What if there are too many 3D movies and not enough 3D theaters? That’s the problem facing the movie industry this holiday season, as six different 3D movies will be fighting for the attention of moviegoers and the kindness of theater owners. Although the number of screens equipped to handle 3D movies has more than doubled in the last year (It’s up 122% from 3,349 to 7,441 across the US as of the end of October), that’s still a worryingly low number for movie studios hoping to push their product using the format.
This isn’t the first time that studios have had this worry – Last year, 20th Century Fox and Disney were faced with a similar crunch when both Avatar and A Christmas Carol bumped heads when looking for 3D screens during the holiday season – but as audience acceptance of 3D has grown, so has the expectation that 3D can drive a mediocre movie to success. With the possibility that some movies will miss their 3D slot dependent on the success of other releases and audience demand (Will that many people really want Yogi Bear instead of Tron: Legacy, for example? Both are released on the same day, a first for 3D), the next six weeks are going to put a heavier burden on theater owners to correctly guess the demands of their audience… and also answer whether audiences would rather see a movie in 2D or wait for the next available chance to see it in 3D.
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