MOVIE NEWS – James Cameron blames rechargeable 3D glasses and the industry for trying to “make money” from a feature.
James Cameron, the world-famous director and leading advocate of 3D movies, says 3D TVs have failed to take off because – get ready – audiences watch movies differently at home than they do in the cinema.
“I know why all that failed because there was – what they did was they jumped into 3D trying to cash in on the boom at theatres and treat it as a feature,” Cameron told IGN in a recent interview promoting the theatrical re-release of Avatar.
“So, they did 3D, but they did it with glasses that needed to be recharged and all that. Whereas just over the horizon was glasses-free, large flat screen TVs which actually look pretty good.”
3D TVs exploded into the public consciousness at CES 2010. They required 3D glasses that needed regular charging to work. They were also a bit painful to wear, especially for those who wore traditional glasses. Interestingly, the Blu-ray home release of Avatar: Limited 3D Edition kick-started the 3D TV craze, and most supermarkets used this film to introduce 3D support for TVs.
So what was it about 3D that didn’t work? James Cameron blames the “imperative to manufacture [glasses-free TVs], and the additional cost required got out of step with the market demand.” The director of Terminator 2 explained that viewers at home “don’t want anything that distracts them from multi-tasking and/or socializing with other people that are in the room with them.”
By 2017, major TV manufacturers such as Sony and LG had dropped 3D support, and many others followed suit.
Around the same time, a handful of pretty glasses-free 3D panels started appearing on the market, but they didn’t take off either.
More recently, companies like Sony have dived into “Spatial Reality” monitors, which use 3D technology similar to Nintendo’s 3DS, which displays 3D objects on the screen without 3D glasses.
Could 3D TVs be making a comeback? James Cameron has some thoughts.
“I think it could but can’t say because the home viewing experience is fundamentally different than the theatrical experience,” said the Oscar-winning director.
James Cameron is currently promoting the re-release of Avatar in cinemas this month and made no secret of how he thinks audiences should watch the film, saying he is “perfectly happy if the only place you can really get it [in 3D] is in a movie theater because it speaks to that specialness of the cinematic experience.”