Back in 2011 there were some arguing 3D would soon decline - and now it seems it may have peaked.
First drop in 3D box office projected for this year despite hotly tipped summer blockbusters, according to Fitch Ratings report
Box office blues … 3D exploded into our cinemas with Avatar in 2009, but now the novelty appears to be wearing off. Photograph: Rex Features
Audiences for films in 3D are projected to decline in 2013, the first drop since 3D exploded with Avatar in 2009, according to a report compiled by Fitch Ratings.
Since the success of James Cameron's sci-fi epic, more and more movies have jumped on the latest iteration of the 3D format, which is no longer confined to animation or big-budget action films. The likes of Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby and Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity will also exploit the new technology.
However, Fitch has concluded the novelty is starting to wear off. 3D box office takings in the US and Canada have remained static at $1.8bn for the past two years, and are set for a slight year-on-year decline in 2013 despite a strong lineup of 3D releases, including Star Trek Into Darkness, Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel.
"Attendance likely benefited from the initial proliferation of 3D films," says the report. "However, the initial excitement has dwindled, and consumers are focused again on the overall quality of the film and are weighing the cost of a premium ticket versus a base 2D ticket."
While overall box office takings increased in 2012 to a record-breaking $34.7bn worldwide, 3D failed to make a similar impact. "Going to the movies remains one of the lower-cost forms of entertainment," says Fitch's study. "However, increased pricing, particularly on 3D films, may erode this perception over time."