Michael Bay Desperately Tries to Save 3D

With 3D ticket sales on the decline, the Transformers: Dark of the Moon director takes matters into his own hands.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

With audiences finally catching on the 3D is mostly an excuse to raise ticket prices, the sales of 3D tickets to big budget event movies like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides have fallen dramatically, to the extent that stocks in companies with a vested interest in 3D, like RealD (which is down a whopping 24 percent), have also taken a hit. Michael Bay will have none of that. With his first 3D film Transformers: Dark of the Moon hitting theaters next week, he's taken to contacting movie theater CEOs directly to ask them to project his movie better than the rest.

The New York Times reports that Bay, who once himself declared 3D a 'gimmick' but who eventually made one himself thanks reportedly to the intervention of James Cameron – who is way too invested in this, if you ask us – has asked theaters to take the serious risk of… burning their projector bulbs brighter. Apparently turning the light bulbs up makes the image brighter and easier to see. Bay's next film, The Amazing Adventures of Obvious-Man, is expected next summer.

Truth be told, dim projector bulbs have long been the bane of poor theater presentation, with many chains opting to prolong the life of a freaking light bulb rather than project movies properly. Roger Ebert's been harping on this – and with good cause – for years now, writing an article promoting (God forbid) adequate film projection as recently as last month. Ebert even points out that for all the damage theaters are doing to the quality of their products, they are generally only preserving the life of their light bulbs by '2.3 percent.' Meanwhile, the damage that shoddy 3D has done to the entertainment industry by alienating the movie-going public is costing a fortune.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is expected to make or possibly even break Hollywood's interest in 3D technology, so Michael Bay is understandably concerned. He told the New York Times that "If this was having my name on it, I was determined to make it technically perfect," adding that, “We’ve spent an enormous amount of time making sure the eye is transitioned from shot to shot." 

There's a cheap joke to be made about Michael Bay failing to do just that in all of his 2D movies, and we just made it.

Only time will tell if Transformers: Dark of the Moon reinvigorates the movie-going public's interest in 3D technology.

Crave Online will be back with more 3D news until this trend finally dies.