Director Christopher Nolan Explains Why The Dark Knight Rises Will Not Be in 3-D

Posted on 09 Jan 2011 at 08:08AM
Director Christopher Nolan Explains Why The Dark Knight Rises Will Not Be in 3-D

Director Christopher Nolan Explains Why The Dark Knight Rises Will Not Be in 3-D

... operatic movies, dealing with larger-than-life characters. The intimacy that the 3D parallax illusion imposes isn't really compatible with that. ...

DECATUR - Avon Theatre operator Skip Huston made the decision innApril to embrace the national trend of 3D movies by installing 3Dncameras in the Avon's Twins theaters just in time for the releasenof "Clash of the Titans." Four 3D releases and seven months later,nhowever, and those cameras have gone back to their supplier, andnHuston admits the Avon 3D experiment was a dud.

"I sold the cameras back and told them ‘this is more trouble thannit's worth,'" the longtime theater opera-tor said. "I do regretnthat we ever did it. The Avon is really not the kind of place forn3D movies. The clientele is not the kind of audience for the moviesnthat are usually released in 3D."

Huston credited the theater's "art-house roots" and "upscalencommercial crowd" with making it a less than ideal venue to screennbombastic 3D blockbusters like "Clash of the Titans" or "Cats andnDogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore," two films the theater tooknsignificant losses on due to underwhelming crowd response.

"Too many times the audiences would turn up their noses when I saidn3D, and we just didn't do good busi-ness on the 3D pictures wenshowed," Huston explained. "We had four 3D movies, but only didngood business on ‘Despicable Me,' and I believe it would have donenjust as well if we had screened it in 2D instead."

The Avon's other 3D screening, "Legend of the Guardians: The Owlsnof Ga'Hoole," enjoyed a strong open-ing weekend on the back of anpromotion that brought Illinois Raptor Center owls to the theater,nbut trailed off quickly in the following weeks, once again leadingnHuston to believe 3D would not carry its weight at the Avon.

Another significant factor in the problem, however, was annoversight by Huston on the true cost of acquir-ing 3D movie prints.nChoosing not to add a surcharge for 3D films as comparable movientheaters did, The Avon was at an immediate disadvantage due tonpremiums from distributors on the films themselves.

"That was something we never really thought about back when wenbrought in the 3D films - the glasses are free, but there arenpremiums on the 3D prints," Huston said. "The theaters pretty muchnhave to charge a surcharge to make their money back. We didn'tnrealize how much it was costing us until after the summer was over.nHere we were all summer long not charging 3D surcharges for ournfilms, and then the big, fat fees hit us."

For the Avon's Technicolor 3D system, there was a $2,000 premiumnplaced on top of the regular price of all 3D films acquired bynHuston. This was simply too deep a hole for most films to dig outnof.

The ill-fated move to 3D was spurred by a desire to keep up withncompetition, but Huston has long be-lieved the current wave of 3Dnpopularity will recede in the same way previous incarnations in then1950s and 1980s did. He fondly recalled 3D gimmick movies ofnyesteryear such as 1953's "It Came from Outer Space," but willncontinue to view the medium of 3D film as better suited for anspecial occasion instead of everyday viewing.

"I think 3D should have been used as an event, and that it losesnits special appeal and practicality if all movies are coming out inn3D," he said. "I do believe that there is already evidence of somenof the major studios pulling back on 3D a bit, like with the nextnHarry Potter movie or the next Batman movie. Every-body was lookingnfor the next ‘Avatar,' but there's not going to be a ‘next Avatar'nuntil James Cameron makes another one."

With the sale of its equipment, The Avon will withdraw from futuren3D competition and focus on business as usual, as it has undernHuston since 1999.

"Having 3D equipment is fine for some theaters," he admitted. "Inguess there are still people out there who are forking over thendollars for 3D, but more and more the people I talk to say theyndon't really care whether a movie is in 3D or 2D. A lot of timesnyou just want to settle back and watch a good movie."

jvorel@herald-review.com|421-7973

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