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Hollywood’s 3D Conspiracy

Topics: Popular Media | 1 CommentBy admin | November 4, 2009

It’s actually pretty two-dimensional. They want your money. They want their profits back.

As I sat at a friend of a friend’s house the other evening watching a torrented “DVD rip” of the new Star Trek movie two weeks before its release date, it struck me that there’s a bit of irony in the fact that Disney is using a remake of “A Christmas Carol” to help roll out the film industy’s latest flailing attempt to save its way of life – the 3D movie. At a time in US history that teeters on the edge of being Dickensian, to take a story that is typically viewed as an indictment of nineteenth century industrial capitalism and use it as part of a platform that is meant to help Hollywood regain control of its media and its profits is either a master stroke or incredibly foolish. They’re going to have to do something though, I may have been watching a copy of a DVD release a couple of weeks early, but Star Trek was available as a torrent while the film was still in theaters. Hollywood’s been warming you up with 3D re-releases of Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and The Nightmare Before Christmas, but the acid test will be James Cameron’s Avatar, set for release around the holidays, and touted as the spearhead of the new assault of 3D in theaters. If you haven’t pieced this all together yet, Hollywood’s idea is to offer something in theaters you won’t be able to take home later. Will it work? I personally don’t think so; I agree to some degree with the thinking of people like Chris Anderson, who’s book Free: The Future of a Radical Price points up the fact that pop media has little value in itself, but is a great way to build customer engagement. I mean, a pop song is 99 cents on iTunes, and Star Trek is free at my friend’s house. Why would I pay even more to watch a movie in an already overpriced theater? I’m not alone in this thinking, this mom’s reaction highlights Hollywood’s ongoing disconnect. In my opinion, the greed will eventually kill them. They literally own our brains already by virtue of how media like Toy Story saturates our existence and generates ancillary sales, but it’s not enough. They still want cash up front. Sorry Hollywood, my life is already in 3D. That’s precisely why I go to a movie or play; to invest a little imagination and get away from things.


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