'Cinderella' receipts rocket past expectations at $70 million

Edited: March 16, 2015, 8:12 AM

There should be no doubt that Disney will continue to draw from its own IP princess model. Kenneth Branagh's epic 'Cinderella' has (predictably) struck box office gold.

Deadline Hollywood (3/14/15): "There’s no need for Disney studio execs to phone the fairy godmother this weekend: Cinderella is lookin’ fine, and with a smoldering A CinemaScore, her ball at the box office shows no signs of an abrupt midnight ending any time soon. The Kenneth Branagh-directed adaptation is still on track for an opening day of $23M with a revised industry estimated three-day of $70.5M. Among all Disney films opening in March, Cinderella will rank as the third highest behind Alice in Wonderland ($116.1M) and Oz The Great and Powerful ($79.1M)."

Propped up by strong reviews and a companion animated short "Frozen Fever" the same article asserts that the main event of the film pairing plays well with a wide audience.

Deadline Hollywood continues: "As expected, the ladies waltzed to Cinderella, repping 77% of the audience. Across all demos, Cinderella dazzled, drawing varying degrees of an A grade from everyone who saw it — even the testosterone 23% of the crowd. 56% of all ticket buyers were under 25 and gave it an A. The 35+ demo kissed Cinderella with an A+."

At this level of success it seems reasonable to believe that the princess model's footprint at the Disney parks will continue to grow -- especially considering Disney's wisdom to exploit the Potter-franchise's investment by inking a deal with Emma Watson to take the lead in the upcoming, live-action version of 'Beauty and the Beast.. These would seem to be a good things for Disney's parks and the theme park industry.

Replies (50)

March 15, 2015, 11:24 AM

Disney has really found a sweet spot in the release schedule, and took advantage of the dearth of family films currently available at the box office. Combined with a good marketing effort and a recognizable name, backed by the Disney brand, Cinderella was able to exceed expectations. I think as long as they strategically release these family-geared films in slots where there is little competition, they will continue to find success.

I saw the movie earlier this week, and found it a very solid film. It does not break new ground on the story (like Burton's Alice, Raimi's Oz, or Maificent), but has a very timeless feel from a strong director.

March 15, 2015, 12:40 PM

Can there be any possible doubt that Emma Watson's turn as Belle will reach $500 million? Can there be any doubt that the princess model will elevate Disney to the top of the movie box office and/or the top of the TEA/AECOM soothsayer attendance guesstimates for years and years to come?

March 15, 2015, 2:08 PM

Apple Dumpling Gang remake, or I don't care. ;^)

Edited: March 15, 2015, 3:02 PM

Oh SNAP! 'Apple Dumpling' re-make ... Attraction ... Frontierland gift shop ... Synergy ... Aaaaaack!

March 15, 2015, 5:32 PM

$70 million banked.

March 15, 2015, 6:58 PM

I'm anxious to see this film, along with the other upcoming Disney live-action remakes. However, 2010's Alice In Wonderland was massive, had potential for an immersive type attraction, and there has been nothing since then from that aside from a nightly dance party (sigh). So unfortunately, it doesn't look like this movie will amount to a hill of beans as far as theme parks are concerned.

Edited: March 15, 2015, 9:43 PM

"$70 million banked."

Not entirely by Disney.

Remakes Disney should never do.

Herbie the Love Bug.

Escape from Witch Mountain.

Flubber

The Strongest Man in the World

March 16, 2015, 4:13 AM

James Trexen: "...unfortunately, it doesn't look like this movie will amount to a hill of beans as far as theme parks are concerned."

I Respond: No need for any new attractions. Rather the film helps to sustain the billion dollar a year Disney princess model -- which attracts legions of families to the Disney parks.

March 16, 2015, 6:20 AM

"Remakes Disney should never do."

They already did Herbie, Escape From Witch Mountain, and Flubber in the past 20 years, which all did pretty pedestrian business. They also remade Parent Trap, which really didn't need to be redone. The one on the top of my list to never be remade would be The Cat From Outer Space. I'd also rather not see a remake of Old Yeller, but word is they might actually be working on rebooting that one.

Edited: March 16, 2015, 7:10 AM

Which was why should never remake them and they were far worse than the bad originals. Herbie was remade numerous times and their sequels were equally horrible.

I thought should never remake Tron as Disney's attempt at sci-fi is so lame. Rumored is The Black Hole remake.

There should be a blanket rule that all Disney movies originated from 1960 to 1980s should be hands off.

Edited: March 16, 2015, 9:46 AM

Tron Legacy was AWESOME, and that Daft Punk soundtrack is incredible. It's not a flawless movie by any means, but with true sci-fi becoming a niche genre these days (see the box office receipts for the very hard sci-fi Chappie), it fit the bill for me, and does the original justice.

A lot of those films from 1960 to the 80's were made for completely different audiences than the movie goers of today. They were very much "Leave It to Beaver"-esque cheesy family entertainment. That type of movie simply doesn't fly anymore. However, one film from that era that I simply LOVE is Pete's Dragon...Low and behold Disney is remaking that one slated for release next year starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, and Karl Urban. I also wouldn't mind seeing Disney redo The Sword in the Stone (animated or live action). The Arthur story hasn't had a really good treatment since 1981's Excalibur (though the ladies out there probably enjoyed First Knight).

March 16, 2015, 8:10 AM

Despite my dislike for the "Escape From Witch Mountain" remake, I can't help noticing how much "I Am Number Four" was a takeoff. Sometimes bad ideas are forced on us.

March 16, 2015, 2:39 PM

"At this level of success it seems reasonable to believe that the princess model's footprint at the Disney parks will continue to grow -- especially considering Disney's wisdom to exploit the Potter-franchise's investment by inking a deal with Emma Watson to take the lead in the upcoming, live-action version of 'Beauty and the Beast.. These would seem to be a good things for Disney's parks and the theme park industry."

From that paragraph, it sounded like you were suggesting that princess presences would be expanded. You can already meet Cinderella and Belle at the parks, so the only thing left to do would be to add attractions.

Does anyone else find it amazing that these numbers are for a 2D film and not the Hollywood mandated 3D? Further proof that it all just comes down to nailing a story that people want to see, regardless of the film's medium.

March 17, 2015, 3:24 AM

I heard Rupert Grint is in talks to play the Beast opposite Emma Watson's Belle.

;) I kid.

March 17, 2015, 6:30 AM

"Does anyone else find it amazing that these numbers are for a 2D film and not the Hollywood mandated 3D? Further proof that it all just comes down to nailing a story that people want to see, regardless of the film's medium."

I'm not surprised. There really wasn't a reason to make this a 3-D film. Hollywood is starting to pull back on 3-D because most theaters will give up a week on it's run because of limited auditoriums, and frankly for a film like Cinderella, it really doesn't add much. Aside from perhaps the ballroom scene and the fairy godmother scene, there's nothing in the film that screams, "This must be in 3-D". Frankly, this movie really didn't need it, and there was absolutely no reason to spend money for the conversion and reserve space in 3-D auditoriums.

Aside from massive blockbuster films or those actually shot in 3D, I think we'll see fewer 3D releases overall.

March 17, 2015, 8:08 AM

Children don't take to 3D very well. I always request a 2D movie when watching a movie with my kid.

Movies intended for teens and adults that focus on the 3D is more likely to succeed like Avatar.

Edited: March 17, 2015, 9:01 AM

"Movies intended for teens and adults that focus on the 3D is more likely to succeed..."

Animated 3-D films do very well, and actually tend to have better splits than more adult fare. Virtually every animated film these days is released in 3D, because it's very lucrative (also the conversion process tends to be cheaper). I think you're off the mark here Anon.

Edited: March 17, 2015, 9:36 AM

"Animated 3-D films do very well"

If you say it that way. Goodness. I didn't say that they didn't do well.

Nothing I said remotely said anything about lucrative or not, only that some kids rather have 2D than 3D.

"Hollywood is starting to pull back on 3-D"

But animated movies and all. Cinderella. Oh. I give up.

And Yes, many 3D movies do very well, some even intended for teens and adult.

"I think we'll see fewer 3D releases overall."

But Animated movies and all. Cinderella. How about the kids?

March 17, 2015, 10:16 AM

"Children don't take to 3D very well."

"only that some kids rather have 2D than 3D."

That is based on your own opinion and experience, not what the data would suggest. I contend that the opposite is true, and the numbers back me up. The decision to choose 2D over 3D is more often a financial one, not one of tolerance. Most animated films, primarily intended for children and family audiences are now released in 3-D, for the simple fact that audiences eat it up and they make tons of money with a larger share of 3-D receipts than live action 3-D releases. The splits on more adult films released in 3-D are not nearly as good as animated films, so your statement that kids would rather have 2-D than 3-D is not entirely true. If 3D cost the same as 2D (and both versions had the same number of showings), you'd see a much larger share of receipts from 3D showings. The notion that some kids don't like 3D is real, but it's a very small percentage of the total audience. Most kids LOVE 3-D, and if all things equal, would chose a 3D showing over a 2D showing every single time. I go to movie screening every week, so I see how kids react when they discover that the movie they're about to see is being projected in 3D.

As a whole, Hollywood has scaled back the total number of 3-D releases primarily because theaters are not increasing the number of auditoriums equipped to display in 3-D. That means there's little room for expansion of 3-D offerings, causing a scaling back of the expansion of 3-D releases we have seen over the past 3-5 years. However, as the expansion of 3-D has stagnated, a larger percentage of 3-D slots are going to animated films, targeted directly at children.

Perhaps your child doesn't "take to 3D very well", but the data say that 3-D is very popular with children with an increasing percentage of overall 3-D releases targeted at kids and splits showing higher percentage of 3-D revenue compared with live action films targeted at adults. I think your hypothesis is off the mark. You can be wrong from time to time Anon, it's OK.

Also, to open another can of worms, might as well while I'm here...

"Movies intended for teens and adults that focus on the 3D is more likely to succeed like Avatar."

This point is a bit flawed as well. Avatar was a completely different 3-D film from anything else ever released in movie history. It was the first film ever shot completely in 3-D digital IMAX. Even now, films released in this format are not always completely photographed in that media. Many studios are discovering that the quality of the 3D photography has a huge bearing on the success of 3D showings of a film. Clash of the Titans was rushed through conversion and famously flopped in its 3D version. Other "sloppy" 3D conversions have met similar fates (Immortals, Jack the Giant Slayer, etc...) where 3D splits became miniscule percentages of the total take, even when those movies did terribly overall. 3-D exploded on the heels of Avatar, but what was discovered is that audiences were not responding (and subsequently paying more money) to a shoddy 3D conversions where characters looked like cardboard cutouts in a diorama. What used to be a release rotation of 1-2 weeks is now 3-4 weeks in a 3-D auditorium as studios understand that only higher quality 3D conversions and buzz-worthy films can sustain popularity. Unless a movie is an event film, like Avengers or Jurassic World, and given a painstaking 3D conversion (or filmed in 3D), it simply won't survive. In a way, Avatar spoiled us, and until filmmakers are willing to shoot more in digital 3D, animated movies will continue to strengthen their hold on the 3D market.

March 17, 2015, 10:23 AM

""Hollywood is starting to pull back on 3-D"

But animated movies and all. Cinderella. Oh. I give up.

And Yes, many 3D movies do very well, some even intended for teens and adult.

"I think we'll see fewer 3D releases overall."

But Animated movies and all. Cinderella. How about the kids?"

The total number of movies in a year that are released in 3D has stagnated over the past 2 years. However, the percentage of animated films released in 3D compared to the total number of 3D releases has increased. 3D films are staying longer in theaters as studios stretch out the schedule to let their better 3D releases "breathe". When the 3D fad was at its height some movies that were doing well were getting forced out of 3D auditoriums because theater owners had already reserved those slots to the next release. Now we're seeing a more strategic release schedule from studios that has many 3D films getting 3-4 weeks of run, and in order to earn that length of run, theater owners insist that those films are only the very best.

So yes, the statements you quote that may seem contradictory can still be true.

March 17, 2015, 10:45 AM

"the numbers back me up"

I haven't seen any numbers. You obviously given lots of your opinion.

March 17, 2015, 10:54 AM

Out of the top 20 3D domestic movies, only 6 movies are animated (*).

http://boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?id=3d.htm

1 Avatar Fox $760,507,625 3,461 $77,025,481 3,452 12/18/09
2 Marvel's The Avengers BV $623,357,910 4,349 $207,438,708 4,349 5/4/12
*3 Toy Story 3 BV $415,004,880 4,028 $110,307,189 4,028 6/18/10
4 Iron Man 3 BV $409,013,994 4,253 $174,144,585 4,253 5/3/13
*5 Frozen BV $400,738,009 3,742 $243,390 1 11/22/13
6 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 WB $381,011,219 4,375 $169,189,427 4,375 7/15/11
*7 Despicable Me 2 Uni. $368,061,265 4,003 $83,517,315 3,997 7/3/13
8 Transformers: Dark of the Moon P/DW $352,390,543 4,088 $97,852,865 4,088 6/29/11
9 Alice in Wonderland (2010) BV $334,191,110 3,739 $116,101,023 3,728 3/5/10
10 Guardians of the Galaxy BV $333,176,600 4,088 $94,320,883 4,080 8/1/14
11 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey WB $303,003,568 4,100 $84,617,303 4,045 12/14/12
*12 Up BV $293,004,164 3,886 $68,108,790 3,766 5/29/09
13 Man of Steel WB $291,045,518 4,207 $116,619,362 4,207 6/14/13
14 Gravity WB $274,092,705 3,820 $55,785,112 3,575 10/4/13
*15 Monsters University BV $268,492,764 4,004 $82,429,469 4,004 6/21/13
16 The Amazing Spider-Man Sony $262,030,663 4,318 $62,004,688 4,318 7/3/12
17 Captain America: The Winter Soldier BV $259,766,572 3,938 $95,023,721 3,938 4/4/14
18 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug WB $258,366,855 3,928 $73,645,197 3,903 12/13/13
*19 The LEGO Movie WB $257,760,692 3,890 $69,050,279 3,775 2/7/14
20 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies WB $254,916,285 3,875 $54,724,334 3,875 12/17/14

Edited: March 17, 2015, 11:43 AM

I thought I was pretty clear that the percentage of animated releases in 3D is increasing. You're citing overall box office numbers, which is an awfully broad brush and has nothing to do with the ratio of animated 3-D releases geared towards kids and other 3-D releases geared towards teenagers and adults.

Here are the stats for 3D releases...

9 of the 28 (33%) movies slated for 3-D release in 2015 are animated films.

12 of the 24 (50%) movies currently slated for 3-D release in 2016 are animated films, which does not even include Pete's Dragon.

11 of the 36 (31%) 3-D movies released in 2014 were animated.

10 of the 32 (31%) 3-D movies released in 2013 were animated.

10 of the 32 (31%) 3-D movies released in 2012 were animated.

10 of the 36 (27%) 3-D movies released in 2011 were animated.


27%<31%=31%=31%<33%<50%

The overall percentage of animated films being released has little to do with how much those movies make. The fact of the matter is that the number of animated movies being released in 3-D is increasing compared to the overall number of 3-D releases. Also the total number of 3-D releases has gone down slightly as theaters are demanding longer runs from 3-D releases.

Edited: March 17, 2015, 12:21 PM

The box office stats from Box Office Mojo is the 3D category. They are valid numbers to make a comparison especially since 3D movies sell for more than regular tickets.

While animated movies does not necessarily equal movies for kids, you seem to take that as a given. The percentage of 3D animated movies to 3D live action movies is a numerical wash for the last 5 years. 2016 is not yet here and we are still in early part of 2015. The percentage stats is still irrelevant because live action 3D, based on box office receipts, performs significantly better than animated movies. There is no shortage of live action 3D movies.

"The overall percentage of animated films being released has little to do with how much those movies make."

This is true whatever its worth and it is worth nothing. They can release as many animated 3D movies as they want and it will underperform live action 3D movies.

"Also the total number of 3-D releases has gone down slightly as theaters are demanding longer runs from 3-D releases."

This entirely depends on the theater and the box office of the movie. Theaters won't keep a movie that isn't performing. Studios are doing them a favor by releasing fewer movies each year so they are cutting back on everything including 3D. Most movies disappoint. Look at Dreamworks Animation that had to sell its campus.

Edited: March 17, 2015, 1:02 PM

"The box office stats from Box Office Mojo is the 3D category. They are valid numbers to make a comparison especially since 3D movies sell for more than regular tickets."

I don't agree, because those numbers don't break out the splits (they also only show domestic box, Mr. worldwide guy). I follow their weekly reports, and while they do not consolidate the data into a nice chart, the weekly reports have broken out 3-D receipts for a number of years, and the trend has been that the splits on animated films released in 3-D have generally been higher than for live action releases, and they have held better. If I had the time to go back to each report over the past year, I would to demonstrate my point, but I know those data are there.

"There is no shortage of live action 3D movies."

I never said there was a shortage, just that studios are being more reserved with their live action 3-D releases. The 3-D conversion fad that was rampant from 2011 through 2013 has settled down, and studios are more strategically planning 3-D live action releases and spacing them out throughout the year. They're also encouraging more directors to film in 3-D (and IMAX) to avoid the backlash from cinephiles about crummy post-production conversions. JJ is getting a lot of flack from Disney for wanting to film conventionally with a post production 3-D conversion (Disney is forcing the 3-D on him). Many Star Wars fans are planning to boycott the 3-D release of TFA.

"Theaters won't keep a movie that isn't performing."

Sometimes they don't have a choice. If they have committed to a run, they have to run it regardless of how it is performing. With the advances in digital cinema, they can minimize the losses by expanding showings of winners, while reducing the showing of losers since they're no longer limited by the number of prints the studio provided, but if they're obligated to run the movie through a certain date, they still have to show it. Most multiplexes (10 or more auditoriums) have 2 projectors equipped for 3-D. If a 3-D movie is under performing, they can either show an alternate 2-D movie in that auditorium, or stick with what they've got and wait for the next 3-D release. Not all theaters get every single major release, so some auditoriums may have to commit to a 3-D run of 2 months or more (not such a bad deal if we're talking about Avengers, but as a theater owner, would you commit to running San Andreas until August?).

The business end of this discussion is very complicated, but I'll stick with my initial point that most kids enjoy watching movies in 3-D, and have taken to it well.

Edited: March 17, 2015, 1:16 PM

Whatever. You don't have to agree with me but you have yet to prove your position. Facts first next time. I heard enough of your opinion.

I know it is domestic only, but I don't intend to do more work for you since you'll want me to go back to using domestic. You didn't even bother using the data or provide your own.

March 17, 2015, 1:35 PM

I provided data, and you simply dismissed it. I'm dismissing your data because it's inconsequential to the substance of the discussion.

This all started with your assertion that "children don't take to 3-D well", which I think is a load of manure. I go to over 50 movie screenings each and every year, many of which are films targeted at children, and I can tell you from personal experience that kids are taking to 3-D just fine. How many movies have you seen this year Anon? How many people in a movie theater have you spoken to about their experience?

Throwing a bunch of irrelevant information and cut and pastes from a website doesn't make your initial assertion any more accurate. I introduced my empirical and experiential knowledge to the discussion to bolster my position that you reject while derailing the thread on tangents, which I then have to rebuff. The fact of the matter is that you have yet to provide any evidence to support your initial assertion that "kids don't take to 3D well".

March 17, 2015, 2:21 PM

You provide no empirical data. Your data was irrelevant. You provide anecdotal data as if its empirical. They are not the same.

You can't let things go. That's makes you a poor debater. You never stuck with the facts. You let your emotions get the better of you.

March 17, 2015, 2:58 PM

Article from 2010

http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/3d-box-office-down-down-down-19845/

Select quotes:

"Only 45 percent of opening box-office revenue for Universal's hit animated family film "Despicable Me," for example, came from 3D distribution."

“I think the overall message isn't that 3D is a fad or that it’s going away, but I’m not sure we’re moving to a point where 50 percent of the box office is derived by 3D ticket sales as some of the bulls currently believe,” BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield told TheWrap.

“It’s just hard for kids under 6 years old to keep the glasses on,” he said.

"True, Disney’s “Alice” and “Toy Story 3,” for example, combined to gross well over $400 million in 3D ticket sales in the U.S. alone. But there's no question that movie-by-movie, the trend has clearly been downward."

------------------------
Another article

http://www.thewrap.com/gravity-represents-turning-point-3d-box-office-analyst-says/

“Gravity”s’ sterling performance follows a dispiriting few months for 3D films at the stateside box office. Films like “Monsters University” and “World War Z” struggled to convince audiences it was worth shelling out an additional $3 to $4 to see them in 3D.

"And in July, the format hit a new low-water mark when 3D showings of “Turbo” accounted for just 25 percent of its total box office, representing the format’s worst showing yet. That same month,”The Wolverine” eked out 30 percent of its $53.1 million opening weekend from 3D showings — a new low point for 3D action releases."

"Wold said he is optimistic that films like “Thor: The Dark World” and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” will continue to perform well in 3D."

--------

So there you have it.

Edited: March 17, 2015, 3:04 PM

A more recent article

"Box Office: Five Worrisome Moviegoing Trends in 2014"

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-office-five-worrisome-moviegoing-780787

"2. Where were the tots?"

"Frequent moviegoers, defined as someone who goes to the cinema at least once a month or more, are Hollywood's most prized demo. This group makes up only 11 percent of the population but buy 51 percent of all tickets sold. In 2014, there was a steep fall off in the 2-11 age group, with only 2.7 million young children going to the movies, compared to 4.3 million the year before."


"4. 3D Burnout"

"In 2010, 52 percent of moviegoers in North America saw a 3D title. Last year, that number fell by almost half to 27 percent, even though there were more 3D titles more than ever (47). In 2013, 31 percent of those going to the cinema saw a 3D title."

March 17, 2015, 3:16 PM

Here's the most damning report.

"Report Shows Moviegoers Tired of 3D as 'Wolverine' Box Office Hits New Low"

http://www.movies.com/movie-news/3d-box-office-falling/13040

"With only about 30% of its opening gross coming from 3D shows, The Wolverine is a "new low point" for action movies in the format, according to The Wrap. Even worse, though, are 3D option ticket sales for Turbo, which at only 25% are "the format's worst showing yet." "

"Last month the site revealed that World War Z had taken in a record low percentage from 3D screenings (34%) and that Monsters University was the lowest ever for an animated feature (31%)."

"While 2D box office was on an upswing last year, 3D box office had gone down from 18% in 2011 to 17% -- though this was partly explained by a fewer number of 3D releases. In 2010, though, 3D screenings accounted for 21% of the year's box office."

"According to the Wrap, 3D is still going strong in major foreign markets, particularly in Russia and China. So don't expect the format to go away anytime soon. What this could mean, however, is that fewer movies will be shot with 3D cameras if it's more expensive to do so, because the international audiences will eat up the converted releases just fine and here in the States we'll just see audiences choosing the original version. Considering none of this summer's live-action tentpoles were filmed in 3D anyway, it might not change anything."

------

Okay. That's what we can expect.

March 17, 2015, 3:20 PM

Here's some articles from 2013 if you're interested.

http://www.digitalspy.com/movies/news/a473008/3d-movies-box-office-decline-predicted-for-2013.html#~p7el5I67yRlTBL

http://www.ew.com/article/2013/08/09/3d-movies-box-office

http://www.slashfilm.com/3d-box-office-projected-to-decline-in-2013-first-drop-since-2009/

March 17, 2015, 3:23 PM

Another one.

"2014 Box Office Will Be Hurt By Diminishing Popularity Of 3D Movies: Analyst"

http://deadline.com/2014/02/2014-box-office-will-be-hurt-by-diminishing-popularity-of-3d-movies-analyst-676253/#

Edited: March 17, 2015, 3:43 PM

This is a more optimistic article after release of the box office blockbuster "Gravity", but children's films still take a beating.

http://variety.com/2014/film/news/box-office-3d-stages-a-revival-again-1201220911/#

"Films such as “Edge of Tomorrow” and “Godzilla” didn’t match “Gravity’s” 80% 3D take — but they racked up roughly half of their opening weekends from 3D screenings, while “The Amazing Spider-Man 2" brought in 43% of its debut haul from 3D engagements. That’s in sharp relief to the 34% market share “World War Z” carved out from the format in its initial frame or the 30% “The Wolverine” earned from 3D in its first weekend of release."

"Of course, not everything has worked. Family films such as “How to Train Your Dragon 2" (32% 3D market share) and “Maleficent” (21% 3D market share) have given ticket-buyers sticker shock, showing that the format is not the preferred choice for the price-conscious or customers bearing children."

March 18, 2015, 8:02 AM

I appreciate your thorough research, but most of the citations you provided demonstrates an overall downward trend in the popularity of 3-D releases, which is not isolated to movies targeted at children and families. As you cited, The Wolverine had a disappointing 30% 3-D share, while a movie like Gravity (similar to the scope and photographic beauty of Avatar) was able to rake in a 80% 3D take. It seems as though Gravity is the recent exception to the rule, and as I noted with my discussion of Avatar, that people will pay extra for a beautiful film that takes advantage of the format, but will not shell out the extra money for a shoddy post production conversion.

I do find the following quotes interesting...

"showing that the format is not the preferred choice for the price-conscious or customers bearing children."

"“It’s just hard for kids under 6 years old to keep the glasses on,” he said."

While I can see the point of those who made those statements, that's not what I'm seeing when I go to the movies. Perhaps my view is skewed a bit because when I see films (again I usually see more than 50 per year in a theater), they are typically during preview screenings with audiences that are typically more enthusiastic about film than an average audience. Those audiences are also not paying for the movie, so they're getting the 3-D version of the film whether they were going to pay the extra money for it or not. Whether you agree with my empirical evidence, based on my own personal observations and discussion with fellow audience members, is up to you, but it's still one piece of the puzzle that I think is more valuable than some analyst's inference looking at a bunch of numbers and making an educated guess. The analysts are making inferences from the data, but one could argue that price has far more influence on 3D ticket sales than the consideration of the format for younger viewers. There's simply no clear data to suggest one or the other. Your pull quotes are simply analysts trying to explain possible reasons for the decline in 3D sales. However, the fact that it would typically cost a family of 4 an extra $10 to $15 to see the 3D version of a film over a 2D version of the film (the cost of a large popcorn and soda or 2 kid's packs), probably plays a much bigger role in a customer's decision than a child's ability/willingness to "take well to 3D". As I stated before, I have no doubt there are kids out there that either can't see in 3D or don't have the patience to sit and watch a movie with glasses on. I'd add that a lot of kids don't even have the patience to make it through an 80-90 minute movie regardless of whether it's in 3D or not, so that's something else to consider. Your evidence provided bears that out as Hollywood has seen an overall decline in 3D ticket revenue (and overall audience numbers continue to decline as ticket prices continue to increase) that is not isolated to movies targeted at families and children.

I'd also add that of the films directly targeting children and family audiences, we are seeing far more being released in 3D than ever before. Virtually every single animated film now is being released in 3D, so either it's a nominal cost for studios to perform the conversion, or they're just beating their heads against the wall given the overall 3D trends.

We're also seeing critics devote more and more column space to the optimal format for a given movies. In the days before 3-D became en vogue, some critics would rate movies whether they're worthy of watching on opening night, sometime in the next week, on a weekend matinee, or waiting until it releases on home video. Now we see critics, and some websites, devote significant time to whether it's worth spending that extra $2 or more to see a given movie in 3D.

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/3D-Or-3D-Buy-Right-Big-Hero-6-Ticket-68056.html

Whether movie goers admit it or not, critics still play a huge role in determining the success of many films, and more detailed reviews of films and whether they're 3D-worthy is playing an increasing role in the upcharge receipts for a movie. The 3 Hobbit films (shot and projected in 48 fps high frame rate - HFR in addition to 3D and IMAX) had more upcharge viewings that any movie in history, but it's difficult to tell from the data whether the various different ways to view the film altered the final take, and few studios are willing to take the risk on it aside from the sure-fire blockbusters.

The data can be interpreted both ways, which is why I rely on what I see with my own eyes and hear from others at the dozens of movies I see at the theater every single year.

March 18, 2015, 8:09 AM

So how bout that Cinderella? Will it be able to hold its crown over the next Divergent movie opening this weekend?

Edited: March 18, 2015, 8:41 AM

"The data can be interpreted both ways"

Wow. You ignored everything.

There's no point to the debate as you clearly have no facts on your side. You're just pounding the table.

TRUTH.

Children don't take to 3D very well. I always request a 2D movie when watching a movie with my kid.

Movies intended for teens and adults that focus on the 3D is more likely to succeed like Avatar.

March 18, 2015, 11:35 AM

Wow...You are very stubborn and close minded.

There's no point to this debate because you continue to cite data that can be and have been interpreted differently by analysts and Hollywood experts.


PERCEPTION - "Children don't take to 3D very well."

That is a very broad statement that is not accurate across the market. The analysis you cite notes that declining 3D revenue may be as attributable to pricing as it is to kids not comfortable with 3D. It also doesn't explain why virtually every single movie intended for children and families is released in 3D. If kids don't take well to 3D, then studios are insane spending the extra money to release their films in 3D. I generally think studios are pretty smart people are are not interested in losing money, and if your perception were actually reality, we wouldn't see so many animated films being released in 3D.

There are a lot of adults that "don't take to 3D very well" either, and some of the articles you have cited note the headaches and eye strain from adults, so you could just as easily argue "adults don't take to 3D very well". The analysts you cite don't back up their assertions aside from citing the box office numbers and splits. They don't draw on interviews from kids or their parents or even citing crowd reactions during 3D showings, and instead cite general trends in 3D ticket sales, which are not isolated to movies targeted at families and children.

CHOICE - "I always request a 2D movie when watching a movie with my kid."

Perhaps you choose 2D because your child doesn't like it or can't see in 3D through cross-polar technology. Many movie goers make that choice based on cost as your own citations note, and simply don't want to pay the extra money for 3D because they don't see the value. Some other movie goers may choose to see the 2D version because it's at a better time or the 3D showing is sold out or simply don't care and want to see the next available showing.

"you clearly have no facts on your side."

The facts are not necessarily on your side either. You cite analysts that are attempting to explain the reasoning behind declining revenues and offering theories. They cite numerous potential causes for declining 3D revenue, which aren't "facts" or "truth", they're speculation, just as you have speculated that children don't take to 3D well. Just because you can cut and paste a quote doesn't make it fact. I speculate that most kids take to 3D just fine, and the cause for 3D revenue decline is a general malaise towards 3D overall and increased cost to see a movie in 3D. I've seen kids react to movies in 3D, seen them reach out their hands as Baymax flies over San Fransokyo, giggle as Sparky drools in their lap, and beam with delight as Flint Lockwood defeats Chester V - not just my kid, but theaters full of kids who seem to have taken very well to 3D.

Since you "always request a 2D movie when watching a movie with [your] kid", you're experience watching 3D movies intended for families and children must be narrow. How many 3D family movies do you see without your child? You probably have limited experience to comment on how children react when watching a movie in 3D since you always watch 2D movies in the theater with your kid. In reality, the only basis you have for your statement "children don't take to 3D well" is your isolated experience with your own child and conjecture from some Hollywood analysts. On the contrary, I offer the conjecture of those same Hollywood analysts that make multiple interpretations of the same data, along with years of experience seeing children react to 3D movies.

Divergent is trending pretty well (my wife saw it on Monday and said it was pretty good but typical for the middle installment of a literary trilogy), but it might be a close one. Cinderella looks to hold well with strong audience reviews and wider appeal.

March 18, 2015, 11:53 AM

CHOICE

The high point is "Only 45 percent of opening box-office revenue for Universal's hit animated family film "Despicable Me," for example, came from 3D distribution."

It gets worse.

"3D showings of “Turbo” accounted for just 25 percent of its total box office"

“How to Train Your Dragon 2" (32% 3D market share) and “Maleficent” (21% 3D market share)

This is the data you ignore.

Results for teens and adults are much better, thus Gravity has a higher 3D share.

Re-pasted

"Films such as “Edge of Tomorrow” and “Godzilla” didn’t match “Gravity’s” 80% 3D take — but they racked up roughly half of their opening weekends from 3D screenings, while “The Amazing Spider-Man 2" brought in 43% of its debut haul from 3D engagements. That’s in sharp relief to the 34% market share “World War Z” carved out from the format in its initial frame or the 30% “The Wolverine” earned from 3D in its first weekend of release."

Since so many movies already have low 3D preference, it is clear family and animated movies will show much lower 3D preference.

"There's no point to this debate because you continue to cite data that can be and have been interpreted differently by analysts and Hollywood experts."

I'm doing a TH Creative.

Examples?


"I generally think studios are pretty smart people are are not interested in losing money, and if your perception were actually reality, we wouldn't see so many animated films being released in 3D."

This is not an argument for your position. Movies will be released in 3D regardless of 3D share. To not do this is equivalent of leaving money on the table. People will still see 3D and pay the price, but the vast majority of the audience doesn't care for it and will see the 2D version.

Edited: March 18, 2015, 12:18 PM

"On the contrary, I offer the conjecture of those same Hollywood analysts that make multiple interpretations of the same data, along with years of experience seeing children react to 3D movies."

Examples?

BTW: conjecture DEFINITION an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information.

What are you trying to pull off? A gaffe?

The same data says people are buying into 3D at a smaller ratio every single year since 2010. The trend is down, yet somehow your observations trump the hard evidence of smaller box office share. The only thing incomplete is you going to the 2D side and observing how children don't need 3D to enjoy a movie. And maybe you need to talk with them too.

Edited: March 18, 2015, 1:19 PM

"This is not an argument for your position. Movies will be released in 3D regardless of 3D share. To not do this is equivalent of leaving money on the table. People will still see 3D and pay the price, but the vast majority of the audience doesn't care for it and will see the 2D version."

Why??? Why would a studio spend extra money to release a movie in 3D when it sees the declining trend in 3D revenues? Studio executives are not that dumb. They see the value in releasing animated films in 3D because as you say people still see 3D and pay the price, and the fact that studios continue to crank out animated films in 3D supports this notion. If children don't take to 3D well, then why bother chasing dimes with dollars? Converting films to 3D and establishing engagements in 3D auditoriums is not free. Movie studios are not in business to lose money.

"Examples?

BTW: conjecture DEFINITION an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information."

You provided the examples yourself...The pull quotes you provided are conjecture, which are opinions those analysts formed based solely on financial data, not inclusive of experiential or survey data. I have brought to you some experiential data to help clarify their conjecture, which you dismiss.

CONJECTURE - "Family films such as “How to Train Your Dragon 2" (32% 3D market share) and “Maleficent” (21% 3D market share) have given ticket-buyers sticker shock, showing that the format is not the preferred choice for the price-conscious or customers bearing children." ---- The analyst here looks at the data and comes to two possibilities (price or children).

CONJECTURE - "“It’s just hard for kids under 6 years old to keep the glasses on,” he said." --- Seems like the person quoted is citing a study or survey, but when placed in context with the previous paragraph, "For his part, Fellman believes family-targeted animated movies will, proportionally, always draw fewer3D admissions than more adult-targeted films like “Avatar” and “Alice." (since when is Alice in Wonderland targeted at adults?) --- Which is the subjective opinion from a guy who also said "“The audience for 3D is growing, right along with the 3D screen count". All of this from a story from 2010 when studios were all scrambling to take advantage of the Avatar phenomenon. Things have changed since then, and I'd think that same studio executive who offered the quote might sing a different tune today.

CONJECTURE - "What this could mean, however, is that fewer movies will be shot with 3D cameras if it's more expensive to do so, because the international audiences will eat up the converted releases just fine and here in the States we'll just see audiences choosing the original version. Considering none of this summer's live-action tentpoles were filmed in 3D anyway, it might not change anything" --- This person here is attempting to evaluate what the data mean because foreign 3D markets are still expanding. I actually agree with the conjecture at the end, because as Gravity showed, beautifully shot 3D movies will be embraced over a conversion. However, it has nothing to do with children not taking to 3D well, so should not have been included in this discussion.

"The same data says people are buying into 3D at a smaller ratio every single year since 2010."

"Since so many movies already have low 3D preference"

Smaller ratio?? Low 3D preference?? You cite the following...

"Films such as “Edge of Tomorrow” and “Godzilla” didn’t match “Gravity’s” 80% 3D take — but they racked up roughly half of their opening weekends from 3D screenings, while “The Amazing Spider-Man 2" brought in 43% of its debut haul from 3D engagements."

Half of their opening weekends from 3D and 80% from 3D is a pretty sizable take. 43% isn't bad either. How do you interpret "low 3D preference"? Even the most popular movies typically show 1 3D showing for ever 2 or 3 2D showings (less popular movies tend to have more 2D showings compared to 3D), so to grab anything beyond 33% would demonstrate that 3D showings are better attended.

"The only thing incomplete is you going to the 2D side and observing how children don't need 3D to enjoy a movie. And maybe you need to talk with them too."

I never said they need or don't need 3D, and would never argue that point. Aside from what I would consider landmark films (Avatar, Gravity, Intersteller -in IMAX, not 3D, The Hobbit in HRF, etc...), I would never pay extra to see a film in a 3D IMAX/faux-MAX, or any other upcharge form unless the movie was photographed that way. I would always encourage movie goers to experience the film in the way in which it was filmed. Perhaps I should try going to some more 2D showings of family films to round out my opinion. Unfortunately, I rarely have a choice when I see most movies in a theater, since preview screenings are presented the way the studio chooses to present the film to that particular audience.

You still have yet to reveal how many movies you see Anon? You're good at researching and cutting and pasting to suit your position, but I'm beginning to wonder if you see more than a handful of movies a year and know very little about the industry aside from what you can extract from a Google search. Did you even watch Cinderella? I haven't forgotten that you thought people would confuse Guardians of the Galaxy with Dreamworks' Rise of the Guardians---How'd that prediction turn out?

"Anon Mouse Anonymous878

Published: July 7, 2014 at 10:11 PM. Edited: July 7, 2014 at 10:14 PM
I think there is brand confusion. Will people confuse "Guardians of the Galaxy" with "Rise of the Guardians"? They are not the same. One is a flop. The other one could be too."

March 18, 2015, 2:16 PM

Just thought I'd give a pause to the Lincoln/Douglas debate. It's good to see a movie with a quality director (Kenneth's work on Henry 5th was fantastic) do well. Disney seems to be on a movie roll, and Cinderella fared well on it's opening, and the numbers are the bottom line proof.

Edited: March 18, 2015, 3:38 PM

You throw things out without providing examples. Now you throw out "not inclusive of experiential or survey data". Huh? Where's is it? Since you don't have it, it cannot be evaluated for its truthfulness and whether it is relevant to the debate.

You brought me your observations which isn't empirical. There is no examples except for inferring from your biased observations and interpretations.

From the story in 2010, time has proven him right.

For the first conjecture (not really), he already concluded that it is "ticket-buyers sticker shock". So people care about price and paying for multitude of kids. Sticker shock means "I can't afford it".

For the second conjecture (not really), kids do have a hard time keeping 3D glasses on. This can't be disputed. Stats proven that what he said true about fewer 3D admissions. You have no contrary data. This analyst has more data than you. Yes, things has changed for the worse, which doesn't disprove anything I wrote so far.

For the third conjecture (not really), this confirms my second sentence that 3D movies intended for teens and adults will be more successful as the percentage share shows (one more time, look it up). This is also a true statement as experience has shown and you agreed too. The quote has nothing to do with my first sentence on kids.

I was actually looking for Hollywood analysts that support your position with complete information especially due to your accusation that the quoted articles are conjecture. You have nothing to offer.

"so to grab anything beyond 33% would demonstrate that 3D showings are better attended."

You have nothing to prove this is anymore than a subjective opinion. Conjecture!! Ha!!! What benchmark do you have? Maleficent 3D share was 21% yet the movie went on the make $758 million worldwide (Widest Release: 3,948 theaters) in box office. Gravity 3D share was 80% and made $716 million worldwide (Widest Release: 3,820 theaters). Not only did Maleficent made more in each theater, it sold cheaper tickets too.

As for "Guardians of the Galaxy", I won't bet against Disney next time. The quoted line wasn't a prediction yet you claim it is. Are you going to give me a multi-paragraph slam based on conjecture when I posted on mere speculation before the movie opened? If you don't believe in conjecture, you won't, but you're arguing from conjecture from the beginning. You're on shaky ground.

March 18, 2015, 3:13 PM

"You're good at researching and cutting and pasting to suit your position, but I'm beginning to wonder if you see more than a handful of movies a year and know very little about the industry aside from what you can extract from a Google search."

Well well well.

"I go to over 50 movie screenings each and every year, many of which are films targeted at children, and I can tell you from personal experience that kids are taking to 3-D just fine."

This is your claim to be an industry expert.

March 18, 2015, 3:33 PM

"You brought me your observations which isn't empirical."

That is the definition of empirical. Perhaps you should debate Mr. Websster...

EMPIRICAL - adjective 1. derived from or guided by experience or experiment.
2.depending upon experience or observation alone, without using scientific method or theory, especially as in medicine.
3.provable or verifiable by experience or experiment.

I have provided my experience and observations as a longtime movie goer and follower of the industry. I further my experience by attending on average 50 or more movie screenings per year and discuss those movies with the people in attendance. How much more empirical do I need to be? Do I need to give you a resume, or list out all of the movies I've seen (I saw The Gunman last night FWIW). There's nothing biased about what I'm saying, I have no axe to grind against the movie industry and have no horse in the race. I'm merely telling you what I see and hear from people that I talk to at the multitude of movie theaters I visit. I don't think children are having any issues taking to 3D movies as you have claimed. All of the box office numbers, theories from analysts, and 5-year old statements from executives won't change what I've seen. Prices are what's killing 3D, and it's playing out a little more dramatically in some family films, because those audiences are more sensitive to price than the average teenager and twenty something with lots of disposable income. It's logical, and the data do not disprove this hypothesis.

"For the second conjecture (not really), kids do have a hard time keeping 3D glasses only. This can't be disputed. Stats proven this is true."

What statistics? Show me the study that provided the stats to say that kids can't keep their glasses on. That's the statement of some executive quoted 5 years ago. There are no data to prove or disprove this. You could say kids can't sit in a theater seat for 90 minutes and probably have just as valid a statement. There is no study, but I would love to see a study of that. It might be a worthwhile experiment to see if kids really can't keep their glasses on, which may truly be eroding 3D sales. This might be an important study, because it could accelerate development of 3D technologies that don't require glasses (lenticular).

"You have nothing to prove this is anymore than a subjective opinion."

I provided a simple example. In general, major releases that are presented in both 3D and 2D typically are given 3 or more times more showings per week in 2D because of auditorium limitations (particularly in the later weeks of the run). Therefore, the system is already set up to allow 2D to outpace 3D because there are 3x more tickets available in 2D than 3D. Let's say a typical multiplex for a movie coming out this week--I'll say Divergent, which BTW is being heavily pushed in 3D at a time when there are a lot of 3D auditoriums available. A theater near me is showing the film 10 times on Saturday in 2D and 5 times on Saturday in 3D. If every showing is sold out (assuming all auditoriums are the same size, which I know is not always true), the 3D percentage could never exceed 50% unless the upcharge on 3D was more than 50% of the 2D price (typically it's not more than $4 on an $11 matinee or $15 evening showing). Therefore, anything more than a 33% split would be a good indicator that 3D showings are well attended (equally full auditoriums). Anything over 40% would be a good indicator that audiences are strongly preferring the 3D version of the film (fuller auditoriums). Every movie is going to be different based on their engagement and projector availability, but it shouldn't be that hard to see. Gravity was such a strong player in the 3D market because it was advertised by the studio and critics as a "must see in 3D IMAX". Thus you ended up with a dramatically high split. Anything else where 3D can exceed 40% of the take is doing pretty darn good (3D auditoriums fuller than 2D auditoriums). I don't get how that's subjective opinion, it's simple arithmetic, do I need to write it out for you?? Do you even go to the movies?

March 18, 2015, 3:49 PM

Empirical data is not where you're the data point. You set yourself up as a movie goer at 50 times year. You're not the data. Everyone else is and that is subject to be accounted for.

"Do I need to give you a resume"

You're not the data point.

March 18, 2015, 4:18 PM

"Anything over 40% would be a good indicator that audiences are strongly preferring the 3D version of the film (fuller auditoriums)."

Wow. You redid your math. Did you learn this in the movies? I didn't know you can redo your math after getting your homework sent back.

March 20, 2015, 9:29 PM

That's Cool. Disney makes much more money this Year. Let's hope that Avengers: Age of Ultron could take down Fifty Shades of Grey (for me, Fifty Shades of Iger. XD)

March 30, 2015, 3:17 PM

Looks like 'Mulan' may be next!

March 31, 2015, 10:32 AM

Nah bro it's 'Bambi'. I saw the trailer this past Saturday. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson got the main billing.

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