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3D losing momentum in North American theaters

Profits from 3D movies dropped by 18 percent in North America in 2011, according to a study by PwC.

hollywood Updated: Sep 18, 2012 14:02 IST

What happened to the predicted 3D revolution spurred in 2009 by James Cameron's Avatar? "3D is still growing, albeit in a mitigated way," is PwC's tepid conclusion.

North American 3D film profits dropped by 18 percent last year compared to 2010's figures. The 3D-ready US and Canadian markets struggle to cope with consumer fatigue: "Consumers criticize uneven content quality and overpriced tickets," according to PwC.

On a global scale, 3D is expanding as theaters renew their infrastructure to accommodate digital technology -- especially in China, which is a driving force for 3D technology as it does not impose a cap on the number of 3D screenings.

Remakes and blockbusters
The young market for 3D movies is highly dependent on the number of films available, according to PwC. In North America, the number of films on offer is evening out: 39 films in 3D are announced for 2012, only one more than last year.

Most of the 3D movies are blockbusters. Among the 20 biggest box-office hits in North America, half were screened in 3D. Hollywood's studios are becoming increasingly risk averse, PwC explains, as more than a fifth of 2012's 3D movies are remakes of a old box-office hits.

The big studios churn out 3D-remastered classics such Titanic and Finding Nemo, as well as new films by notable 3D enthusiasts among Hollywood's elite directors, such as Peter Jackson, Martin Scorsese and of course James Cameron.