Oh, thank God. Not that I was going to see it in 3D anyway. My husband and I would have hunted down a 2D showing. But the thing is, Warner Brothers had already been working for some time on trying to convert the film to 3D. I mean, the release is just over a month away, you would think they would have gotten that taken care of by now, right? But it was taking too long, and no one was happy with what the converted film looked like. So, instead of pushing back the release date, which would have just been evil, someone somewhere made the executive decision that it was okay to say, "Look, we screwed up. This film isn't going to work in 3D and we really don't want to delay the release, so let's just go ahead and launch it in 2D only, okay." This is a level of common sense heretofore unseen in Hollywood, at least in this century so far.
Okay, yeah, economically, it maybe seems like a bad idea, because Warner Brothers already spent a lot of money on trying to convert the film that they are now just going to have to eat. But, this is a Harry Potter movie we're talking about. As Flick Filosopher said in her reaction to this news, "Deathly Hallows could have been performed by sock puppets and it still would have made a fortune. But now it’ll make a slightly smaller fortune." This movie is going to make a ton of money no matter what. On this one, they can afford the loss of the wasted conversion attempt.
As someone who finds this growing compulsion to release every major film in 3D absolutely appalling, I am taking this news as the victory it is. Look, I get that 3D means more money for everyone because it means higher ticket prices. I would love to see some sort of comparison about how much extra profit is gleaned from those higher ticket prices after the actual cost of making the film 3D is taken into consideration though. For some films, 3D can be a great asset. Coraline utilized 3D extremely well, and while I didn't see Avatar in 3D, I understand it was another film that was accentuated with the enhancement. But the majority of the films released in 3D are not actually filmed in 3D, and are only later subjected to a (costly and timely) conversion process. And in those cases, it is completely unnecessary. It doesn't add anything to the film but a few extra dollars to the ticket price and a greater chance of headaches for the audience. If you're not going to bother to film your movie in 3D, then it probably doesn't need to be seen in 3D. I saw Up in 3D, but honestly, afterward, I wished I hadn't bothered. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved Up, it was fantastic, but the 3D didn't add anything to it, and having watched it several times on DVD, it hasn't lost anything at all just being seen 2D.
The 3D craze annoys the bejeezus out of me because it is not an artistic movement among filmmakers. It is just a cash grab by greedy studios. So I am ecstatic that I won't have to hunt for a 2D showing of the next Harry Potter film, and I hope its inevitable success at the box office will maybe give other studios some reason to realize that a film doesn't need to be 3D to be awesome. And maybe they'll at least think a little bit more carefully about each forthcoming film before slapping some 3D on it. I don't really believe that will happen, but I can hope at least, right?
The fact that Warner Brothers seems to be going full-speed ahead on converting part 2 of Deathly Hallows isn't too reassuring, but considering it is essentially just the second half of one very long film, maybe the problems they had with part 1 will keep cropping up and they'll scrap the plans to make that one 3D as well. Maybe? Well, fingers crossed anyway.
You can read the rest of Flick Filosohper's write-up on the news here.
John Scalzi also had a good write-up on the subject, which you can find here.
In other fun news, the 25th anniversary DVD set of Back to the Future will include some previously unreleased footage of Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly. Apparently they filmed 5 whole weeks with him in the role before deciding to switch to Michael J. Fox. Wow. It's kind of, bizarre. Check it out here.