Most adults remember childhood 3D being defined by paper glasses with blue and red lenses. They were usually disposable, the shows were rare and some – like “Haunts of the Olde Country,” shown at Busch Gardens between 1993 and 1998 – even had effects like misting water or dropping confetti. It helped immerse viewers even more deeply in the experience.
3D films and movies aren’t rare anymore, especially in the United States. For the first time, the Olympics are even being broadcast in 3D. According to CNET, more than 80 percent of households in the US have access to the channel dedicated to broadcasting 242 hours of Olympic 3D action. The channel is cosponsored by NBC and Panasonic, and is being hosted on major cable providers like Comcast, DirecTV and Verizon. Viewers have to own 3D equipment, including glasses, to join in on the fun.
3D is going global, too. India’s first animated stereoscopic 3D film, “Krishna and Kans,” was released worldwide on August 3. It’s a family friendly story about the first ten years of Krishna’s life. According to the executive producer, the film involved more than 1,200 animators working for more than five years to complete. It’s being released first in Indian schools and theaters, as well as theaters in Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia. “Krishna and Kans” should be released in the United States about two weeks after its initial premiere.
Of course, 3D movies are already incredibly popular in the United States. Roy Taylor, writing for Mashable, points out that the top 50 3D movies before December of 2011 made $8 billion. The top ten 3D movies between September and December of the same year made more than $480 million. Despite limited content, the sales of 3D LCD televisions were up in 2011. As more content is made available and hardware prices drop, sales of 3D-compatible devices will undoubtedly rise even more.
It doesn’t seem like the desire for 3D films or television is going away anytime soon. Looking to the future, the highly anticipated trilogy follow-up to the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “The Hobbit,” will be shown in 3D when it’s released in 2014.