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> At my recent Ebertfest, one seasoned director called the projection in the 90-year old Virginia Theater in Urbana-Champaign "the best I've ever seen." That's because we use two of the best projectionists in the nation, James Bond, who consults on high-level projection facilities...

James Bond? Okay, not every theater can afford to have James Bond in the projection booth... ;-)

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A serious and interesting information is that for Pirates 4, people apparently chose to see the film in 2D (60% of first week gross) rather than 3D: "Not only is this a clear rejection of 3D on a major movie, but given how distribution is currently designed, it makes you wonder whether Disney cost themselves a lot of gross by putting their film on too high a percentage of 3D screens." (quoted from Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com)

Re 3D: The only reason we pay the extra money for 3D is that the 2D is not available at the time we want. I think 3D is a clear example of technology for its own sake (ooh! cool!), but which doesn't actually help the story be experienced (your involvement with the characters is not enhanced at all, etc).

The picture should be just as bright for a 3d projection. Unfortunately, that means a more expensive light source (or two separate ones). The decision to simply use an old lamp at half intensity may have made immediate cost-cutting sense, but it's damaging the 3D brand. Case in point, Tron 2 3D was dim to the point that I removed the polarizers for the 2d-only scenes. The difference is quite visible.

There was a piece posted here some months ago that made the claim that 3D movies would never work, because the human eye (or brain) has to work harder than normal to process the false perception of near and far objects which the eye has to focus on at one fixed distance (the screen surface).

Correct - that was also a post by Roger Ebert: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2011/01/post_4.html

> I think 3D is a clear example of technology for its own sake

They said the same thing about color.

First of all, Ebert actually attributes the quote to David Poland of MovieCityNews.com.

To put that 60-40 split for 2D vs 3D into context, I'd need to know: a) what the proportion of 2D vs 3D showtimes were (perhaps weighted by the historical popularity of their timeslots, if that's not asking too much), and b) how much of the split is due to price sensitivity, as I assume 3D showtimes command a significant price premium.

Without that context, the naked percentages provide me little evidence for Ebert's assertion that, all else being equal, the average moviegoer really prefers 2D over 3D.

Mind you, I don't know what the fact of the matter is, I just know that the evidence provided is not convincing.

Unfortunately many cinemas here in the Netherlands are either 2D or 3D. If they have the 3D version of the movie, they show just that. And of course you pay extra for the 3D movie (the glasses). It might also however be due to the fact that you can also often choose between the original version (with subtitles) or a dubbed version, meaning there would be 4 choices/editions, which is a bit much.

It's worth noting that Ian Fleming named his character after an American ornithologist, intending to choose a common and drab name, not foreseeing that it would become synonymous with awesome.

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