Are American audiences quietly realizing that they don’t actually care about 3D? Hidden in the box office returns for this weekend’s Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a clue that, yes, that might actually be happening after all. Maybe.
Deadline is blaming what was said to be an underwhelming – although only in context of what the studio was predicting, it should be added; the movie still topped the box office easily and is already the highest opener both globally and domestically this year – opening weekend for the new Pirates movie on what an anonymous Disney executive is calling “very soft” 3D numbers in the US and Canada (IMAX screenings were apparently “very solid” in comparison). The movie grossed a projected $90.1 million this weekend, against predictions closer to $100 million, and significantly down from the previous installment’s $114 million opening weekend.
Whether 3D is really to blame remains to be seen; Thor, for example, outgrossed expectations in its opening weekend, but perhaps that’s more down to the content of the film, rather than its delivery system. A better test may come in the form of Transformers: Dark of The Moon, which like Pirates is a known (and somewhat tired) franchise returning from a critically-panned previous installment with promises of all-new and all-better, not to mention all-3D. But if that, too, underperforms with 3D grosses, what’s currently a curiosity might end up being bad news for everyone in the movie industry that’s been pinning their hopes on 3D… which is pretty much everyone in the movie industry.
More on Techland: