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Then and Now

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Mark Kermode | 12:23 UK time, Friday, 30 March 2012

I've been checking out some of the beautiful historic cinemas in Memphis and thinking about a recent news story saying ticket prices are set to rise to subsidise the costs of 3D. You can imagine my reaction...

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Related Posts on Kermode Uncut
The Death of 3D

Mark's reviews on 5 live
Scorcese: Why can't we accept 3D?

Hear Mark Kermode review the week's new films every Friday from 2pm on BBC Radio 5 live. Kermode & Mayo's Film Review is also available as a free podcast to download and keep.



  • Comment number 1.


  • Comment number 2.

    Well, I cannot watch 3D, not only do I not like it, but I end up with, at the best of times, a horrible migraine, if they hike the prices of 2D films to match up 3D then I will just not be going to the cinema at all, full stop, it is expensive enough as it is without the prices going up even further. I'll wait for the DVD/Blu-Ray release if that's all the same with them... I will be missing on the whole cinema experience but I am afraid my wallet just will not be able to cope.

  • Comment number 3.

    A Doctor K rant, the real reason to get out of bed in the morning on your day off.

  • Comment number 4.

    he also mentioned the expansion of concession menus to cater for customers who he says are now 'more sophisticated', and wanted more than just popcorn and pop and who would possibly be offered in the future hot meals, sit down service etc.. It is enough to make genuine film fans despair, and in my opinion pushes the actual films even further into the background of the cinema business model when it should be the number one focus. I have no solutions but will ensure my movie pound is spent in our local art house cinema where the films are the important thing not the supersize hot dogs and overpriced coke.

  • Comment number 5.

    Perhaps there's a silver lining: if 2D and 3D films cost the same amount, we will plainly be able to see what the audience prefers. When more people pay to see 2D films than 3D, we'll know that it's 3D and not the price of 3D that puts people off.

  • Comment number 6.

    I was amused/dismayed by World of Cine's new offer to "save 10% by booking online." Sounds like a bargain - but they've achieved this by putting the in-cinema prices UP by 10%! So you book online to pay the same as you used to before the offer.

    I'm depressed by the level of disdain the studios and cinema chains have for me and the films they make/show.

  • Comment number 7.


    Was it meant to be ironic, that you presented this video with 3D specs on?

  • Comment number 8.

    I am so angry that they are raising the prices on 2D films to accomadate their failed 3D experiement. Not just 3D but Imax too, I resently saw The Hunger Games in Imax and the only thing different was the price.

    Side Note: 'Patton' was known as 'Patton: Lost for Glory' in what country Kermode?

  • Comment number 9.

    How come, with all this talk in Hollywood about 3D being the future, know one seems to be addressing iMax? I mean both Chris Nolan and Wally Pfister, both of whom are highly respected in the film industry, are making this Summer's biggest block buster not in 3D but iMax!

  • Comment number 10.

    ‘'Patton' was known as 'Patton: Lost for Glory' in what country?’

    'Patton: LUST for Glory’ was the UK release title I seem to remember.
    In the USA it was just ‘Patton’.

    Rising prices and the advent of online, on-demand streaming services (Netflix/ Amazon Prime etc) will only add to the inevitable decline and fall of all but the most specialised cinemas.

    Prometheus ~ in 3D. Be interested to know if people think 3D adds anything to the experience when it opens?

  • Comment number 11.

    Well, that news had just angered me! I swear, studios just like put their fingers in their ears and scream "LA LA LA, I'M NOT LISTENING, LA LA LA" whenever the audience have something important and right to say! Look, at John Carter and how that turned out! That film is the perfect example of how cinema is in crisis! What a way for them to dig their own graves!

  • Comment number 12.

    Dude you're on vacation/holiday, take a rant break lol.

    My prediction: 2D price increases to support lower 3D prices won't happen. I believe there is a positive correlation between theatre price increases (irrespective of 2D/3D/IMAX) and DVD sales, steaming and pirating. Also there is an inverse correlation between theatre price increases and the number of theatre tickets (with its high prices) sold.

    Must see spectacles (e.g, Prometheus, Tree of Life, War Horse, Christopher Nolan films etc) will drive the remaining theatre ticket sales. Mumblecore, dramas, comedies will be streamed, DVDed

  • Comment number 13.

    The price of an adult ticket has already shot up exponentially, thus if it's raised anymore past £7 something, I'll be going a lot less. It's exorbitant enough as it is and I'm tired of my jaw being agape everytime I go/check prices online.
    Picturehouse has increased theirs and there seems to be no cheap day Mon anymore :(

    Along the lines of what dad said when he saw my Shrek 2 DVD ages ago('04), tapping on it significantly and saying - 'oh look, we could've waited and got that to watch again and again'.

    I'm NOT going to be funding a gimmicky, undue and unhealthy (in my case) addition that really belongs in a theme park/video game show, not in a cinema.
    I gave up with 3D after How to Train Your Dragon made the Green Death SMALLER than the 2D one, which those familiar with the film know it lessens the effect considerably.
    Not to mention my eyes haven't been the same since (like seeing the world with the 3D glasses off while watching a 3D film)... the only thing 3D does well is floating small things e.g. the lantern scene in Tangled (magical), the ash in Avatar ...
    If I want a floating, holographic effect, I have an old dinosaur ruler that can give me that for free with no adverse effects! 3D was superfluous with the red and blue lenses and it still is.

  • Comment number 14.

    Does Mark know whether he liked Killer Joe yet!?

  • Comment number 15.

    Unfortunately, this is the way the movie business has always been. When color films came it, ticket prices eventually went up then to subsidize color films on the back of black and white films. The parallel here in the state of course is our health care debate - all the insured people are paying subsidies for the uninsured. Perhaps there should be a law.

  • Comment number 16.

    I don't see how the cinemas can possibly not have already paid for their 3D upgrades several times over by now, with the 3D surcharge, and charging for the glasses (which they then collect at the end) - that's £2.50 per person per film at my local, a multiplex with 12 screens. That must be hundreds per day, thousands if it's busy. There is no way they can justify a price hike by blaming 3D again.

    I only ever go to the cinema on cheap day as it is, and I'm finding myself less and less inclined to take a chance on films I might not like, as so often in the last few years I just feel like I've wasted my time and attention and thrown my money away. A price hike is exactly what cinemas don't need to boost revenues; everyone is skint nowadays, haven't they been watching the news? Make seeing a film something I can do on impulse and don't have to regret and I'll do it more often. Make it something I need a mortgage for and I'll just give it up.

  • Comment number 17.

    If the studios want to charge more for people to see films in 3D, let them.

    But don't expect me to pay more to watch a film in 2D just to subsidise headache inducing, crappy 3D.

  • Comment number 18.

    I still say the Luddites' - ahem - detractors' real issues with 3D go no deeper (no pun intended) than the higher admission and inconvenient glasses - the isolated cases of nausea-inducement notwithstanding.

  • Comment number 19.

    I couldn't agree more! 3D is a fad and the sooner studios face up to this and stop pandering to technology in their misguided attempts at shoe-horning audiences into seeing their badly made extravaganzas the sooner we will return to good, old-fashioned, plot-driven, cinematic films that will stand the test of time and are based on emotions instead of gimmicks....

  • Comment number 20.

    I don't know about prices rising to subsidise 3D - I haven't noticed that here as yet. I have however seen how my local World Of Cine, having just converted their biggest screen into a IMAX cinema, have doubled the cost of the tickets to see any film - IMAX or not - in that particular screen. I don't have any experience of IMAX films but it would have to be one amazing bloody experience for me to fork over that much money.

    At least Dick Turpin robbed people with a smile.

  • Comment number 21.

    I may be asking a rather daft/silly question, but: Aren't films technically 3D anyway? The only real difference being that the so-called 3D appears break the "4th wall", i.e. props, people etc etc heading towards the audience, and 2D doesn't, it stays in "film space".

    I'm only asking!

  • Comment number 22.

    The world really is getting (abit) stupid.

    "IdioCracy,coming to a reality near you!"

  • Comment number 23.

    While I do hate it when films have post-converted 3D in them e.g. Clash of the Titans or Thor (the latter being a film I liked), I don't hate 3D anywhere near as much as the good doctor does, and so by this logic, I personally haven't got as much of a problem with this "raising 2D prices" situation either.
    I mean, sometimes, I want to see a 3D film, however these will only be when the film is shot in 3D (like Avatar) and the 3D is praised by other people (like Hugo). However there'll be other instances where a 2D showing of a film is sold out or doesn't fit my time schedule, so I have to see the 3D version instead. With this in mind, I'd rather pay an equal price for both versions of the film rather than pay a higher rate for a 3D film.
    Now you could argue that seeing as I usually see 2D screenings, this isn't really a big problem for me, but nonetheless I feel that there could be other solutions to this issue (like filming all 3D films with 3D cameras, or getting rid of 3D entirely) I don't think people should be getting as wound up about this as they are, no disrespect to Dr. Kermode of course.

  • Comment number 24.

    These seem to be not only problems with the film industry but with capitalism itself. Why am I not surprised that at a time when our taxes are paying for a banking crises the majority of people didn't create the majority of cinema-goers are being charged for a flimsy cash cow their not interested in and don't want to ingage with.

  • Comment number 25.

    The reasoning behind the 3D revolution was to counter piracy, increasing ticket prices to subsidise a failed gimmick seems counter productive. Why should people pay £10 per ticket to see a film when they can stay at home and watch films on their flat screen. Increased ticket prices will turn cinema going from a regular habit to an occasional treat.

  • Comment number 26.

    When the 3-D fad first started a few years ago. I know plenty of people that would go watch a film simply because it was in 3-D. As at the time, to the general public it was a refreshing and somewhat exciting concept. But as we all know, that is no longer the case. People are no longer fascinated or excited by it as the majority of people now see it for what it is; a money making gimmick.

    Obviously Hollywood is having financial issues at the moment but in my opinion they are going the wrong way about trying to solve it. Seemingly, they are committing the age old business mistake of thinking that raising prices will make them more money. If instead the cinemas marketed themselves as an affordable entertainment medium in these hard times. They would be much better of in the long run.

  • Comment number 27.

    Frankly "the cinema experience" lost it's shine for me several years ago. Mulitplexes staffed by incompetents with dodgy equipment which may or may not break down and the the folly of 3D (or "film in the dark" as I call it) made me ask just why this is better than my own front room with my own projector projecting onto my living room wall. The thing is though, there's nothing like a real cinema staffed by real people showing real films (on real film!) and enjoying the ride with the crowd. So why are the big businesses that run these things so determined to ruin them and drive people away?

  • Comment number 28.

    (note to Mark: I'm going to actually BE in Memphis and Clarksdale in a month's time - seeing your films there just fills me with anticipation :-) :-) :-) - please file some more before you leave)

    This does not surprise me but doesn't totally worry me either - regardless of the degree to which 2D films subsidise 3D films, if a significant proportion of the cinema-going population vote with their feet by NOT turning up for the 3D performances , eventually the numbers aren't going to add up and its toast (I'd be interested to see the figures for Phantom Menace and Lion King 3D - I bet they aren't that spectacular).

    I agree with isolavalantine up there - they should be going all out for IMAX if they want to make an experience you can't get anywhere else.

  • Comment number 29.

    Jeez Louise I hadn't heard anything about this "innovative" new pricing "eureka" moment. Awful! Just awful! I actually am sitting here saying "but, but, but..." It's absolutely outrageous! Is it too much to ask for good films? Memorable films? Meaningful films? Films which make one laugh, cry, think, deliberate, cower or turn one's face to the wall?! The industry can push all the gimmicks it likes, I just want, nay expect, much, much more than that. I truly don't want to see film go the same way as what we once were expected to assume was "art." Damien Hirst, Michael Bay. I expect talent not concept and will happily pay for it, little as I have. I'll shut up now and brood further on my own time

  • Comment number 30.

    This just proves the good doctor's been right all along. He said 3D would be dead in 2 years a little bit more than 2 years ago, and now 3D is clearly trying to come back to life. People finally realised that paying an extra cost to get that pointless extra dimension is not worth it. Now, they're going to make sure the best way to see the film will cost more than 3D, or at least the same. That way people think they're getting more for their money by seeing the dark, headache inducing crap version of a film. 3D is the future ? I don't think so, unless it's a dystopian future.

    Apparently, they're also thinking of offering full meals in the cinemas soon.

    Isn't that the perfect image of a bleak future ? Hundreds of people trying to figure out what's on their plates, because of the dark glasses, while trying to follow Pirates of the Caribbean 7 in mind-blowing (literally) 3D.

    Meals, headaches, and probably vomiting will now be part of the cinema experience for the same price as a 2D ticket.

  • Comment number 31.

    Well I honestly hope that people are going to either complain about this so as to put pressure on the studios or that they're going to boycott 3D and 2D films. never liked 3D, never felt it added anything and this news gives me a headache and i'm not even wearing the stupid glasses. 3D is a zombie that needs to be exterminated and fast before it infects what precious moments we have left at the cinema. If 2D tickets will cost as much as 3D tickets I will wait for the DVD releases to buy or rent the films but I will NOT feed the machine. This just goes to show that we aren't worth anything to the studios and all we're good for is to consume and bow our heads in shame. Not this man, my friends.

  • Comment number 32.

    Decisions like this and in fact the state of the industry in general, does have an upside- its a perfect time for art cinemas and entrepenurial movie-lovers to thrive. If the big chains are racking up prices by showing films in 3D, it is time for the alternative: small, self suffient cinemas or small chains able to offer a better service at a cheaper price. Also, it seems, more and more non-cinema venues or unused spaces are starting a sideline of film nights. Case in point: a friend of mine runs a monthly film night in Scunthrope in the old community hall, which boasts a fully fitted (if slightly run down) cinema. It has proved so popular, especially with families, that it will be becoming a fortnightly event. As the Odeons and Showcases grow ever more out of touch with their audience, the alternatives will become far more appealing.

  • Comment number 33.

    This kind of news just edges me closer to the 'indie' cinemas. Places that actually give the impression that they love film, not just money.

  • Comment number 34.

    They’re building a new, faster thru-way in my area. The straightness and quality of the paving practically guarantee a lot of people will speed on this road where traffic cops with radar guns will be waiting to stop them so as to hand out speeding fines.

    I suppose the plan is that the revenue raised from these speeding fines will go to finance the road construction. Brilliant.

  • Comment number 35.

    Studios are so dumb.Enough with the 3D already.Didn't work in the 50s or the 80s and it hasn't worked now.

  • Comment number 36.

    I stopped going to the cinema a few years ago when the price of a ticket for me and my cinema-going mate got to be the same as the price of the dvd/blu ray.

    We decided to wait a couple of months and see it on my home cinema in perfect comfort where everyone obeys the code of conduct !

    I can only imagine the price increase will make more people do this, especially families.

    It takes a really big film to get me out to the flicks nowadays, maybe Dark Knight or the Hobbit this year.

    Oh and as a wearer of glasses anyway the 3D experience involves me being very uncomfortable and getting a headache after about an hour and a half.

  • Comment number 37.

    So.... THIS is how John Carter is going to make it's money back...

    (By the way, John Carter was a unique film - surely the first '1D' movie)...

  • Comment number 38.

    Although I am not a fan of 3D for the simple (and obvious) reason that it doesn't work very well, I would like to remind Mark of an Uncut Blog he made on the 10th September 2012 where he predicted that 3D would be in sharp decline within 2 years. I'm afraid in the style of Werner Herzog Mark must eat his shoe asap since it seems 3D is probably here to stay judging from recent releases.

    Hello to Jason Issacs

  • Comment number 39.

    It's a disgrace that people who don't want to watch 3D in ridiculous glasses are expected to pay for it anyway. Not sure where the fairness is in that.

  • Comment number 40.

    3d is a tool for film-makers, NOT SOMETHING THAT MAKES A FILM BETTER JUST BY USING IT, you don't see cinemas upping prices because the directors used a zoom lens for heavens sake!!

  • Comment number 41.

    The price for seeing a movie at the cineworld in Glasgow (being a student) is £6. I know it may not sound like a lot of money but it is one of the reasons me and my boyfriend don't go that often (apart from them showing crappy movies) is that it is expensive. We wait until there is an offer in Empire or the The Times to see a free showing. Other cinemas are a lot smaller, and a lot cheaper, but they don't have a lot of variety. 3D is completely terrible, and essentially useless. If I have to pay extra to fund it, the simple solution is I will go to the cinema less than I already do.

  • Comment number 42.

    A poor excuse for a price hike, does it matter what they blame it on. "We just felt a bit greedier than usual today." is just as valid. If 2D subsidizing 3D is some mad economic turnaround, the correlation is that we should have been paying less for films that cost less to produce all this time. You could also say that the blockbusters that we decry for their lowest common denominators are subsidizing the less profitable "quality" films that studios and distributors might not have taken a chance on if they didn't have the almost guaranteed payday of Transformers of the Caribbean in Cameronvision. I'm glad for you that it gives you another chance to harp on about format, but this is and always will be a sideshow to the economics and quality issues.

    On a more positive note, it's good to appreciate our old cinema buildings for both the architectural and cultural heritage they represent. If you're not already aware of it there's a website that has a lot of info about cinemas past and present:

    [I'm not affiliated with the site in any way, take note BBC webblog moderators, I doubt that the site contravenes beeb policy, IMO]. While it has forums to discuss existing theaters, I used it to research the now departed theater I grew up across the street from the College in Swarthmore, and the art deco palace, the Earle Theater Philadelphia where my father worked his way through school as head usher. The Theatre Historical Society of America ( is another useful resource but of course includes non-cinematic venues, but they did see fit to publish their 1986 annual entirely about the Earle.

  • Comment number 43.

    Go on Mark!

    I got really angry when I heard about this. It's unbelievable and it just shows how warped this industry is. It's like they are forcing me not to go the cinema. If this goes ahead I'm seriously giving up cinema going. Piracy is becoming all the more attractive

  • Comment number 44.

    I DO like 3D when it's done WELL. Trouble is, that's seldom the case. I am also disgusted by the current price of 2D film anyway....and haven't been to the cinema in many months (which I miss doing).
    If I have to subsidise poor 3d with average 2d, I'll be going to the cinema even less than I am now.

  • Comment number 45.

    Amen to that. Here's the problem with 3D in a nutshell: When I remember back on every 3D film I've seen (Beowulf, Avatar, Tron Legacy, Street Dance 1 & 2), my recollection is of being sat in a cinema watching them. When I remember all the great 2D films, I remember the films themselves - being "in" the films. 3D can never work because it goes AGAINST the very suspension of disbelief that makes great cinema work.

  • Comment number 46.

    I agree completely, Mark. 3D is nothing more than a novelty, a fad that keeps being regurgitated by the studios every thrirty years. The studios et al are shooting themselves in their collective feet if they expect cinema-goers (dwindling in this day and age) to buy this concept.

  • Comment number 47.

    If the multiplexes start putting up their prices to even out the cost of 2D and 3D... then I'll just stop going. There are a couple of art/indie cinemas where I live, and I'm more than happy to patronise them (which I do regularly).

  • Comment number 48.

    The price of cinema is completely ridiculous now for a family Saturday outing. Particularly for kids movies (animations etc) I feel they should hand me out the free DVD upon leaving the multiplex. The amount of money I have given Pixar, Lucas Films, Disney over the years through merchandise (toys etc) I have absolutely no guilt popping along to my nearest BitTorrent host to grab the latest high quality fully surround sound release.

    Lower the tickets, lower the confectionery, make cinema an experience that everyone can afford and I will happily make a family event out of it every week.

    However in light of this news, it sounds like those days are getting further and further away.

  • Comment number 49.

    Studios moan about movie piracy, such price hikes are not going to help their crusade against piracy...

  • Comment number 50.

    It will of course not "create a hole in the budget", its just the greedy fools who want their sick profits.
    And when this nonsense doesn't work out, they will of course blame internet piracy, that old excuse for not selling stuff that nobody wants to buy.

  • Comment number 51.

    "kev86 wrote:...Apparently, they're also thinking of offering full meals in the cinemas soon."

    For many years in the Denver area we've had the Cinema Grill, a 3 (small) screen theatre with diner-style food. We have more than one restaurant/movie theatre in the Denver market.

    The quality of the food is poor, yet the demand, especially on family or date night on the weekends is strong. Presented films are about a month past their openings. The film price however is excellent: $4 except on Tuesdays when it's $2. A film and feeding a group of three people will cost $40 to $60. So, if you don't order food (it's not mandatory) it's a pretty good deal.

    In the end, the market (we) will determine the fate of 3D. Unless it's a 'must see' on a large screen film (Avatar, Prometheus etc 3D or 2D), I'll stay at home and wait for the 2D DVD, free from my library! - yea for socialism :).

    Investments in 3D infrastructure costs to film and fit a theatre are probably high; film-makers, distributors and theatre owners now have a vested interest in recouping costs by whatever means (2D/3D cost sharing, meals etc). So we'll have more 3D as long as people pay to go.

  • Comment number 52.

    To Quote Captain Blackadder: "That is the worst idea in the history of entertainment since Abraham Lincoln said, "I'm sick of kicking around the house all day, let's go take in a show."

    Have the heads of the studio not seen Avatar and its recycled plot or did they just see the money it made ?

    They should spend less on 3D and more on orginail screen plays, characters an decent actors in movies, or the furture is more films like John Carter and less films like Inception.

    Mark please say this was all an early April Fools.

  • Comment number 53.

    I understand your concerns, Mark, but look at the upside. 3D ticket sales have been declining for some time now. Defenders of 3D have been able to argue that this is simply because of higher ticket prices, and that, given the choice at the same price, the vast majority of audiences would prefer the 3D screening. If/when these new prices arrive, we will continue to see the majority choosing 2D, proving once and for all that 3D is a gimmick that audiences don't want. This move will only accelerate the inevitable death of 3D cinema.

  • Comment number 54.

    PS I hear you will be away on the 13th April, the week of the release of Cabin in the Woods. When are we going to hear your thoughts on this film?

  • Comment number 55.

    Remember the Doc's recent 'Looking Forward' (or title to that effect) blog in which he bigged-up certain upcoming films? Funny he made no mention of a certain Titan-inspired sci-fi movie - the first in three decades - from a director whose work he admires so much he's written two documentaries about. Was that because:

    a) he's a Luddite (it was shot in 3D) or

    b) he has inside knowledge of how good the 3D is and is bricking-it?

    Again, might I stress he has great admiration for the director in question. Odd, no...?

  • Comment number 56.

    If anything, 2D movies are already funding 3D, because their budgets are so much less than when they were films. Still, Dr. K, I can't sniff at 3D after seeing its application in "HUGO" and "CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS." Without film, 3D will be the only way for gifted directors to be visually adventurous in the flavorless digital landscape.

  • Comment number 57.

    Depressing, but not entirely surprising, given how cynical and exploitive the world has become.

    I haven't been to the cinema for at least a decade, and I don't really regret it, though there are a few films I wish I'd seen on the big screen. I have a vast collection of DVDs and I'm adding to it all the time; not one of them is in 3D. So 3D, do your worst! You cannot harm me! Eventually common sense will prevail and 3D will vanish as fast as it appeared, reduced to a mere memory.

  • Comment number 58.

    2 WEEKS of no Flag Ship Wittertainment!!! There better be (many) 2 hours of uncut blogs to hold us over.... Better still, how about scheduling a Google+ Hangout "On Air" Dr K can take global Q and As for fun!

  • Comment number 59.

    *Starts banging head against nearest wall*

  • Comment number 60.

    Completely agree with Myerla (comment 49)... surely the way to tackle piracy is NOT to make cinema-going prohibitively expensive? That's completely idiotic and will drive more people to pirated films. The piracy argument for introducing 3D is spurious, anyway. It's just a big rip-off exercise, where we, the punters, are the ones being ripped off. Capitalism gone mad!!!

  • Comment number 61.

    So this is how you stop PIRACY......I think it is widely accepted that if you allow people to view the medium in aformat that they want to watch at a SENSIBLE price then people will pay.. but to railroad the public into this with the cavalier attitude of " well whatcha gonna do? " not only shows the disdain they have for their audience but also their lack of awareness of the current financial meltdown that the world is going thru. I have 2 kids and we already have more than a dozen or so films picked out for this summer season which all will be in 2d and will still cost the best part of £50 a visit. Suffice to say we shall not be seeing the full dozen as we simply cannot afford this. I love film. I love film projected onto a silver screen with surround sound and the collective joy/fear/excitement or sorrow that films can allow you to experience but i do not need the highwaymans pistol rammed up my jacksie to part with more of my hard earned cash..

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    All I can is thank god for my local independent 3 screen family cinema. All tickets, all sessions $6 each and all in glorious 2D. I know I'll be seeing less mainstream muck at the large chain multiplex.

  • Comment number 64.

    When 3D was previously about, it was a fun sideshow. Now it seems 3D will kill cinema, we will all now wait for it to come out for rental first. It could also increase the number of illegal downloads not quell it like it was supposed to do.

  • Comment number 65.

    Just wondering... Did an equal amount of controversy pop up during the transition between silent and talking movies? I'm not a fan of 3D but I do wonder if the powers that be pro-actively, constructively dismiss silent movies in the same fashion? There must be some historical records on this...

  • Comment number 66.

    I’ve always been sceptical that this whole 3D thing was ever about making the trip to the cinema more immersive; but instead was about saving billions of dollars for the film industry.

    Old style 35mm prints are very expensive to make & distribute, a worldwide release to 4000 screens would cost around $6,000,000 for the cost of the prints alone, whereas the same film released digitally would cost around £600,000, further savings would be made on the cost of distributing the hard discs as opposed to large reels of 35mm; with the hundreds of releases each year it doesn’t take a mathematician to realise the industry can save billions of dollars annually.

    The problem they had was how to get cinemas to switch to digital; answer 3D

    Now 3D is not working they are looking at other ways to fund the charge over to digital!!!!


  • Comment number 67.

    And this is exactly the reason why I don't go to the cinema anymore.

    I used to go once a week but now the choice of films are rubbish, the price is over-inflated and it's not the awe-inspiring or exciting experience I used to remember.

    Nowadays, I wait for the films that I want to see to come out on blu-ray or dvd and then at least I can enjoy them as I want to and not have a process forced upon me.

    It's only a film I feel will have cinematic and emotional impact that I will traipse along to see - the last two being "Moon" and "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy", and the next being "Prometheus".

    As is, I do object to subsidising a format that has no nenefit to me - due to an eye condition 3D is wasted on me.

    Can I and the thousands of others who it is pointless to claim a subsidy on the 3D subsidy or are the majority of film studios and cinemas nowadays just money grabbing thieves...?

  • Comment number 68.

    Presumably cinemas which have no 3D projector will not be raising prices for this? If so, a campaign to get people to go to independent/smaller cinemas should be made much easier if the ticket prices are cheaper. Every cloud and all that...

  • Comment number 69.

    So, cinema ticket prices are going to be on the up so it's probably a good time to think about skipping a few outings to your local multi-mega-screen-o-plex, get online and order a couple of retro blu ray titles… Repo Man? Silent Running? or perhaps Tin Tin and Hugo are more your bag? You'll have a great night in with friends, get to keep the films and it'll no doubt work out cheaper.

    Oh, that was until the Government just decided to close the VAT loophole on low priced items on route via the channel islands. Bye bye, cheap online dvd's, cd's and blu ray's. All this and John Carter in the same month, it's not a good time for film lovers :-(

  • Comment number 70.

    …or even lovers of film.

  • Comment number 71.

    I won't pretend to know a great deal about the economics of cinema, but I'm still not sold on the artistic merits of 3D. Sorry, Martin Scorsese, but any sort of medium that requires constant reminders from big business that it is the future, despite a growing amount of evidence to the contrary, does not make it art; that's a money-making gimmick, plain and simple.

    Better yet, look at this way: pop-up books have been around for over a century, but is the publishing industry dominated by books of the pop-up variety? Or are the prices of 2D books based on the performance of their three-dimensional cousins? I don't think so.

  • Comment number 72.

    I was on the edge of my own Kermodian rant halfway through that.. but then I read the comments and feel that all which needs to be said on the matter is this; IT IS DISGUSTING AND ATROCIOUS TO THINK THIS IS ACCEPTABLE IN ANY WAY. Phew, basically Dr K, I wholeheartedly agree with everything you have said. Therefore failing to divert from my default settings, which is not something I consider to be a negative aspect of my personality.

  • Comment number 73.

    Money saving advise for Disney

    It is estimated to be around $75,000 per minute of footage to convert to 3D, so for a film like John Carpenter of France, (which is 132 minutes) it would cost around the $10 Million mark.

    Do not convert to 3D as no one likes it, and we can stay with 2D projection at the correct prices.

    There you go Disney, I just saved you $10 Million, cannot do anything about the other $190 Million though

  • Comment number 74.

    Yes, this is this is outrageous, but I also suspect it will be the end of 3D. People are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to the use of 3D, and the consensus seems to be that even those who are enthusiastic for it will only pay over the odds if the film itself is perceived as real 'spectacle'. (see '3D Movies at the Cinema', Ipsos MORI)

    It seems movie-bosses are trying to force 3D as the norm, but in truth this move will only push down cinema numbers further. Hopefully they will ditch the $200 million, 3D monsters and start making lots of smaller, cheaper and better films. Or it could mark the beginning of the home-cinema age, and the end of 'going to the movies'....

    Either way, its a good day for bit torrent!

  • Comment number 75.

    The problem with whole entertainment industry is the same; instead of using technology to open up more access to their content, they are completely focussed on using it to restrict access and drive prices up.

    3D is one example, it helps restrict piracy and they can charge a higher prices for it. But also look at the home movie market; the film companies are still reluctant to embrace digital delivery of films. You can only 'buy' digital copies of films from iTunes at ridiculously inflated prices, even more so if you want it in HD, and then it only works on one brand of device. The streaming rental services are OK, but content availability is very limited.

    The film companies should be using technological developments to increase access instead of restricting it.

  • Comment number 76.

    I have zero interest in the 3D films being made today but I'd probably pay to go to a cinema showing some of the 3D films made in the 1950s. I'd love to see, for example, Roy Ward Baker's "Inferno" from 1953, starring Robert Ryan and Rhonda Fleming.

  • Comment number 77.

    This practice has been happening at some cinemas where "art" films- the one I saw was Girl with a dragon tattoo was only available in a small screen with fancy chairs for an additional £5, while Clash of the Titans was on two (I imagine fairly empty) screens down the corridor for a lot less, hardly a level playing field for judging the success of foreign film. The fancy chair did not compensate for the rage I felt at being ripped off! Anyone got similar experiences?

  • Comment number 78.

    it’s obvious that film lovers like dr K and the commenter’s on here find both 3D and the movies in 3D terrible and this price rise idea appalling (and i agree) BUT if a survey was done on who spends most at the box office and in the cinema i’m sure it would point to teenagers and twenty-something’s and they LOVE 3D and rubbish like Wrath of the Titans. They are the ones with the most disposable income and i’m sure wouldn’t care less about a price increase when out on a sat night with their friends

  • Comment number 79.

    And the next step will be to increase the price of 2D for those of us who continue to prefer seeing films (rather than the dim fog of 3D). The irony is that I, for one, would pay a 2D premium.

    Thought: If current audiences are expected to pay more for the 3D 'experience' why didn't cinemas showing 'The Artist' reduce prices to compensate viewers for the lack of colour and sound?

  • Comment number 80.

    I work at a cinema, and probably have to deal with customer complaints about prices every single day.
    There was one person who watched 3D John Carter without the glasses because they refused to pay an extra pound.
    I don't think the general public will react well to prices for general tickets rising again anytime soon.

    As for old cinemas, there's a great website called which has a collection of great photos of old cinemas, including ones which closed down years ago.

  • Comment number 81.

    I don't understand what this cinema guy is complaining about - I'm sure he thinks of himself as a good little capitalist, and this is market forces in action: the market does not want 3D, the market wants 2D (and cheaper prices, but then any market always wants that). He should obey the will of the market!

    I bet if you suggested to him that his idea for the redistribution of wealth from 2D to 3D made him a socialist, he'd have some kind of seizure.

    (Apologies if this gets posted twice - the comment box is acting up)

  • Comment number 82.

    when 3D movies came along, there was a boom in digital at the same time. That means most cinemas have lots of digital projectors. That makes distribution of movies cheaper (no expensive film to duplicate and ship around) and means they can be shown closer to the US screenings (we don't need to wait for their used reels to be available), thus potentially reducing piracy. Both of those things should be more than enough to offset increasing the ticket prices.

  • Comment number 83.

    Short movies subsidise longer ones though, don't they? I just span up LOTR again, realising I hadn't seen it on my new big telly, and the first section was quite long, longer than say, 'Apollo 18', and I have disc #2 to watch yet. I don't recall paying extra to watch epic movies at the cinema, so short films can make cinemas more money by passing through more bums on seats, hence they subsidise our epics, so one film making another more financially viable is quite established already.

  • Comment number 84.

    Doesn't any one see? If there is not 3d cinema, who is going to buy 3d blueray players and tv's? It's about dvd income not cinema It's win win for Sony. As for retrofitting films such as Titanic, It costs less than producing a new movie, little risk, therefore guaranteed returns! Then add the 3d dvd sales Kerrrrrching, money for old rope.

  • Comment number 85.

    i actually love 3d. i dont go to the cinema anymore though because my nearest art deco odeon closed down a few years ago, my nearest cinema is now in another town, and it costs £10(!) to see a film. Vue have also increased wednesday prices to peak, presumably to make more money from the orange wednesday crowd. honestly? i dont ever see me visiting a cinema again. if i wait 3mths i can get it on dvd for the same price.


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