This isn't just about the appeal of the technology for viewers---which will wear off as soon as they get burned enough. It's about greed: charging more for tickets. Avatar's premium numbers are dancing in studio chief's heads. Apres Alice, the deluge.
Truth is, Cameron knows how to do 3-D: he set a mile-high standard with Avatar. I'm spoiled. James Cameron has been proselityzing for movies designed from in-front to be 3-D: smooth, immersive, not in-your-face. The folks at DreamWorks (How to Train Your Dragon) and Pixar (Up) also know what they are doing with CG and 3-D. It makes sense in the digital universe to move the viewer's eyes around inside a 3-D space. Doing it well is expensive, though. Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson and Joe Letteri are building on Weta Digital's Avatar knowledge for the 3-D performance capture movie Tintin, another movie that will likely look sensational in 3-D.
Tim Burton is a tactile guy who hates CG and prefers putting his hands on real objects. ("Nous ne faisions pas Avatar!" he told Le Monde.) Alice in Wonderland's 3-D was weird and fake. Again, I'd rather see it in 2-D. From now on, I will see every movie in the format it was shot in. It makes sense that Burton plans to return to 3-D with the stop-motion animation project The Addams Family. Then he can fold his brain--and hands--around puppets in a real space: like Corpse Bride.
Bourne series producer Frank Marshall (@LeDoctor), who knows a thing or two, tweeted thusly: "So far, feels like it's better to shoot in 3-D rather than convert..." He's right. And so is Cameron, who also hates the 3-D conversion craze, along with Michael Bay. Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago) tweets, "3-D is a distracting, annoying, anti-realistic, juvenile abomination to use as an excuse for higher prices" (and expounds further here).
Ridley Scott wanted to turn Robin Hood into 3-D--probably wanting to add some pizazz to a pricey project that needs to be as commercial as possible. But Universal balked at the extra cost, thank God. To his credit, Darren Aronofsky was reluctant to shoot MGM's RoboCop remake in 3-D. Financeer Relativity asked Stephen Norrington to direct his reboot of The Crow in 3-D, but the director didn't want to shoot that way, figuring they can do it retroactively.
No! The whole point of 3-D is to immerse the audience in exotic worlds like the jungles of Pandora and Up. It's not about the pop! wow! pixel-antics of Clash of the Titans. If audiences flock to see that too, Hollywood will continue to rush in, ruining a good thing by trashing, debasing and over-using it. As always. Too bad.