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В кинотеатрах IMAX станет меньше 3D-фильмов

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Корпорация IMAX отчиталась о финансовых результатах второго квартала 2017 года. Мировые сборы в кинотеатрах IMAX достигли 268,9 миллионов долларов, что немногим выше прошлогодних показателей за аналогичный период — 260,2 миллиона. Однако в конечном итоге поводов для радости нет: годом ранее за второй квартал компания получила 6 миллионов долларов чистой выручки, а в этом году потеряла 1,7 миллиона.

В результате доходы IMAX оказались ниже прогнозируемых, год назад второй квартал принес более 90 миллионов, в этом году доходы едва превысили 87 миллионов.
В качестве основной причины снижения доходов называется массовое падение интереса к 3D-фильмам в США. Не принесли ожидаемых доходов высокобюджетные фильмы, на которые прокатчики возлагали большие надежды: «Меч короля Артура», «Пираты Карибского моря: Мертвецы не рассказывают сказки» и другие. В результате корпорации IMAX пришлось уволить около сотни сотрудников, чтобы уравнять расходы с доходами.
В связи с изменением зрительского интереса корпорация перестроит свою стратегию проката. Теперь преимущество будут получать классические фильмы, не требующие дополнительных приспособлений. Некоторые проекты (к примеру, «Бегущий по лезвию — 2049») вообще не выйдут в 3D-формате в кинотеатрах IMAX.
Вдобавок корпорация намерена сделать ставку на разнообразие и частую смену репертуара. Большинство фильмов будут демонстрироваться в течение недели. Исключение сделают лишь для картин, изначально снимавшихся на камеру IMAX, таких как «Дюнкерк» и «Мстители: Война бесконечности».

IMAX is Starting to Ditch 3D, Citing ‘Clear Preference’ for 2D

3D movies are a source of controversy. They require clunky glasses that darken the screen, give you vertigo, and make you look like a dork. Not to mention they’re pricey — 3D ticket prices add about $4 onto already inflated movie ticket prices. Pair that with an IMAX price, and there go your groceries for the week.

So it’s a relief that IMAX is starting to move away from 3D movie screenings, catching on to a movement against 3D that has been long overdue.

If you went to see one of the biggest IMAX releases last weekend, you might have noticed something odd. Dunkirk was available in both IMAX and 70mm screenings, but none of them were in 3D.

This was part of IMAX’s movement away from the third dimension, in a strategy to rejuvenate business after disappointing second-quarter earnings.

IMAX Entertainment CEO Greg Foster said in an earnings call that Dunkirk‘s success and the company’s analysis of its earnings prove that consumers North America have a “clear preference” for digital 2D versions of Hollywood movies:

“It’s worth noting ‘Dunkirk’ was showing exclusively in 2-D, which consumers have shown a strong preference for… The demand for 2D films is starting to exceed 3D in North America.”

Dunkirk, which was filmed on IMAX cameras, grossed more than $50 million domestically during its opening weekend, with its IMAX screenings drawing in an impressive $11.7 million.

Continuing their practice of moving away from 3D and toward 2D, IMAX ‘s domestic release for Blade Runner 2049 in October will only be shown in 2D.

IMAX also plans to play movies for only one week on its screens to drive more revenue from its theaters.

“We intend to shorten the length of play that we allot many films, which helps keep the content on screen fresh,” IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond said.

It’s a smart move for IMAX, because 3D is just not profitable — or cool — anymore. As someone who frequently wears glasses to the movies, it is not a comfortable experience to wear the 3D glasses on top of my own, and I dislike how much darker the movie becomes once you don those glasses. And it honestly doesn’t feel like it adds much to the experience, save for a gimmicky object/person thrown at the screen. The technology might exist, but that doesn’t mean you have to use it.

And IMAX is not the only company to see the writing on the wall for 3D, television manufacturers have completely stopped releasing 3D sets in 2017, and most directors are so unwilling to shoot with 3D cameras that their films are converted in post-production, creating a lackluster 3D experience.

But don’t worry, for those who love going into the theater with clunky eyewear, there’s hope for you yet. IMAX has recently opened its first virtual reality centers, where you can get an immersive VR experience by strapping into high-end rigs like the HTC Vive. Or you can see a character do the same in Ready Player One.



IMAX Is Moving Away From 3-D: ‘Consumers Have Shown a Strong Preference’

IMAX thinks it’s time to ditch the plastic glasses.

After releasing disappointing second-quarter earnings late Wednesday, IMAX Entertainment CEO Greg Foster said in a conference call the giant-screen company would cut back on 3-D releases to rejuvenate the business.

Foster cited the strong early performance of Christopher Nolan’s WWII drama “Dunkirk,” which was filmed on IMAX cameras and generated nearly a quarter of its box office gross from IMAX theaters its opening weekend.


And it was not shot in 3-D — unusual for IMAX’s recent tentpole releases, but something Foster said to expect a lot more of going forward.

“It’s worth noting ‘Dunkirk’ was showing exclusively in 2-D, which consumers have shown a strong preference for,” Foster said on the call.

“Dunkirk”  grossed more than $50 million domesticcally after its July 21 opening — impressive for a period war movie that does not involve the United States.

“We’re looking forward to playing fewer 3-D versions of films and more 2-D versions,” Foster added, mentioning that Warner Bros. “Blade Runner 2049” will be shown in 2-D exclusively at IMAX theaters when it opens in October.

As it moves to ditch 3-D, IMAX has recently opened its first virtual reality centers, where people strap on eyewear of a different kind to jump into immersive VR experiences using high-end rigs like the HTC Vive. And while Hollywood produced a record 68 3-D releases last year, the MPAA reported an 8 percent drop in attendance to those films.

All entertainment goggles are apparently not created equal.



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