - aargh! My nose isn't strong enough.

  • Comment number 44.

    I find the problem we are about to face is that if the money makers really want to make money then they will just release the films on 3D, maybe with a really tiny release on 2D, and we will be forced to watch on 3D or not at all. So the onus will be on the cinema managers, because if they want to still make some money they will have to stop exclusive 3D releases or they will find their already dwindling audiences disappearing.

    Now, I really like going to the cinema, but since I cannot afford to fork out that amount of money to go home with a migraine I shall opt for waiting until the film comes out on DVD.

  • Comment number 45.

    3D is a natural process when you think about it and it will never fade out! However i can see why people like the good D.r himself get narked off with it. it is unneccessary in the film world. it is only asthetically pleasing after all.
    you need script, dialogue and acting amongst other finer details to make a film come alive! plus if ticket prices in general, not just 3d, were cheaper more people and i mean more people, not just the odd few would turn up at cinemas. but then maybe more people would turn up at 3d screenings.
    Long Live 2D!

  • Comment number 46.

    Mark... I was so annoyed that you have posted yet another blog about 3D that I have minutes ago registered on the BBC website just to complain. Please please please please STOP TALKING ABOUT 3D. Im just getting tired of hearing about it on these posts. This week a film has been BANNED in the UK and you are talking about 3D?! I really don't get why you are so angry at 3D. We dont NEED colour... We dont NEED surround sound... We dont NEED a clear screen without marks everywhere on it. It is just an extra layer to make the film more realistic and/or exciting and/or magical. Remember... we are watching a MADE UP STORY!!!! It is not real!!! Colour, surround sound, 3d... it is all icing on the cake to make you FORGET that it is just a piece of make believe. Just as you forget it is in 3D the second it starts... you forget it is in colour the second it starts... you forget it is in surround sound the second it starts... why dont you go on a crusade to stop them too?

    Besides your irrational hatred against 3D will not stop Transformers from being a massive hit which WILL give 3D a boost. Or The Hobbit. You have spoken too soon. 3D is a fad and it will end... but it is not dead until at least the release of the Hobbit... PART 2 that is. Now... For God's sake... ENOUGH ABOUT THIS STUPID TOPIC. Please... ENOUGH!!!! WE KNOW WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT 3D... ENOUGH!!!

  • Comment number 47.

    To early to tell Mark. The only reason for 3D going downhill is because the latest 3D movies have been sucking!!
    Let's wait for Tintin... and more importantly the Hobbit part 1 and 2, then we'll be able to talk again.

  • Comment number 48.

    From external sources..The New 3-Dimension System of rumour[s] is in fact correct. Dr. Kermode , take a rest from going on about the current 3d stuff out there , leave it for now..dare one say please. Concentrate on films themselves , not all this apparently inherent hatred of 3d...or is it the present rubbish technology out there AT PRESENT which you give the impression of hate. In 2d one This Possible ENTIRELY NEW 3-D presumeably would sculpt , all over and above a good script and all the other factors which go to make a film.

  • Comment number 49.

    I recently conducted a small survey of the people I know that regularly go to the cinema and I found out at that not one of them would choose to go to a 3D film if they had the choice, this got me wondering has there ever been a demand for 3D or has it been forced upon us from the very beginning.

  • Comment number 50.

    Has 3D found a natural home ?

    According to a major high st home entertainment store 3DTV's are apparently selling very well. Flying off the shelves they say. When I suggested that maybe it was linked to the hype of recent Blockbuster Hollywood releases I was a little supprised to be told that it was more likely connected to the gaming community. All the stores and suppliers I have spoken to believe this to be the the main reason for this particular boom . Maybe modern 3D has found it's natural home. Big money in gaming, certainly on par with the movie industry. This may suggest however that 3D as a movie making gimmick might just linger on for a little longer yet. HD on the other hand is a true revelation and is very welcome to hang around.

  • Comment number 51.

    I’m SO glad that this has happened and saw no potential benefit in the medium. Basically, it’s another cash cow to milk movie goers until ‘Purple Ray’ comes along and we all have to repurchase our film collections. It was obvious that 3D was not going to work, despite the protestations of respected filmmakers – Cameron et al.

    1/ It renders dark scenes in a new whole new level of darkness – beyond visibility.

    2/ It does not work with the rapid cuts that we’ve come to expect in current film. During these moments the eye ‘skips’ about looking for a plain to focus upon, and loses the flow of action. As a result of this our concentration is pulled away from the dramatic narrative.

  • Comment number 52.

    You were doing so well, Mark... Two months without a blog post about 3D....

  • Comment number 53.

    James Cameron made a good point once about the, what is being refered to as, "The recent 3D boom", in an interview with Time Magazine.
    He said that, the 3D boom is another example of Hollywood getting it wrong, where they see a film like Avatar and go, "Right, why did Avatar do so well? Because it's in 3D, so let's make all our big films 3D, that way, there all bankable."
    I think Avatar is a necessary 3D film because Jim wants us to experience the world of Pandora as a real place, with help from 3D technology.
    This, however, doesn't mean that I agree that every big film these days has to have a splurge of 3D technology onto it. Afterall, 3D was a gimmick from the 1950's, and in my opinion, still is.

  • Comment number 54.

    The 2nd comment defends the suits, forgetting that their job is to help good films to be made, no to say how films should be made.

    Suits would support the filmmakers that decide to do a 3D movie, not tell the film maker that the movie must be in 3D.

    As for 3D being a bastion against piracy, well, give me a brake, listening to us, the public would be a better weapon, but the suits care only about the money, forgetting us, their costumers in the process...

  • Comment number 55.

    Its not the internet thats killing cinema its the high Prices, at my local it now cost £7.80 for a 2D film and £10 for 3D. You want more people back in the cinema than lower the prices and get rid of 3D.
    Cinema will always survive

  • Comment number 56.

    I want to know which 'view' of Avatar we got on the DVD - 'left' eye or 'right' eye?
    Cameron certainly missed out on a merchandising goldmine - LEFT and RIGHT versions to buy, with different slipcases!

  • Comment number 57.

    Dr K,

    This is not relevant at all but it's likely to cheer your soul, along with anyone who shares your views of Sarah Jessica Parker and chums -

    We live in hope.

  • Comment number 58.

    The glasses aren't the problem with 3D. Retro-fitting is the problem with 3D. If they want to make movies in 3D, great - fill your boots - but do it at the time. Otherwise it's like waiting until Michael Curtiz has wrapped on Casablanca and THEN saying "Right, we're making this one in colour. Here are the felt-tip pens, I'll do the greens and yellow, you do blue and red."

    In any case, the future of cinema isn't 3D. Until they abandon the scam - and it is a scam - of higher prices for 3D, the 2D/3D disparity will widen. The future of 3D might be gaming - I wouldn't know, not being a gamer, but many games have been in 3D for decades, and they're called "sports".

    The future of cinema is a wider choice of better movies, properly projected and reasonably priced for an attentive audience. Like so many apparently intractable problems if the modern world, this is very easily achievable. All that is required is the will to do it. If the will isn't there, cinema will not only suffer, it will deserve to suffer. It will be a shame, but it will be their own fault.

  • Comment number 59.

    What is most satisfying is that it looks as though this hysterical obsession is going to die before I have had to endure it a single time. What did I do in the 3D war? Missed it, happily.

  • Comment number 60.

    Mark, can't you tell that the trades are just toying with you? Have you never heard of a slow news week?

    As much as I would like to trust the tastes of the viewing public, which include all those people who make Michael Bay movies successful, I think this is probably down more to the economy and extra cost of 3D tickets. The premium prices hit much harder when taking a family to the cinema, so of course the family films are more likely to have better 2D viewing figures.

    I'm just disappointed that my local indie cinema will be showing HP7part deux in 3D, which is most likely the choice of the distributor than the cinema. Celebration is definitely premature.

  • Comment number 61.

    This is a very naive point of view. Have you not even seen Singing in the Rain?

    "Talking pictures?... It'll never amount to a thing."

  • Comment number 62.

    Is John Woo's film Face Off an action remake of Cape Fear

  • Comment number 63.

    A side benefit of this is that it's slowing down the digital conversion in all the big chains - Odeon, Vue, Cineworld. What was '3-6 months' is now 'at least a year away' from happening again - I'm talking about the Projectionist-free cinema. Let's hope it stops that happening all together!

  • Comment number 64.

    Two Words: The Hobbit

    Shooting now in 3D (and 48 FPS - not a bad thing) for a huge Christmas 2012 opening. Guaranteed to keep 3D (and the accompanying extra fees) in cinemas for at least another year and a half.

    Which does leave me somewhat torn - whether to see a film as it was intended to be seen - shot in 3D with a talented crew - or to stick to my guns and see a version missing a (certainly not crucial but nevertheless intended) extra dimension. Time to start considering.

  • Comment number 65.

    I do enjoy Marks happiness in this clip that 3D is maybe going to die!

    I have to agree the one and only good 3D i have seen is Avatar....thats it!
    Every other '3D' movie thats comes out i attempt to see its 2D counterpart, why...because why should i pay more money for what is already an expensive experience and wear silly glasses. Why should i have to give myself a headache and have to look really hard at a film i want to try and enjoy and not have to worry about straining my eyes. I watched Thor recently and i knew watching it in 2D was the best choice, i find it offensive that films are just being fitted with 3D to try and make more cash its just plain unfair especially in kids films were kids probably have to spend all the pocket money to see it and a family of four have to pay up to £40 to see a film!
    3D is and always will be a fad and the sooner its gone the better, unless its done by James Cameron but how long did Avatar take, about 4 years? A bit too long if you ask me!

  • Comment number 66.

    I do argue with Dr. Kermode that 3D is coming to an end and that audiences are aware what 3D films are made properly, i.e. Avatar and what are just bad conversions. I make a point looking for 2D showings for film, e.g. Narnia, Thor, Pirates (my mum likes the series). I personally think 3D has even got worst because the 3D in Avatar and Up was much better then it was in Toy Story 3.

    But I think in 2014/2015 Avatar 2 and 3 are going to be massive hits and studios boss are going think that they were successful because in 3D and we are going to go through all this again from 2015 to 2017.

    I personally still hope that David Lynch makes a 3D films just so I have an excuse to go to Bristol.

    Finally, like one of previous posters, please tell us your thoughts of the Human Centiple II and the BBFC ban.

  • Comment number 67.

    I'd like to join in the chorus asking you to tell us your thoughts of "The Human Centipede II" and the BBFC ban. The BBFC's rationale is available here:

    From it is clear you won't be reviewing films with Mayo until June 24th at the earliest. So the only options left are a blog post here or during the prologue/epilogue of today's wittertaining podcast.

  • Comment number 68.

    Greetings Dr K. Ever considered filming this blog in 3D? It would really accentuate the throbbing veins in your temples. 3D doesn't need to be killed off - some people like it. The real problem is quantity over quality. Too many bad or pointless uses of the technology. Was your great grandfather the same Jebediah Kermode who tried to get children's pop-up books banned in the late 1900s?

  • Comment number 69.

    The '3D' thing seems to keep going away and resurfacing again... reports of the demise may be greatly exaggerated

  • Comment number 70.

    James Cameron has turned from being a great director and visionary to just being a self involved tool. Avatar was such a poor film I barely made it to the end.

    I sat through Titanic thinking 'sink already'...

    Did anyone actually watch Avatar in 2D and think it was any good? Anything other than poor CGI animation? I recall JC giving an interview saying how he was using pioneering equipment to shoot the film, just looked like a green screen with two cameras in front of it to me.

  • Comment number 71.

    I am so relieved about all of this. When the 3D nonsense first started I thought it was just going to be a short-lived fad like Sense-Surround, and wouldn't be popular except for visual orgies like Avatar. Then it seemed I was proven wrong. The last straw was trying to find a normal screening of Toy Story 3, only to find all the cinemas close to me were only showing it in 3D. I had to settle for a rather tacky old multiplex miles and miles away from where I live.

    The way studios have been trying to force 3D on the cinema viewer is, in my view, demonstrative of pure greed. It may not be working for them any more but they've invested so much money in this that I can't see them giving up that easily. You may be right about the end of 3D, Mark, but it will be a slow, laboured death. They'll drag it out as long as they can.

  • Comment number 72.

    This is the news I've been waiting for ever since 3D came back into style a few years back. Personally I have never liked 3D simple because I disagree with what the general public defines as being an 'immersive experience'. It's true that 3D can be immersive, but it's a form of immersion that distracts the viewer in such a way that it actually makes the film itself less immersive. I explain below.

    The way I see it, there are two type of immersion we can obtain from film. The first is a 'physical' immersion, wherein the viewer appears to be surrounded by the physical locations we see in the film. The second type of immersion is a 'mental' immersion wherein the viewer is so concentrated on the story being told, they are no longer mentally conscience of anything else (unless your mind wonders due to lousy filmmaking). Now, for the ultimate immersive experience, both the physical and the mental immersions need to be in place. The mental immersion has been around as long as movies have been around thanks to gifted filmmakers who know how to suck us into their stories. But it's the physical immersion that 2D films have lacked until 3D came along. But the trouble with 3D movies is that 3D technology is an inferior form of physical immersion due to reasons explained by Walter Murch ( So the 3D element actually becomes noticeable by the viewer and they are conscience of it as they watch the film. When this happens, the viewer is sucked out of the film mentally and so not only are they experiencing a poor physical immersion but now their mental immersion is lost as well. This is why I believe 3D is not the future. So, the question now is: what is the future of physical immersion?

    The true future for physical immersion in film will be higher resolution and higher frame rates. The ultimate goal is to create an image that is indistinguishable from reality by the human eye. Only then will true physical immersion take place. And with a high enough resolution and high enough frame rate, even a 2D image can look as real and as vivid as reality itself. And when this happens, we will have films that contain a true, physical immersion that will no longer distract us from our mental immersion. And only then will we experience the ultimate immersive experience.

  • Comment number 73.

    @ Paul Whittington

    Bullseye !! any way of forwarding this to every studio exec on the planet!

  • Comment number 74.

    Like a beached whale, 3D will collapse under its own weight. Except I have more sympathy for the whale, than idiotic studio execs who could have seen the demise of 3D long ago.

    It's like every other gadget we're sold: they invent a gizmo, then invent a reason for us to 'need' it. We then buy into it, deluded into thinking we really do need it, then they turn around and say "Look, how did you ever live without it!?"

    The difference being, this time we have caught them out. We're not falling for it. We've been sold a lemon, and we want our money, and our wasted time back.

  • Comment number 75.

    An article from the states about multiplex chains laziness when using 3d projection (apparently they don't always put the 2d lenses back on to show 2d movies).

    Does anyone know if this problem is happening in the UK?

  • Comment number 76.

    I'm just waiting for the day that Mark Kermode posts a review on the 3-D film Captain EO. Until then I don't think his perspective of the 3-D film culture will be complete :-)

  • Comment number 77.

    Kermode should have his run of the movie studios in hollywack for a month.

  • Comment number 78.

    Well I am a fan of the old View Master toy. Love the 3D effect. I think that the technology for "moving pictures" still hasn't matured enough. There is too much "crosstalk" between the left- and right eye images, wearing those stupid glasses, the lighting is dim, contrast diminished, there is annoying blur in fast and action scenes, and the dimensions many times don't match the depth perception. Often actors look like animated miniatures. Our brain is not that easy to fool! I am also against converting 2D movies to 3D because it's more often than not a cash-in as opposed to a true worthwile upgrade.
    I love good 3D in stills photograpy. I also saw some very well made IMAX 3D movies back in the early 2000s, but I am not willing to pay the extra money to see rushed 2D to 3D conversions and anything in a technology which hasn't been perfected yet. For me it's still: go back to the drawing board. I am open to future technology. For now I will stick with 2D.

  • Comment number 79.

    Well I am a fan of the old View Master toy. Love the 3D effect. I think that the technology for "moving pictures" still hasn't matured enough. Our brain is not that easy to fool! I am also against converting 2D movies to 3D because it's more often than not a cash-in as opposed to a true worthwile upgrade.
    I love good 3D in stills photograpy. I also saw some very well made IMAX 3D movies back in the early 2000s, but I am not willing to pay the extra money to see rushed 2D to 3D conversions and anything in a technology which hasn't been perfected yet. For me it's still: go back to the drawing board. I am open to future technology. For now I will stick with 2D.

  • Comment number 80.

    I am not the biggest fan of 3D either. That said, Transformers 3 is possibly the first film that I am interested in seeing in 3D as I reckon it will look stunning. Mind you, the only reason I shall go and see it in 3D is because I have enough points for a free ticket on my Odeon card!

  • Comment number 81.

    3D was/is/will always be a fad. It will return one day no doubt & we will again be told how this time it is even better than before. At the end of the day it works for shlocky B-movies like Piranha3D which was 'perfectly fine' but its not & never will be the future of cinema. Although I will concede that Cave of Forgotten Dreams was enjoyable in 3D despite the overly bombastic score.

  • Comment number 82.

    3d will be here to stay when they can produce it realistically without glasses ... Till then forget it ... And remember it isn't that impressive in real life when you are sitting in a seat not moving ... Unless there's something being thrown at you that is : ))
    I would actually take this further and suggest the best thing that could possibly happen to cinema AFTER the death of 3d ( again ) is for the San Andreas fault to open up and swallow Hollywood when ALL the suits are in town

  • Comment number 83. the picture houses still have the original projectors for "film"?....or have they been binned for video type projectors for 3D?

  • Comment number 84.

    Very Interesting Item - I'd guess you're on the right lines however, I'd guess that the problem lies in the additional cost to see a 3D movie. Visiting the cinema is costly enough these days, especially when taking a family - including all the extra costs like popcorn, cokes, hot dogs, etc. etc.... personally narrative is king - 3D or not the script is the most important thing - a good story is everything. Forget the added dimension and wall to wall orchestral wallpaper - these things remind me of the emperor's new clothes. Good editorial decisions are all that's needed.


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