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British audiences turning back on 3D

British audiences turning back on 3D

British audiences turning back on 3D

New figures from the British Film Institute suggest that 3D films could be receding in popularity to become more of a niche market than the overwhelming norm that it had appeared.

Just days after The Dark Knight Rises burst onto the big screen in traditional 2D only, the BFI figures show that although more films were released in 3D in 2011 than the previous year — up to 47 from 28 — the takings from 3D screenings fell, from 24% of UK and Irish box office takings to just 20%.

A spokeswoman said the novelty of 3D appeared to be wearing off, with audiences apparently being more selective about what they choose to see in 3D, with films that truly benefit from the extra dimension faring better than those that work equally well in the cheaper traditional format.

The highest grossing film of 2011, the final volume of the Harry Potter franchise, took just 48% of its box office gross from 3D screenings, while the motorcycling documentary TT3D: Closer to the Edge, took nearly 95% of its ticket receipts from audiences paying for the 3D experience. Hugo, Martin Scorsese’s family film that was designed very much for 3D, earned almost 80% of its box office takings from 3D.

Ipsos MediaCT, which provided some of the figures for the BFI’s Statistical Yearbook, said audiences were becoming more “savvy” and are “expecting a consistently better experience.”

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