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Cinemas see $$ in 3D

May 12, 2010

Big bang on the screen means a big bang for the screen… well the screen owners anyway.

The Economist reports on how big in-yer-face movies, 3D effects a definite bonus, is turning booms into a boon for cinema owners who are seeing an increase in box-office as movie-goers come to see the latest explosion in super IMAX surround-sound with smell-o-vision.

I love the cinema so it is a lot of fun to see people going out to movies again. But the article posits:

The loser, as so often, is grown-up drama. In the past two years the big studios have shut or run down “specialty” divisions like Focus Features and Miramax (the latter may yet return, in a much depleted state, to Bob and Harvey Weinstein, who founded it). Fans of such films are out of luck. They should certainly steer clear of cinemas this summer.

In my most idealistic moment, I’m not sure that is true. It isn’t hard to imagine multiplexes being chock-full of high-intensity action flix presented in high-tech movie houses, but does that mean that demand for “grown-up drama” will dissipate?

Not likely, it just means people searching for such dramas will go elsewhere. Some may just stay home and get movies online or via Netflix, but is there the potential for the return of the art house cinema?

Art house died out in the 1970s and 1980s but now, with mainstream cinema conquering the “bigger is better” movie market, that could open up space in the lower end; smaller cinemas for smaller movies. Do you really need to see Hurt Locker in IMAX?

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