Disney has hit a marketing home run by showing an exclusive in-theatre teaser trailer for AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER with their blockbuster release of Marvel’s DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. The trailer has sparked buzz around the upcoming sequel to the 2009 original, especially its use of 3D technology. AVATAR 2 will be the first time in years since many will have seen a movie in 3D.
James Cameron’s AVATAR was a box office phenomenon because of its innovative use of special effects. After an initial wave of interest, 3D lost its luster as Hollywood rushed to bolt the format onto many special effects blockbusters, beginning with CLASH OF THE TITANS, released only four months after AVATAR. Many viewers came to feel that 3D was a gimmick used to justify higher ticket prices.
At its peak in 2010, 3D accounted for $1.85B in domestic ticket sales, representing 18.2% of the total box office. Since then, 3D’s market share has fallen dramatically, with even large-format specialist IMAX dropping the format.
However, Disney believes that audiences are ready once again to embrace 3D based on advancements in technology and the creative impact of director James Cameron. Exhibitors are also enthusiastic since it promises a theatrical-only experience at a premium ticket price.