Morgan Stanley’s numbers on the impact of 3D on the film industry.

3D has helped the bottom line in Hollywood over the last few years. You know that’s the case when it’s absence is being felt in studio accounting departments. But that’s not likely to be the case this year Analysts at Morgan Stanley project that 2014 won’t be a repeat of the record year experienced in 2013 when the industry took in $10.9 in ticket sales.

Analysts say that their projects for an off year will be primarily because of fewer 3D releases – 28 compared with 34 – and lower attendance rates for those films – 39 percent compared with 42 percent. Morgan Stanley’s Benjamin Swinburne says that could cause ticket revenues to fall by as much as 2 percent.

These projections raises an interesting question: If there were more 3D movies set for release would that have a significant impact on revenues despite the fact that audience interest seems to be flagging? In other words, if there were more 3D movies around would increased attendance overall offset the waning interest for 3D films? Moviegoers pay a premium for 3D releases but that doesn’t mean much if they’re not attending the movies.

3D movies have been around in Hollywood since the 1950s. It seems that they’ve been taken seriously only in the last few years since the quality has matched the hype. Yet the next couple of years should tell whether its a tech development that moviegoers are willing to pay for.


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