This week brings news of two in-development properties whose filmmakers will be reluctantly dragged into the hell that is post-production 3D conversion. Just yesterday we found out that Roland Emmerich’s two Independence Day sequels would undergo such a process and now we are discovering similar on-goings for the already-complete Guillermo del Toro movie Pacific Rim.
Because there is very much a possibility that Independence Day still might not work out or show its face anytime soon, I held off talking about that one as Emmerich himself said a chief concern about making the two films will be cast availability (meaning whether Will Smith can fit them in.) Under the working titles Independence Day Forever Part I and II, both will be shot in 2D as the director is not a fan of the current 3D cameras.
The more interesting story here is with Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim which stars Sons of Anarchy-lead Charlie Hunnam fighting giant monsters in man-made robots. Due to the size of the film and relative distinctions in regards to certain large scale set pieces, del Toro was not a fan of using 3D in any capacity and actually fought hard against Warner Bros. who was pushing the tech. Initially it appeared as if del Toro’s pleas were heard, but for whatever reason the studio 180′d.
Many are blaming this on foreign box office demands, but I would blame the domestic one as well. There is a clear divide in the bankability of 3D versus pure 2D films in box office receipts that transcends overall desirability. Many actioners that depend on gun-play at its core are shunning 3D and they are paying for it in a big way–something best exemplified by the mediocre August box office performance. Seeing how most Americans consider the glasses option wasteful compared to the rest of the world, this is hard to buy into; however, the thinking is that 3D is a marketing indicator to audiences saying to them ‘this is an event movie and you need to witness it on the big screen in any capacity.’
Of course, that played a big factor in Paramount’s decision to delay G.I. Joe: Retaliation all the way to next March and many studios are starting to buy into the fact that the Real 3D logo stands for ‘we care’ as much as it does ‘we simply want more money.’