Comments from analyst Richard Greenfield, who argued that Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' low 3D ticket sales spell the beginning of the end for 3D movies, have been heartily rebuffed by Digital Cinema Media (DCM).
You'll probably recognise DCM, whose idents run at the beginning of pretty much any movie shown in the UK's major cinema chains. The company sells cinema advertising with Odeon, Cineworld, Vue, Picturehouse and IMAX cinemas and relies on keeping its finger on the UK's cinematic pulse.
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Maybe it was terrible story what dun it
Greenfield looked to the relatively low ratio of 3D to 2D ticket sales for Pirates as evidence for the decline.
But Jeremy Playle, Sales Director at DCM, told TechRadar, "Despite premium ticket prices, 3D films continue to draw larger crowds than their 2D versions. As we have seen with Pirates of the Caribbean 4, people are voting with their feet with UK admissions to 3D screenings 34 per cent higher than 2D screenings."
Playle also takes issue with the idea that children are loathe to don the 3D specs:
"Kids in particular love 3D films. I know this anecdotally from my own children but also from research by the Cinema Advertising Association which shows 61 per cent of children cinemagoers (under 15s) are more likely to see a film at the cinema if shown in 3D, that's 37 per cent more likely than the average UK cinemagoer."
Greenfield concluded that Hollywood should ditch 3D and concentrate on making more appealing films with strong narratives, something that no cinephile is going to argue with.
"Of course cinema goers are incredibly discerning, so it is not enough to simply have fantastic 3D visual effects. A films success also depends on a compelling storyline which 3D can really enhance and build on to create a really rewarding viewing experience," said Playle.
All in all, 3D has been and continues to be a good thing for the British cinema-going public, he concluded: "The explosion of 3D films has created a real boost to the UK film industry. In 2010 annual admissions were the 4th highest of all time!"