Analyst: 'Pirates' Was Hurt By 3D As Consumers Tire Of High Ticket Prices

Analyst Richard Greenfield of Wall Street’s BTIG has long been skeptical of claims by Jeffrey Katzenberg and James Cameron that 3D would do wonders for the movie business. But now Greenfield says that 3D is actually hurting the industry: “U.S. consumers are increasingly rejecting 3D movies,” he said in a report today. Attendance for Disney’s Pirates of Caribbean: On Stranger Tides “would have been higher” this past weekend if half of its screens showed the movie in conventional 2D instead of just a third, he says. The evidence? He notes that about 38% of the $90 million in box-office revenue for the film’s opening weekend came from non-IMAX 3D screens. That’s much lower than the average last year, when 54% of the opening revenues for DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek Forever After, and 57% of the initial sales for the studio’s How To Train Your Dragon, came from non-IMAX 3D screens. Greenfield says that “pricing remains our single biggest concern, especially with so many 3D movies aimed at the family segment.” He figures theaters charged $14.85 a ticket to see Pirates on IMAX 3D, $10.85 for non-IMAX 3D, and $7.60 for 2D. He adds that family films also are hurt by “young children not wanted to wear 3D glasses.” His advice: Hollywood should make fewer 3D films in 2012. “Focus on making consumer-desirable films rather than worrying about the technology,” he says.

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