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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Will 3D save the movie theater?

Recently, the whole family went out to see Avatar and we really enjoyed it.  As I stood in line to get into the theater, I started thinking to myself "why am I here"?  We all know that the internet removes the middleman from many transactions.  I don't need a travel agent because I can book a flight on Travelocity.  I don't need to drive into Blockbuster because Netflix sends my movies to the house.  Why am I standing in line to see this movie?  It isn't the overpriced food.  It isn't the teenager two seats over giggling as she texts back and forth with her friend  -- probably my daughter sitting right next to me.  It is the technology -- specifically 3D.  More and more people can afford to have a reasonable home theater setup.  Heck, in a few years I fully expect people to have major issues deciding where to stick the brand new 90 inch TV they just picked up from Best Buy -- walls are so small these days.  What I can't do, at least not yet, is replicate a 3D + IMAX setup in my home.  That is why I pony up $13 a head to escape reality for 2 hours or so.  A "standard" movie gives me less incentive to jump into the car and drop $50 to take the family to a movie.  In order for me to do that, the movie better have a good story and it better give me some experience that I can't get at home.  If others feel the way I do, will movies producers have to do something extra to get us out of the house and into the movie theaters?  Given the social nature of the internet, good movies generate their own buzz and bad ones just fade away.  Is Avatar the new model for movie makers?

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