From movie theaters and 3D televisions to 3D game consoles,
smartphones and other devices, consumers are always eager for new
avenues of three-dimensional entertainment.
The latest trend started in a familiar place: movie theaters.
After the release of
, which grossed
$2.7 billion worldwide
, movie theaters were happy to buy into RealD's (NYSE:
) three-dimensional technology. Even before
was released in theaters, the movie industry had high hopes for
the new 3D format. Film producers were particularly intrigued by
3D projection, which could be used to charge more for ticket
At first, 3D showings dominated theaters all over the country.
From Disney's (NYSE:
Toy Story 3
to DreamWorks Animation's (NYSE:
How to Train Your Dragon
, theaters heavily pushed the new format.
Hollywood was just the beginning. Television manufacturers
could not resist the urge to bring 3D home. Soon Panasonic (NYSE:
), Samsung, Sony (NYSE:
), Sharp and other electronics companies began to produce a line
of 3D televisions.
In addition to new TVs, Sony brought 3D movie and video game
capabilities to PlayStation 3. Nintendo (OTC:
) developed and promoted a brand-new handheld gaming device, the
Nintendo 3DS, with the belief that 3D was the next big thing.
) attempted to give indie filmmakers a shot at creating their own
3D production by building a $20,000 camera with two side-by-side
Even automakers got into the trend, albeit on a much smaller
scale. At the 2011 North American International Auto Show, car
companies used 3D screens (and disposable 3D glasses) to attract
Based on these developments alone, consumers might think that
the 3D trend is alive and well. In reality, the format has yet to
take off. Consumers were not persuaded to trade in their
televisions, buy new cameras or new game consoles. They did not
buy into 3D smartphones either.
Now when moviegoers check their nearest AMC, Cinemark (NYSE:
) or Regal (NYSE:
) theater, they will see fewer showings for the 3D versions of
new films. Wreck-It Ralph, Disney's latest animated hit, is one
of many films to back away from the 3D switch. While it is still
playing in 3D, there are fewer show times for this option -- a
clear sign of the decline in popularity for the format.
The one bright spot for 3D has been IMAX (NASDAQ:
), which has amassed a loyal following of moviegoers that are
willing to pay a higher price for a larger screen. Year-to-date,
IMAX shares are up nearly 20 percent.
(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.