Emerging Market for 3-D Films in China

China is an emerging market for 3-D films. Both Avatar 3-D and Titanic 3-D had great success in China, respectively grossing $204 million and $153 million. In China, Titanic 3-D grossed $100 million within the first week, which is more than anywhere else in the world. James Cameron, the director of Avatar and Titanic, has taken notice and expressed interest. Cameron stated “The future of entertainment is 3-D and we believe that the future of 3-D is right here in China.”

China’s middle class is growing and so is its disposable income. More people are traveling to movie theaters to view the latest releases. The Chinese audience wants not only a movie, but a heightened experience – enter the 3-D movie. Hollywood is on the cutting edge of 3-D technology. China’s 3-D technology cannot compare at this time, causing American 3-D blockbusters to be in high demand. China’s box office sales in the first half of 2012 were up 41.7% due to imported movies. Most of the imported movies were in 3-D format.

One issue with importing 3-D blockbusters to China is the language barrier. As a viewer, it’s difficult to watch a 3-D film while simultaneously reading subtitles. It almost certainly causes a headache. This is one of the challenges that filmmakers are trying to address and resolve. One solution is to keep projector bulbs turned up high to help eyes easily adjust. Unfortunately, each bulb costs about $790, so it’s a fairly expensive solution. Another way to help ease the eyes is to shoot the 3-D film live by using two cameras at once. Most 3-D films are shot and then transformed into a 3-D film in post-production. Shooting 3-D films live is also quite expensive.

Despite some challenges, it seems that 3D films in China are the next big thing.

What do you think of 3D films?

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