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TOPIC: New digital installs and no 3d?

New digital installs and no 3d? 24 Jun 2012 23:36 #38706

  • rufusjack
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For those of you who have installed digital and not going 3d I wonder why? (mostly mainstream movie theaters)

There seems to be a clear demand for both 2d & 3d so why not offer both?

I saw some theater post this on their facebook page recently when asked if they were going 3d or not: "we chose not to add 3-D due to the insanity it sets off in the film companies who are so competitive it makes a shark feeding frenzy look tame. Smaller theatre like the ****** have passed and even removed 3-D due to the problem."

What theaters have removed 3d besides the art house guy in the Illinois side of St. Louis? That guy should have not gotten it in the first place as an art house does not need 3d.

We have stopped running Technicolor 3d because it has gotten too expensive to run since the number of releases available for it have dropped. But if we stay around and go digital we will go with Dolby 3d and have NO 3d upcharge. We will offer both 2d and 3d.
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 25 Jun 2012 15:49 #38709

  • Mike
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We chose not to do the 3-D for exactly that reason. In a 3 screen the Perfect case would be Brave and Spiderman. If we had one 3-D screen the demand for it would be a constant fight that we simply chose to avoid. I have heard of numerous accounts of this scenario and we decided not to go there. Plus: added cost/ added glasses/ cleaning glasses: it did not add up for us. Further: the only time I felt we lost any real biz on 3-D was with Avatar and we still did great. People do not complain about the lack of 3-D. We have surb=vey customers and while people go out of town to see a movie we do not have the amount who travel to see 3-D is not measurable. I have had film distribs tell me that smaller theatres pulled 3-d for the above reasons. I know other smaller theatres that have not installed 3-D for these same reasons. I have had film distribs privately concur with me 100%. If I had 10-12 screens I'd have 3-D. But i do not. So..I do not. :)

PS I do not name names when I write because that is up to others if they want to id themselves. If you have a conversation with your bookers they all know of theatres that do not have 3d and the far fewer but still true a few who have pulled it.
Michael Hurley
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Last Edit: 25 Jun 2012 15:51 by Mike.
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 25 Jun 2012 16:25 #38710

  • revrobor
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FWIW I have seen several advents of 3D over the years and have come to the conclusion that if it's a good story 3D does not add to the quality of the film. So I don't fault exhibitors for not installing the equipment or the customer for not wanting to pay the up-charge.
Bob Allen
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 25 Jun 2012 18:11 #38711

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My experience:

1) Significant amount of customers want 3d and they are fine paying the upcharge. We are running Madagascar 3 and Brave and have had numerous people expecting it to be in 3d. I am also constantly finding my customers going somewhere else to see a movie in 3d. I do have 2 theaters within 20 mins of me that play everything besides re-releases in both 2d & 3d.

2) Theaters that have done 3d and 2d without charging an upcharge see a greater split to 3d. The theater I am the most familiar with has no competition for 40 miles. I actually tell him he is too nice to his customers.

I guess Mid-Missouri is just different than the New England area. People want 3d here.

You have 3 screens over 2 so you can play more movies. So you would have 3d capabilities in more than one room. You are in a great situation Mike. Judging by your attendance numbers you mentioned and your fundraising, you will have an updated theater paid for by your customers and the VPF. That is not including savings from labor for not having to have a projectionist on duty. Or from getting more business because you have a much better product on screen.

But.....this goes with what I have been saying for a while. You can be less customer friendly in markets where you are the only theater with other theaters a great distance away.
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 25 Jun 2012 19:44 #38714

  • tratcliff
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There are several small town, single screen theatres that I have noticed have 3-D, but only do 3-D at the 7pm or 9pm, or on certain days of the week. And they do this on the break.
So, it would seem logical to me to do 3-D this way instead of not doing it at all.
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 25 Jun 2012 20:27 #38717

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tratcliff wrote:
There are several small town, single screen theatres that I have noticed have 3-D, but only do 3-D at the 7pm or 9pm, or on certain days of the week. And they do this on the break.
So, it would seem logical to me to do 3-D this way instead of not doing it at all.

You have to be doing multiple shows a day to do both 2d & 3d. The studios will want the 7ish slot for 3d. But for us the 4ish show for kids movies is just as good as the 7ish. The theaters in my area only doing one show are the small grossers ($50k or less per screen). Most theaters above $50k per screen in my area are doing at least 2 shows a day if not 4 or more.
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 25 Jun 2012 21:25 #38720

  • Mike
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rufusjack wrote:
My experience:

1) Significant amount of customers want 3d and they are fine paying the upcharge. We are running Madagascar 3 and Brave and have had numerous people expecting it to be in 3d. I am also constantly finding my customers going somewhere else to see a movie in 3d. I do have 2 theaters within 20 mins of me that play everything besides re-releases in both 2d & 3d.

2) Theaters that have done 3d and 2d without charging an upcharge see a greater split to 3d. The theater I am the most familiar with has no competition for 40 miles. I actually tell him he is too nice to his customers.

I guess Mid-Missouri is just different than the New England area. People want 3d here.

You have 3 screens over 2 so you can play more movies. So you would have 3d capabilities in more than one room. You are in a great situation Mike. Judging by your attendance numbers you mentioned and your fundraising, you will have an updated theater paid for by your customers and the VPF. That is not including savings from labor for not having to have a projectionist on duty. Or from getting more business because you have a much better product on screen.

But.....this goes with what I have been saying for a while. You can be less customer friendly in markets where you are the only theater with other theaters a great distance away.


We are pretty danged "customer friendly" but we also make choices like we don't play torture porn such as the Saw flicks. There is 3-D 27 miles away and if it's important they can go.
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 25 Jun 2012 23:24 #38721

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We all have different ideas of customer friendly.

For example: 2 three screen theaters each doing approximately the same yearly gross. One theater offers 35 shows a week right now and the other offers 12 shows. Another 3 screen grosses about 1/3rd less is running 28 shows per movie. A four screen that averages even less per screen is running 20 shows per movie (and is feeling a bit lazy right now doing it but we have our reasons-yes that is me).

Another theater has shows of over 100; many times over 200 people with only 2 concession lines. While another theater will have 5 concession lines with that same 100 person expectation.

Others offer 2d and 3d to their patrons and let them decide what they want to watch.
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 26 Jun 2012 00:15 #38724

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Just had a theater I book put in 3d digital first movie -PROMETHEUS -- THE 3 WEEK RUN --67 % OF CUSTOMERS WENT 2D--33% went 3d..
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 26 Jun 2012 14:36 #38728

  • Narrow Gauge
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Added Dolby 3D in time for Avatar(Kaching) and a second Dolby 3D for Train your Dragon charging $1.00 extra for the 3D. Our experinence is head to head 2d vs 3d is a 55 to 45 split advantage for 2d. I believe if we took away the upcharge it would probably be a slight advantage for 3d. Regardless it has been good for us to offer 3d as initially at least it could not be duplicated at home. We run the first matinee and first evening show in 3d with the second matinee and late show being in 2d. My head to head numbers come from multiple times when we have had double prints one 35mm 2d and one digital 3d with shows staggered every 20 minutes so that the public was given a clear and comparable choice. I would never take the 3D out though I wish the number of pictures in 3D would be reduced to 12 or so per year while eliminating the lowbudget 3D conversions completely.
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 26 Jun 2012 21:50 #38730

  • Bob Nash
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Narrow Gauge said:
"Regardless it has been good for us to offer 3d as initially at least it could not be duplicated at home. "

3 D can't be duplicated at home: a good reason to run 3D. Well said.

Bob Nash
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 27 Jun 2012 00:09 #38741

  • Keweler
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Bob Nash, you are little behind times. I don't blame you though, who can keep up with all the new tech that comes out every 2 weeks. Anyway, 3D TV is available already and not that expensive anymore either.

I will convert to digital hopefully in Fall (last meetings with my bankers are scheduled this week). I never was a friend of 3D, but didn't make the decision easy if I go with 3D or not.
While there are good reason to go with 3D, my reasons for not going with it were:
- more labor (unless you go with real3d, which would mean the necessary upcharge would be to high for my market)
- more costly (projector, screen, glasses)
- my gut (I think it is on the way out)
- my gut 2 (i just think I don't loose that much business because I don't have 3d)

But that's just me,
Jay
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 27 Jun 2012 00:51 #38742

  • Bob Nash
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I'm not behind the times at all. 3D TV by all standards has been a bomb and it is certainly no threat to the 3D big screen experience.
There are too many 3D movies but certain 3 D movies will always have an audience.
Real D was what I picked. The additional costs are minimal and even if we have to start to pay for glasses they are still cheaper than the Dolby glasses and don't require collecting, washing and sanitizing. I'll never convince a Dolby fan that RealD is better.
Bob
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 27 Jun 2012 01:49 #38744

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This is the question I asked 6 of my reps from the top 6 studios today: "Have you had any of your theaters drop 3d capabilities in the last year?"

5 responded that none they are aware of.

The smaller theaters that have converted to digital in the past few months around me have added 3d.

So in the Midwest, 3d is growing.

If you are cheap and do not want to put up the money upfront go with Real3d. But you will be stuck having to use a silver screen and you will loose flexibility with pricing. I prefer Dolby because it is cheaper in the long run, requires no silver screen, technically superior in the eyes of the techies on Film-Tech and offer greater flexibility in pricing.

Just do not lie to your customers about this and certainly do not lead them to believe that you are having to pick up the whole $60k per screen when you are getting a VPF.
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 27 Jun 2012 15:22 #38749

  • Narrow Gauge
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We went with Dolby 3D mainly to be able to control the upcharge costs. I was and still am somewhat uncomfortable charging more for a ticket in these difficult economic times. Also I have always been fond of Dolby as a company as it has been very good to our industry. From my first CP50 processor many years ago to the CP750 and digital servers I have generally liked what they have done. However the 3d glasses from Dolby still need some added work especially in the durability department.
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