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3D Movie Popularity - What's the Big Deal?

Updated on November 22, 2013
3-D Glasses
3-D Glasses | Source

Movies in 3D seem to be the hottest trend in movie-going these days. What's the big deal? In the first three months of 2011 alone, seven 3D movies have been released to theaters, and 25 more scheduled for the rest of year.

3D movies have been around longer than most people think. They were actually invented in 1856 by William Van Doren Kelley and the first feature 3D film, Power of Love, was released in 1922. Bwana Devil has the honor of being the first color 3D film in 1952. Over the years, 3D movie popularity has boomed and tanked with current trends. What's so great about 3D movies? What do you need to know before going to a 3D movie?

1. The biggest benefit to seeing a 3D movie is the enhanced depth perception created for the viewers' enjoyment. Instead of appearing flat, people and objects emerge from the screen into the audience. These effects are particularly successful in children's and horror movies. Who hasn't seen children (and even adults) reaching out toward the screen to touch something during a 3D movie?

2. Motion sickness, or kinetosis, can be a problem when watching the special visual effects from 3D movies. Dizziness, nausea and headaches occur because the perceived sense of motion from the movie conflicts with the body's actual sense of motion - which is still. Those who feel ill may benefit from closing their eyes periodically for a minute or two. Some individuals must avoid 3D movies altogether.

3. Because of the special visuals, 3D movies cost more to make than the average 2D movie. Therefore, the cost is transferred to the consumer. Theaters often charge $3.00 or more for 3D movie tickets in addition to the regular ticket price.

4. Although tremendous improvements have been made in the 3D glasses viewers must wear to enjoy the movies, they are still cumbersome and awkward. This is particularly true for those wearing eyeglasses, who must fit the 3D glasses over their own.  One size fits all does not always work well.

5. Critics of 3D movies note that those created originally in 3D seem to be of better quality than those first made in 2D. In 2009, Avatar was released in 2D and in early 2010, in 3D.

Technology for movies in 3D is advancing. Modification in movie production techniques and of the special glasses will aid against motion sickness. It's beginning to make it into homes, as well. The trend toward movies in 3D seems to be here again for awhile.

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