Is China undergoing a 3D backlash? Speakers at the recent Beijing International Film Festival seemed to go to great lengths to condemn poor 3D.
Prominent members of industry like Yang Buting, chairman of China Film Distribution and Exhibition Association and China Film Overseas Promotional Corporation, lined up to have a go at the format. Director Paul Andersson (Resident Evil and many other 3D films) said that there were too many bad 3D films and exhibitors over-charging (see next item), which could lead China to follow the US lead of audiences switching back to 2D.
Take the numbers with a pinch of salt, however, as the most recent screen count in China is 20,007, which makes the first figure quoted nonsensical.
More than 20,000 movie screens in China can play 3D films and more companies are competing to sell their 3D projection equipment, which used to cost between 80,000 yuan and 150,000 yuan. Now equipment is no more than 20,000 yuan, said Yang.
“This kind of vicious competition has lowered the quality and cost of 3D films, thus upsetting viewers,” he said.
Paul Anderson told Xinhua that it is better to give audiences a choice.
“If you don’t give them a choice and you deliver bad 3D products, eventually they will stop going to the cinema. American people are choosing to watch 2D rather than 3D films,” he said. LINK
It is worth remembering that films like RoboCop and Transcendence were released in 3D only in China, to qualify for the 20+14 foreign film import quota, while Noah was released in 3D everywhere around the world (except in muslim countries that banned it in 2D and 3D) except in the US.
Chinese cinemas are also coming under scrutiny by city councils for the practice of charging a premium for tickets to 3D films, as well as requiring patrons to spend extra to buy 3D glasses.
Miss Xiao told reporters the she recently went to a South City theater to watch a 3D movie. After buying the tickets, she was told she would be required to purchase 3D glasses sold by the cinema or she would not be able to watch the 3D movies. “At the time, I felt very angry, but I did not want to think about spending more money to buy more than the ticket to affect my mood, so I spent more than ten yuan to buy 3D glasses trouble.” Consumers such as Miss Lee, Mr. Jin is one of many who suffered such things. City Council said yesterday, after investigating theatres in Dongguan, that this situation does exist. LINK
The City Council is threatening cinemas with actions for violating Article 26 of the “Consumer Protection Law” and urges them to “consciously safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of consumers.” Seems like there is trouble brewing here on multiple fronts.