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3-DCGIFeature Film

“KFP 2” Stumbles in US, Audiences Avoid 3-D Version

Kung Fu Panda 2

Shares of DreamWorks Animation dropped today to their lowest point in two years, and equally significant, shares of 3D hardware firm Real D plummeted over 12% (as of this writing).

The stock market was reacting to the weak domestic debut of Kung Fu Panda 2. The film’s three-day weekend gross of $47.8 million compared unfavorably to the original Kung Fu Panda‘s $60.2 million opening in 2008. The decline in attendance was even more pronounced: 6.1 million viewers for the sequel versus 8.4 million viewers for the original, or a loss of over one-third of the audience.

Only 45% of the audience opted to pay the higher 3-D ticket premium. According to Box Office Mojo: “A 3D share in the 60 percent range would have been healthy. That’s what Shrek Forever After had last May with fewer 3D venues.” The news is especially troubling for DreamWorks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg who has touted 3-D as the most revolutionary advance in filmmaking since sound and color and whose studio now makes films exclusively in 3-D. This time around, the majority of viewers chose to forgo the revolution to save a few dollars.

Kung Fu Panda 2 ended up with $68 million over the five-day holiday period, which looks especially weak compared to the four-day $61 million Memorial Day gross of Madagascar back in 2005. The bright spot: Kung Fu Panda 2 posted strong openings around the world, banking $57 million in its opening weekend from eleven countries, including powerful starts in China and Russia, and opening weekend records for an animated feature in South Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and India.

  • It will be amusing if this iteration of the 3D fad dies like it did all those other times.

    Too bad about the US box office, though. KFP #1 was very good.

    • 2011 Adult

      How long did it take for 3D to fall in the 50’s?

      • FleischerFan

        Less than 2 years.

    • Jason

      Now, most of the movies (i don’t want to say all) wants to use the 3D… Sci-fi, horror, cartoon, live action, etc. I hate those movies, i hate to pay more money to watch a movie that in principle I would not pay to see it even in 2D, but I have to because my friends like going to see movies in 3D.

      I need more friends to hang out!!

  • Azarf

    It’s a deep depression.

    • B.Bonny

      Then how do you explain 2D mediocre sequel “Hangover 2” pulling down $83 million over the weekend? The only thing deeply depressing here is how an extra 20 percent over the normal ticket price disappeared from my wallet to watch KFP2.

      • Hangover 2 appeals to more people than a cartoon, even tho, cartoons are superior.

      • Hal

        As IWATCHSTUFF said re: Hangover 2, “What a sad state when, on a beautiful holiday weekend, everyone would rather just sit inside watching this movie than go out and get super wasted themselves.”

      • The Gee

        I doubt…or hope…that the bulk of the audiences who probably took their kids to see KFP 2 didn’t flip a coin to decide between that movie or the Hangover sequel.

        There will be those who see both movies but for some adults it makes more sense to pay less and choose the Must See movie. That’s the one everyone will be talking about.

  • Mike

    I’m sort of glad….though it’s highly unlikely, maybe Dreamworks’ll think a bit more before shoving out Kung Fu Pandas 3-6 and let one of its better franchises keep a shred of dignity for once.

  • Kyrstin

    I went and saw KFP2 on Friday, and it killed me to pay $11 to see the 2D film; I can’t imagine forking over the extra cash to see it in 3D. My family went and saw Tangled in 3D, and it cost $90 for the seven of us. It’s just not worth it, if you ask me.

    • Pedro Nakama

      “it cost $90 for the seven of us.”

      That’s cheap. I paid $70 for four people.

      • …..

        big whoop pedro. its expensive either way.

    • hitface

      wow, i must be lucky, its only seven bucks where I am..

  • Grant Beaudette

    Now that 3D inflated box office numbers are the norm, it’s quite the crash to see them come back to earth.

    I can’t argue against the trend. I saw KFP 2 twice, but wasn’t about to shell out for 3D.

  • What a surprise, people don’t like having pixels thrown in their faces through uncomfortable light/colour dimming glasses.
    I agree with Frank, it will be kind of bittersweet when the fad eventually peters out, and the US box office will lose even more.

  • I go out of my way to avoid 3D. This weekend I went to see the Pirates movie and specifically searched for a theater near me (Battery Park NYC) that has a 2D iteration. Flixster showed that the Battery Park Regal had a single 2D screen showing of Pirates. When we arrived at the theater I was dismayed to see that there was no 2D option on the board that displays the screens. I went to ask about this only to be told that there was in fact a 2D screening and it just wasn’t being placed on the board. That said I think they even try to manipulate the casual screener into paying $4 more to see 3D. I skip it because 3D works like crap when you wear glasses.

    • Ergo

      That’s downright evil.

    • But I agree, I ussually wear glasses, and having glasses over glasses is annoying, also, I don’t know if it’s just me, but I don’t appreciate movies as much on 3D, I think they look darker, and I can’t focus very well on the characters.

      Also, extra money, oh noes.

    • 2011 Adult


      That’s beyond marketing ploys, and just becomes personal.

  • Trevor

    Has anyone else been noticing a trend in opening night screenings lately?
    If you want to go see a movie opening night, they only list the 3D screenings up until the night of. Then the non-3D shows are posted. It’s happened to me with Thor, Pirates, and now KFP2.

  • I was one of them going for the 2D version specifically, but the screen ended up being dim as well and the sound was low. I want to see it again (because it’s great), but I will have to look for a better theater that has it in 2D.

    The way 2 ended was great and I can’t wait for the Panda 3. I want to know more about the characters. Bring it!

    • AltredEgo

      Depending on your theatre, AMC admitted that sometimes they don’t always change the projector lens between 3d shows and 2d shows. So that they are showing 2d movies with the light way down because it’s apparently a huge ordeal to change the 3d lens back to a normal 2d lens which results in 2d pictures being shown much darker than the filmmakers intended.

      Here’s the full article on the problem which is becoming more widespread all the time:


      That might not be the case for you, but it’s definitely something that moviegoers should consider.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        If only they went back to 35mm again. :-(

    • JMatte

      Same happened to me: wanted to see it in 2D, without the glasses, expecting nice clear image and ended up with scenes looking so dark, I was squinting. The sound was way low too.
      As someone below commented, it could be a case of the theater not adjusting the lens…and turning up the volume.

  • Snixtor

    “touted 3-D as the most revolutionary advance in filmmaking since sound and color”

    More like the most revolutionary advance in box-office pricing since the snack bar.

    Even at equal pricing though, I’d prefer to avoid it.

  • Nipplenuts McGurk

    I’ll defend Kung-Fu Panda 2’s 3D. I think it looked great! However, it really depends on the theater you’re seeing it at. I went to see KFP2 at a local theater, and it had double image and was out of focus in the corners…. absolutely unacceptable. I complained to management, and they asked if I was wearing the glasses…LOL. I got a refund and went to another theater….looked great there!

  • Fred

    Yikes! I bet they didn’t see that one coming.

  • Brandon Pierce

    Of course Katzenberg’s just gonna look at this and think, “Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhh people must not like Kung Fu Panda. Well, I guess there won’t be a uh….. what number comes after 2? Duhhhhhh…” **drools**

    • Obviously a guy who can’t count to two isn’t making millions of dollars and partly responsible for well known disney classics like “Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast”… what do you know!

      • Ergo

        You’d be surprised.

      • Brandon Pierce

        My point was more that Katzenberg will refuse to admit that KFP2’s failure was because of people not wanting to see it in 3D, and preferring to see it as the movie just being horrible (which it probably is, but that’s beside the point).

      • Ergo

        Maybe you were too subtle? ;)

      • JJ

        Kung Fu Panda 2’s failure wasn’t because people chose 2d over 3d. If that was the case then attendance wouldnt have dropped to 3/4 of KFP1’s. If it was a 2d over 3d situation, the gross would have dropped but the attendance would have stayed strong, and probably grown.

        What killed KFP2 is the average moviegoer deciding that Hangover 2 looked like the better movie. Then, on TOP of that, Hangover was cheaper than KFP2’s 3d prices. I think Hanna (a few posts below) is pretty dead on about why people chose Hangover instead of KFP2… that staring contest trailer was really awful.

        What’s even worse for KFP2 is that it doesnt have the chance to show legs like HTTYD. Dragon had weeks and weeks with no competition. Cars 2 is coming out in 3 weeks and that’s going to slaughter whatever business KFP2 is able to do.

        And, for the record, I thought KFP 2 was really good, and it’s a shame that it bombed. I always like seeing studios rewarded for making good movies.

      • A $68 million opening is a bomb? So sad… People expect more and more and more…

      • heykidz

        Yeah I would agree with Jean-Denis – if a $68 mil opening is a bomb, then we have some problems. Its been a soft year for animation overall anyway.

      • The Gee

        Well, the take is a good deal of money but until it covers production plus marketing while it is in theaters then it doesn’t “seem” as successful as possible.

        Somehow, most movies supposedly make the costs back eventually, if only through the cumulative grosses of all the studio’s releases. The other revenue comes from TV deals as much as from DVD sales. There are write-offs, of course. When you realize a good chunk of how the business works is based on accounting more than the other things that go into making successful business decisions it is disheartening. But, hey. It bounces that way.

        Anyhow, like someone else pointed out, this year hasn’t been great overall for Box Office. With smaller audiences, that premium pricing for 3D covers the shortfall for studios, distributors and theaters…or it looks like it does.

        Anyway, as of now, there are three animated features in the top ten. There’s still 7 months to go on the year, too.

  • I won’t lie, when I saw that none of the theaters within driving distance was showing Kung Fu Panda 2 in 2D; so I decided to go see “Hangover Part 2” with my friends. No disrespect to the technology that’s being boasted, but me going to the movies now has been time to spend with my family and friends. With college I can’t afford to pay that much for something I can see cheaper!

  • C. Stulz

    One can only hope that maybe if this trend continues theater owners will realize that people really can’t afford the high ticket prices anymore and we’ll start to see the prices come down and audience rates go up!

  • Hannah

    That’s disappointing, I really liked the first movie. Can I blame it on those KUNG FU STARING CONTEST ads?

  • In terms of tickets sold, actual attendance is at 1996 levels and dropping. The increased box office is because ticket prices went up faster than inflation. Soon only the very fortunate will be able to afford to attend theaters. That could cause some odder-than-usual movies to be made, catering to the remaining few people with disposable income.

    Movie Ticket Sales Last Year Lowest Since 1996

    • Elan


      • Steve Gattuso

        People pirate stuff because it costs so damn much to use a theater. First there’s the ticket price, then the snack bar, and finally the bombardment of ads you get before the lights even dim. Then you get subjected to a sub-par experience because of things like the failure to swap lenses mentioned above, badly adjusted sound systems, and patrons acting like jizzbags with no attempt by the theater to police matters.

        There’s some films for which the bigger screen & sound do make sense. But for most movies I can enjoy it just as much (if not more) renting the thing or downloading it off a pirate site. And any time a superior experience can be provided for a lower cost, the money goes that way.

      • Ryoku78

        Why not just buy the DVD over pirating a film?

  • Kevin H.

    I think a lot of this has to do with the competition of Hangover 2…that shizz did gangbusters.

    • Bud

      Totally different audiences. Hangover for adults, Kung Foo Panda 2 for children.

    • 2011 Adult

      Both Hangovers are rated R. A PG rated movie is competing with an R movie?!

      • Kevin H.

        I don’t know what your age is, but I’m guessing that you’re not a kid…Kung Fu Panda 2, like most animated movies, is targeted at a general audience…

      • NC

        Yes but a general audience film might as well be called a 0- 12 year old film. you don’t see adults rushing to go see G rated films. Adults treat it like a toy store if you’re there and you don’t have a kid you might as well register yourself as a sexual predator.

  • Scarabim

    Part of the problem is the theaters themselves, IMO. It’s not special to go to the movies anymore. With an big-screen HDTV, you can get a better picture and sound at home, and with much more comfort. The movie theaters are often dirty, unattractive and uncomfortable. Movie palaces they’re not, not anymore. This past weekend I saw KFP2 in a lackluster theater where I sat in an oblong box with a dirty screen at one end. This was worth $9 bucks? To hell with it. Next time there’s a new movie I want to see, I’ll wait a couple of months until it comes out on Netflix and see it via my Roku. It’ll be much cheaper, more comfortable and more convenient.

  • I’m one of those persons who avoid 3D, I think it’s just not worth the extra price.

    Also I haven’t watched the movie, but I loved Kung Fu Panda so much that it’s one of those movies I didn’t want to have a second part because I’m afraid it might ruin it. Still, money is what matters….

    • droosan

      I re-watched KUNG-FU PANDA on Blu-ray immediately before seeing KFP2 .. the sequel complements it amazingly well; in fact, it’s hard to imagine this chapter’s storyline wasn’t already ‘in-mind’ while the first movie was being made.

  • You know where 3D worked best, was at the New Star Tours ride in Disneyland. That shit was awesome and it worked, but hell I couldn’t imagine seeing a full 2 hour movie that way.

    And where does the Nintendo 3DS stand in all of this? I’ve only played the system in Target as a demo and the 3D hurts my eyes, and it doesn’t even work in all angles.

    • Nipplenuts McGurk

      You’re not supposed to view it from all angles…you look straight ahead at it…there’s a sweet spot. …and it’s FANTASTIC. Great 3D, no glasses. Sounds like you weren’t using it right. If you’re in the sweet spot and it hurts your eyes, there’s a slider on the right of the 3D screen that allows you to dial down the effect. When first playing w/ the 3DS, I think the half-way point is good.

      • I have to inform you that certain games are programed to where you have to rotate the DS system around so you can see things on screen in a different angle. This means that you CAN’T always look directly into the screen for the 3D. And while being able to turn it off and on is a plus, kids will be flicking that thing off and on more times then a parent can pay attention to. This in return will cause some damage to the eyes at a very young start.

        In the end I’d prefer the them to have just the advanced features without the 3D at all.

      • Nipplenuts McGurk

        I own a 3DS. For games where you have to move around, you don’t rotate the system so you view it from a different angle, you move WITH the system to see what you need to see while remaining in the 3D sweet spot. :)

    • Frank Ziegler

      I agree Annie. The Disney Theme parks seem to “get” 3D just fine. Honey I shrunk The Audience, Muppets, Phantasmic etc. All amazing looking, but when it comes to using 3D in a feature film the first thing out of their mouths is “We don’t want to have anything sticking out, in to the audience, we just want a greater sense of depth.” Well then hire a better cinematographer and save your money on the 3D.

  • Ethan

    You’re amazing with numbers, every single time.

    I understand that you used madagascar as a reference because it opened on memorial weekend, but it made 64M in 5 days, KFP’s 68M for 5 days was still the highest in history for an animated film opening memorial weekend. I don’t get it, you were so happy Tangled also made 68M in 5 days last year, doesn’t Tangled box office “looked especially weak” too? No it didn’t. Ice Age 3 made 66M in 5 days, and ended up with 900M worldwide, especially weak indeed!

    John Lasseter said this about 3D (movieweb interview):

    “Oh, I love 3D, are you kidding? We’re doing all of our computer-animated films at the Disney Studio in 3D. Bolt was in 3D. You know, Disney has done two before I got here. They did two movies, Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons. At Pixar we’re doing all of our films in 3D now, which I love. I’ve always loved 3D. I have a collection of 3D cameras and I took a lot of 3D photography, mostly in the ’80s, and even in 1988, when I got married to my wife Nancy, we took our wedding pictures in 3D, which was really cool.”

    So… what’s your next book about?

  • wgan

    see, you can’t fool people all the time with that ‘3d’ crap

  • Hal

    Honestly, KFP2 had one of the absolute WORST marketing campaigns I’ve seen recently, from its Superbowl spot to its trailer. They barely touched on the plot and villain instead selling the movie as more of the same Jack Black shtick. It apparently has Gary Oldman as an evil Peacock Lord? You don’t hide something that cool in one shot of the trailer, or the fact there’s what sounds (from those I know who’ve actually seen it) like a darker, more interesting story. Hell, just remind me that Lo Pan plays Panda’s goose dad – I love James Hong and he was incredibly likeable the first time around! Perhaps this (and PIRATES 4’s mediocre opening) is a lesson that coasting on a previous audience’s goodwill is not going to work.

  • ferp

    Here’s a goddamn clue: LOWER 3D TICKET PRICES. It shouldn’t cost a family of four people buying tickets, and snacks over $100 dollars just to watch a movie.

  • Hw To Train Your Dragon was great in 3D. Tangled and Pirates of the Caribbean were horrible in 3D. Kung Fu 2 was not worth the extra $5 in New York. Since they don’t show it in 2D in Manhattan, I’ll wait.

    • A Long Time Observer

      Believe it or not, I checked two Manhattan theaters and Kung-Fu Panda 2 was playing in 2D for what looked like ALL THE SCREENINGS. Pirates had 3D, 3D, even IMAX 3D with perhaps one 3D screen for Panda. And these were AMC theaters!

    • 2011 Adult

      $5 extra in New York? It’s $3 or $3.50 extra everywhere.

  • Matt Sullivan

    47 MILLION dollars is a stumble?


    • The Gee


      Since stock market analysts/traders used earlier releases as the yard stick for a Memorial Day Weekend release, traders felt DW failed.

      sucks but that is what Digital Domain has to look for unless they have a steady revenue stream during and between feature releases.

  • joecab

    Sooooo… it’s just the fault of the 3D and not the movie itself?

    • Ethan

      First weekend it’s the fault of the lackluster marketing.
      Second weekend can be the fault of the movie itself.

      In fact, none of this is true. Some of the worst animated films ever made are near the top of the box office of all time, while some of the best are near the bottom.

      • 2011 Adult

        Lackluster marketing?

        Po was seen in commercials for HP, McDonalds, countless TV trailers, HP’s own email goodies, and all with original animation! You would need to move your residences to under a ROCK in order to miss the marketing!

      • Ethan

        It’s possible I didn’t mean the first line at all, only wishing to enhance the significance of my conclusion by voluntarily contradicting the first part to make a point.

        Sometimes I am self-referential too.

        With that said, to answer your question, yes, marketing wasn’t good, quantity isn’t quality. I have no idea which part of the population was reached by HP’s email spam.

  • Robert Fiore

    Surely exhibitors don’t think people are going to pay a huge premium for 3D forever, did they? At some point it merely becomes another inducement for seeing a movie at the same price. A rational exhibitor would be hoping that the premium prices last long enough to pay the cost of conversion of the equipment.

  • Too bad this movie contrary to POTC4 actually looks great in 3D.
    the classical stuff in it looks great in 3D

  • Shawn

    The tickets at the new theater built in my hometown are only $7.50, and $10 for 3D. I can’t complain too much about the ticket prices in the Midwest. I’d have seen KFP2 this weekend, but I was hanging out with my family like I suspect most people were. The weather finally was nice enough to want to be outdoors.

  • David Breneman

    “3D” usually fails for the same reason that color failed in the late 1920s. Studios go for quantity over quality. In the case of color, Technicolor had such a backlog or orders that they let quality control slip, and prints were sent out with serious color fringing, convergence, and other problems. Viewers complained that color films “gave them a headache” (sound familiar?) and color was dead until the advent of the three-strip system, and much tighter quality controls, in the late 1930s.

    Talking films faced the same problems at the turn of the last century. Edison’s talking films, presented by well-trained engineers, startled audiences of the day with their immersive realism. The same films, shown at state fairs and nickelodeons, left audiences demanding their money back.

    Just as happened in the late 50s and again in the early 80s, a lot of hacks and incompetents are getting into the “3D” game, and the result is terrible violations of the rules of the stereo window, as well as convergence problems and other things that “give the audience a headache.”

    Quality cinematography will always look good. Fad-mongers will always produce trash. The problem is, will the first overcome the second? The historical record is mixed.

    • They didn’t charge extra for color in the ’30s or 3D in the 50’s. THey do now, and the price tag makes a movie price prohibitable as far aas my wallet is concerned. Especially when my eyes always tear, the color is degraded and I often end up with a headache.

  • Michael F.

    Maybe people are becoming more suspicious about 3D. Most 3D movies weren’t made in 3D to begin with and had cheap effects thrown in at the last minute. I don’t know if this movie was made with 3D in mind but that’s what is keeping some people from wanting to see 3D movies.

  • Murray Bain

    The film is fantastic for those who haven’t seen it, and the stereoscopic effect is very well done.

    The high ticket prices are hard to justify these days, I agree with the comment that prices have out paced inflation; I remember “2.50 Tuesdays” in the 90s,which was half price. Coke was .75 cents a can then. movies should be around 7$, 3D can be 10. People would go to the movies every week, Hollywood.

  • tim

    this is a non-issue…..once people realize how terrible the hangover 2 is, its momentum will die and KFP2 will do just fine in the $$$. This article will mean nothing once the final numbers are in…but i guess gossip is what draws a crowd…maybe if dw let amid write a book he would smile a little more watching a dw film…..even in 3d. :)

  • Will this temper Katzenberg’s sequelitis, or will this aggravate it?

  • Amid I love you, you finally posted something that I can be happy about. The cost for a 3D ticket is not worth it, i would much rather watch something that didn’t call for glasses and a headache.

  • Well, that’s how it starts.

  • Nancy Beiman

    It’s a sad state of affairs when an opening 5 day weekend take of ‘only’ $68 million domestic is seen as a disappointment.

    The only 3D films I enjoy are animated ones. AVATAR gave me a headache, all the other live movies I’ve seen were not improved in 3D. But HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON was wonderful in 3D; better than all the other animated films I’ve seen to date.

    The problem is that people are losing jobs and making cutbacks in personal spending and they don’t want to pay higher prices. It makes no sense to expect immense receipts from 3D movies that add a considerable premium to a standard movie ticket. I have relatives who have to ‘wait for the DVD’ or NETFLIX since they cannot spend sixty, seventy, or eighty dollars to take the entire family to a theatre.

  • Nancy Beiman

    and how is $68 million ‘weaker’ than $61 million? The business people make my head hurt…this is not 2005.

  • It only took about a year for 3D to fall in the 50’s. It came in around 1953 out by 1954, but that process was far inferior to toady’s 3D. I’m with Lasseter, I love 3D and I hope it stays around, and I also hope that they will continue to give patrons the option for 2D. My big hope is that this recent diminished 3D box office will coerce the theaters to reduce the surcharges. There is a local theater in Oakland that charges 50 cents extra if you bring your own 3D glasses. Are you listening AMC?

  • snip2354

    Here’s my two cents. I doubt 3D will ever go away by this point, because it IS VERY much improved from the 1950’s technology. I believe it can be done right with the right balance of quality projectors, glasses, and auditorium care. But they NEED TO WORK HARDER to make sure the audiences don’t get a headache all the time, and lower the cost of tickets. There’s also too much 3D out there now. Only release select few titles in 3D, and not every theater should want to provide 3D projectors. Coraline is a fine example of 3D done well with all 3 factors working together perfectly. I would love 3D to stay because it can be done right, but there needs to be less of it.

  • I know I personally am done with watching movies in 3D. It’s not worth the cost and can be annoying dealing with the glasses. My daughter wouldn’t wear the glasses and watch toy story 3 completely blurry.

  • BOogedy

    3D Buh-lows… Its totally not worth the extra money. The glasses still darken the image too much and mess with values. It looks like shit.

    Theaters and exhibitors need to wake up and realize, that Netflix and homes streaming is going to *kill* theaters…. Families are Ok with waiting to see the movies, and not have to mortgage their house to go to the theater….

    Its a gimmick, and not one thats worth extra money to go see.

  • When, a few years back, I found an old POPEYE cartoon converted from 2D to 3D on Cartoonbrew I wondered how it was done.

    Thanks to the web I was not only able to find out I also discovered the world of 3D which has fascinated me since I found a set of old stereo photos and a viewer in a barn in New Brunswick back in the 1950’s.

    I now have installed in THE CINEFORUM a digital 3D system second to none. I use the wireless shutter glass technology developed by PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON songwriter Lenny Lipton who put his royalties into advancing 3D.

    In the archive is nearly every 3D movie ever made going back to a brief 3D clip Chaplin shot for THE CIRCUS right up to the most current releases.

    I bought all the books including the ones by Ray Zone. Along the way I found out that the audience for 3D movies did not die in the 1950’s.

    Exhibitors stopped showing them because, for the most part–then as now–they are lazy.

    It is also forgotten that there was as much opposition to the introduction of stereo-sound as there was to stereo-movies (read Bosley Crowther’s review of HOUSE OF WAX). No one today argues against stereophonic sound.

    Technology is technology. The power and imagination comes not from the tool but from the person who uses it.

    When films are converted from 2D to 3D the tool is not being used creatively. It is merely being exploited.

    The films STEP UP 3D and STREETDANCE make exciting use of 3D in their choreography.

    I was not impressed by AVATAR in the theater but am more taken by it here (perhaps because I am using superior technology).

    The box office success or failure of recent releases has little to do with the merits of the films.

    It is all too often ignored or forgotten that PINOCCHIO, BAMBI and FANTASIA did not fare as well as Walt Disney hoped and needed them to. The 1939 WIZARD OF OZ tanked. D. W. Griffith’s INTOLERANCE was a box office failure as was the original BEN HUR largely because it cost so much to make.

    My favorite 3D movies remain the IMAX documentaries which i can and do watch over and over and over. It is thrilling to see whales and dolphins in 3D floating in the space between my eyes and the screen.

    3D, like sound and color, is not a gimmick.

    But the bottom line still comes down to the fact that it is the job of the storyteller to take us completely out of the world in which we live and into the world s/he is presenting to us.

    I tried to watch THE GREEN HORNET. I just found it impossible to endure. A great premise was completely wasted as far as I am concerned. To my consternation, there are folks who like it.

    Joe Dante’s THE HOLE had me transfixed. The Australian film SANCTUM really benefits from the use of 3D.

    This wholesale dismissal of the medium on the part of so many commentators here is foolish.

    I picked up several 3D cameras (some of which I have loaned out and/or given to others to use) and am learning a lot more about the medium. The new SONY BLOOGIE 3D camera is not yet available in Canada. i had friends in the U.S. order me two (they will so far only sell one to a customer) offers full 1920-1080 resolution.

    The results are posted here: http://www.youtube.com/user/reghartt

    Jean Cocteau said that when the tools of the cinema get as inexpensive as pencil and paper the medium will finally become an art form.

    We are at that moment.

    It is a very exciting one.

    And, yes, the glasses darken the image but that can and should be offset by increasing the brightness. It is what I do here.

    • Ergo

      Brightening the image may not make it as dark, but it’ll lower the contrast values. No matter how the image is adjusted, there will always be loss to image as long as there are glasses between your eyes and the screen.

      • Ethan

        You’re wrong. A brighter projector and a recalibrated white balance will make the image through the glasses PERFECTLY identical to the original 2D image. All you need is a projector with the adequate light output.

        The reason your local theater is dim and lacks colors in 3D is because they didn’t want to pay for a better projector. You’re getting screwed, and it has nothing to do with the technology itself, it’s about money.

        In my experience, both the IMAX 3D and AMC ETX presentations are tuned reasonably well, but everything else is dim crap. YMMV.

  • The problem (if there is one) is that the film opened against a very strong film that many people from the same demographic wanted to see.

    I have no doubts that the film will more than make back its production and advertising costs, 3D will continue at Dreamworks, and that we haven’t seen the last of Po.

  • Kitty Wills

    Seeing 3D go out the window sounds like a good idea to me. I’m not sure what the “3D experience” is like for most people, but I don’t have any depth perception meaning I can’t even see 3D. It’s all a big moving blur to me.

    Not to mention the insane prices you have to pay to see it. I second the netflix argument, I’d much rather wait a couple extra months and watch it in higher quality on a HD tv.

  • Brad Constantine

    If the 3d films were cheaper to see, more people could afford to see them, and more people would go. Jeffrey, are you listening? Also if you let people buy the glasses once for a fee, and then let them re-use them at no additional price, more people would go.Jeffrey? still there? also If the movie was better, more people would go…But hey, I’d take a 47.8 million dollar opening weekend any day.I’d call that a hit in my book.

    • Ergo

      God, yes. 3D should cost the same as any other movie if you already have the glasses.

    • Jay

      They started doing this in Colombia. If you bring your own glasses, you get the extra price taken off your ticket.

      Not sure how much it costs to manufacture / repackage / recycle these glasses, but wouldn’t it save money for the theaters in the long run too?

      (Although I can see stores selling designer 3D glasses and what not. Like those little binoculars for opera.)

  • Dont Kill Me

    I saw it in 3D and thought it was fun. The shots appeared to be well composed for 3D and it was cool. Worth the money… Probably not, but it was cool eye candy. Then saw Thor in 3D… Completely pointless. Horrible use compared to Panda. At least Dreamworks tried to do something with it… You gotta give them (the artists who made the film) some credit for that.

  • B

    The theatre experience is killing me. Or at least killing my desire to see a film right away. Last film I went to was an 11 pm show of Thor where a couple brought their 3-year old. THAT was just about the final straw for me. How many people are starting to wait for the DVD or just grabbing files of the web? Anyone else feel burnt by the lack of politeness/common sense at these big box shows??

  • James E. Parten+

    It seems that there are some within Duh Industry that want to wish Katzenberg ill, for one reason or another. Hence the perception that the box-office results for KFP2 are disappointing.

    Folks forget that KFP2 had a lot of cut-price children’s admissions. You can’t say that about “The Hangover 2”. I doubt that there are many theatres that would let kids in to see that apparent raunch-fest. (On the other hand, there may be some who interpret the guildelines as meaning “No one under 17 admitted without the price of admission”!)

    As for 3-D, I avoid it like the pellagra. But then, I have to temper my lack of enthusiasm for the technology (and for the practices under which it is applied these days) with the fact that I have a visual impairment that renders my eyes unequal, and thus unable to perceive depth properly. Thus, I don’t get the proper effect. In which case, the surcharge that exhibitors charge for throw-away glasses (they’d rather you not keep them for reuse later, but throw them into a landfill) makes 3-D pictures not worth the money.

    There are no big premieres this week, so we’ll have to see how both KFP2 and “Hangover 2” do against weakish competition.

  • The issues of price outweighing desire might just be why I was all by myself at that 3D screening of Thor. Also the quality of live-action movies in 3D (I didn’t see much wrong with Thor’s, but it really didn’t add much IMO.

  • Graham

    Are you waking up NOW, Katzenberg?

  • Lawrence

    I love’s the 3D! I thought Panda 1 was great. Beautiful animation. And I look forward to 2. Me, I think we’re lucky to live in a time where 3D is so popular and so well executed. The magic of the movies! I say quit complaining and pass the popcorn.

  • Not a surprise to me at all. I don’t even see I max being tossed around. 3d though looks nice is just too expensive. They would either need to lower the price and ENFORCE it as standard going only 3d, ignoring those with sight problems and/or can’t handle the strain. If they feel it’s THAT important to have in films that is what I feel they will have to do.
    To me what kills 3d aside from price is the number of films that half assed it. Last Airbender being the biggest offender where they added it in after the movie was already shot.
    And they better not consider this series unprofitable and scrap it despite it’s competence. They just need to advertise it better next time. Like they did with Tangled.

  • Steve K.

    Full blown IMAX 2D for next year’s Dark Knight movie. See it in a real IMAX theater. You may never go back to 3D again.

    • Ethan

      Try this apple, you may never go back to oranges again.

  • Zib Zabzo

    I saw it in 3d. Wished I had seen it other way. Action whip pans made it hard to follow action. Blur this, blur that, what just happened? Also all of the nightime action dimmed and muddy looking.

  • Silence Dogood

    I wish audience members wouldn’t be attracted to movies just because of the giant 3D font-oh-so-larger-than-the-title. I saw Alice in Wonderland in 3d and to be honest, it cost too much and it didn’t really do anything for me. If the movie is good, it is going to stand out 3d or 2d. Thats just my opinion. *shrugs*

  • Ethan

    I’m back from seeing it a third time, I enjoyed it more each time, lots of cool subtle details I missed. Definitely my favorite film of the year so far.

    I thought the 3D was great. I’m biased, I always love 3D for full CG films (but I agree live action are all horrible brain destroyers). Those who hate 3D, you should already know by now, it’s not like you’ve been tricked into it like Avatar, there’s no reason to have a hissy fit, just go see it in 2D. If 45% still think it’s worth 3 to 5 dollars more, it’s not going away, but the price could go down a little, to keep it in the 60% range. I’m sorry to say it’s partly my fault the price is not going down, because I do think it’s worth it. Vote with your money, just as I do.

  • Ryoku78

    I’d like to know why 3D film tickets cost more when theaters usually ask for their glasses back, apart from the glasses why should 3D cost more?

    I can’t watch 3D films myself since I get motion sickness.

  • Luke

    AMID: You are correct the domestic box office is lower than expected, but you forgot to mention KFP2 is on track to surpass the international gross of KFP1, which is where the majority of the box office money came from on the original – and will with the sequel. KFP2 is also at 83% on Rotten Tomatoes; compare that with your beloved Pixar’s current offering Cars 2 which is currently at 38%.

    Does this summarize it for you? KF2 is a hit commercially and critically. Falling short 25-40 mil in domestic BO is nothing when Panda is expected to clean up 400+ million in international BO.

    keep trying though….

  • It seems that soon will come the third movie what do you say about it ? :)