It was announced yesterday morning that Lionsgate has made the decision to keep Mockingjay Part 2 in a 2D format rather than 3D like the rest of the series. I for one am not a huge fan of 3D so I think this is a great decision! Did you see the latest teaser trailer for Mockingjay Part 2? If not click HERE!
Exclusive: ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2’ Scraps 3D For American Theaters
Lions Gate Entertainment has made the call to release The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2 in America in 2D and IMAX 2D only. They announced back in February that they would release the fourth and final chapter of the Katniss and Friends saga in 3D and IMAX 3D along with the traditional 2D release. This coincided with the decision to release Mockingjay part 1 in 3D for the Chinese market earlier this year as well as the decision to release Mockingjay part 2 of 2 in 3D in overseas markets. Well, in short, that plan has been altered. The film will still go out in 3D in China and the rest of the world, but the Hunger Games finale will be released in American theatres on November 20th, 2015 in old-school 2D.
The reason for this is of course that Lionsgate read my prior pieces on the subject, wised up to my infinite wisdom, and saw the error of their ways. I’m joking, I hope, because I don’t want the responsibility if this somehow backfires. In all seriousness, the official reason is that they want to maintain the relative consistency of the franchise, with the prior three films going out strictly as 2D. Director Francis Lawrence discussed the decision, stating “I love the 3D format and I know that Mockingjay part 2 will play perfectly in 3D and 2D internationally – but I’m pleased that we’re maintaining the 2D only (and IMAX) formats domestically. It is the best of all worlds!”
Of course, it won’t be entirely consistent since Mockingjay part 1 was forced to forgo the IMAX release since that fiendish Chris Nolan insisted on hogging the IMAX screens for Interstellar last November. Mockingjay part 2 was the first film to cross $300 million domestic without 3D or IMAX since Iron Man and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in May of 2008, and it was the highest-grossing no-3D/no-IMAX film since Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest way back in 2006. But I digress.
The reason is just as likely an admission that 3D isn’t nearly as big of a factor in America as it is overseas, as evidenced by (for example) the 3D-enhanded Divergent: Insurgent which still grossed less ($129m vs. $150m) than the 2D Divergent. Generally speaking, people who see Hunger Games movies don’t really seek out the 3D version. The end result is merely a matter of goosing the already-sure-to-be-huge opening weekend which will come with a ready-made asterisk. The film is going to be a mega smash in America, so let the 3D version (which I’m sure looks good enough) play elsewhere in the world where 3D still makes a big difference in terms of box office.
Needless to say, I am pleased by the change of heart. From a box office nerd perspective, it will make it that much easier to compare and contrast the domestic box office gross of the final Hunger Games film to the rest of the series and the whole franchise compared to other respective franchises. It will give The Hunger Games franchise a valuable “never went 3D in America” merit badge that makes it stand out alongside the likes Twilight Saga and the Fast & Furious films. There will be no asterisk required if The Hunger Games becomes the first film series to notch three $400 million+ entries in American theatrical box office.
The better news is merely a matter of the presentation itself, presumably here and abroad. The awful 3D conversion for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow part II actually negatively impacted my enjoyment of the IMAX press screening, but that was a long time ago. The good news for overseas audiences is that the so-called 3D conversion has gotten a lot better since those dark-and-muddy post-Avatar days. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 looked better converted into 3D then The Amazing Spider-Man looked actually being shot in 3D and this week’s gorgeous Jurassic World is a colorful marvel in IMAX 3D. I personally prefer 2D whenever possible, but I won’t pretend that the 3D version isn’t probably going to look just fine too.
But, as silly as it sounds, I also really wanted The Hunger Games to finish the last lap as the 2D female-centric action franchise that trounced the copious 3D-enhanced boy-centric fantasy franchises. Now it can, and now it probably will, to a point. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2 will end as it began, as a 2D and IMAX 2D release. Anyway, that is the news and the news is good! The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2 will open around the world on November 20th, 2015 in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D. It stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Jena Malone, and Elisabeth Banks. It is written by Danny Strong, and is directed by Francis Lawrence. As always, we’ll see, but the odds are once again in its favor. And if Lionsgate is reading this, may I politely request that the first press screenings be held in IMAX, preferably the TCL in downtown Hollywood?