Resistance Forms Against Hollywood’s 3-D Push

By MICHAEL CIEPLY

LOS ANGELES — A joke making the rounds online involves a pair of red and green glasses and some blurry letters that say, “If you can’t make it good, make it 3-D.”

‘When you put the glasses on, everything gets dim.’
J. J. ABRAMS
The director of “Star Trek,” which was a 2-D hit last year.
The fans of flat film have a motto. But do they have a movement?

While Hollywood rushes dozens of 3-D movies to the screen — nearly 60 are planned in the next two years, including “Saw VII” and “Mars Needs Moms!” — a rebellion among some filmmakers and viewers has been complicating the industry’s jump into the third dimension.

It’s hard to measure the audience resistance — online complaints don’t mean much when crowds are paying the premium 3-D prices. But filmmakers are another matter, and their attitudes may tell whether Hollywood’s 3-D leap is about to hit a wall.

Several influential directors took surprisingly public potshots at the 3-D boom during the recent Comic-Con International pop culture convention in San Diego.

“When you put the glasses on, everything gets dim,” said J. J. Abrams, whose two-dimensional “Star Trek” earned $385 million at the worldwide box office for Paramount Pictures last year.

Joss Whedon, who was onstage with Mr. Abrams, said that as a viewer, “I’m totally into it. I love it.” But Mr. Whedon then said he flatly opposed a plan by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to convert “The Cabin in the Woods,” a horror film he produced but that has not yet been released, into 3-D. “What we’re hoping to do,” Mr. Whedon said, “is to be the only horror movie coming out that is not in 3-D.”

full feature at nytimes.com/business

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