Movie Goers Buy into the 3D Hype at the Box Office

Paul Lilly

Bad news if you're hoping this whole 3D fad will hurry up and run its course, it looks like 3D is here to stay. Not only is 3D at the box office showing no signs of slowing down, research shows that revenue generated by 3D flicks nearly doubled in 2010 in North America, which was helped in part by movie theaters upgrading their screens to accommodate 3D motion pictures. In other words, consumers are voting with their wallets, and they're voting 'Yea.'

"Almost 5,000 new 3D screens were upgraded in North American cinemas in 2010, an annual record, for a total 3D screen count excess of 8,450, up from 3,548 in 2009," said Charlotte Jones , senior analyst, cinema, for IHS iSuppli. "Furthermore, 25 major feature films were released in 3D in North American cinemas in 2010, an all-time high primed to rise further to around 40 major movie releases in 3D for 2011. Of these 3D movies in 2010, 18 ranked among the Top 100 films in terms of revenue generation for the year, and five of the 3D titles made the Top 10."

It's all about the numbers, and so far movie studios like how things are adding up. North American 3D movie theater revenue jumped to $2.2 billion in 2010, up 85 percent from $1.2 billion in 2009. Seemingly overnight, the re-emergence of 3D has become a multi-billion industry, and with movie theaters better equipped to handle 3D films, it looks like this is one fad that just isn't going away.

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