Friday, April 22, 2016

"The Huntsman: Winter's War" Screens in 3D Internationally

 
This weekend the number one movie will likely be "The Jungle Book" once again.  It will be an easy repeat victory for the animated film, as no other movie opening this weekend has the positive reviews and solid word-of-mouth.  Not to mention it will get to keep all of the 3D and IMAX screens since Universal Studios has decided not to release the 3D version of their big new release "The Huntsman: Winter's War" in America.  The movie is a prequel to the horrendous "Snow White and the Huntsman" from a few years ago.  Originally planned as a sequel, the decision to go the prequel route is probably a combination of Kristen Stewarts falling celebrity status, the scandal about her affair with original director Rupert Sanders shortly after the release of the original film, and the death of Bob Hoskins.  That is a trifecta of base events no supposed franchise wants to have... of course, since the original movie was so terrible, it's amazing that the studio attempted to franchise it at all.

To be certain, "The Huntsman: Winter's War" has been getting terrible reviews with many of us critics wondering how stupid these studios think the public are (apparently, they think the public is VERY stupid).  The question mark some have had is about the international 3D version of the film.  It was never announced to be coming to the US in the first place (unlike some other movies), but the question remains whether or not the film is supposed to be viewed in three dimensions or two?  Having only seen the movie in 2D myself I can only speculate, but with the exception of maybe one shot the movie didn't look like it was made with 3D in mind.  Granted, a couple of the fight sequences likely wouldn't be hurt by having three dimensions, but its pretty clear the studio didn't think very highly of the effect to make it a priority.  In this case I'm willing to trust them on the matter that the 3D just wasn't very good because the studio in question is Universal Studios.

Universal is one of the best studios out there when it comes to their support for 3D.  They have released movies like "Despicable Me," "Jurassic World," and "47 Ronin." These are all movies that (despite their various degrees of quality) all used 3D effectively and was worth the extra money for the added effect.  On the other hand, they also produced 3D versions for "Furious 7" and "The Huntsman: Winter's War" that were never intended for release in America.  I have actually seen the 3D version of "Furious 7" and, despite the fact that it would seem like a movie like that would benefit from 3D, but it really didn't.  My suspicion is that Universal is making these 3D versions of all their movies for the Chinese market that can't get enough of the effect, but they are being more selective of which titles actually benefit from the effect for the US market.  This makes sense because American's are still recovering from a glut of terrible 3D movies, and Universal likely only wants to release movies that will put the format back in a positive light.

While it will be nice to one day be able to just choose which version you want to see, at this point in time Universal's selective process makes perfect sense.  And really, even if the 3D was good, I would be hesitant to ask even a small percentage of people to fork over extra money to see "The Huntsman: Winter's War" of all things.  Either way, the studio has made it much easier for audiences to see the better movie this weekend by forgoing 3D and IMAX screenings.  With the exception of a few XD and RPX screens, "The Huntsman: Winter's War" is only going to be screened on standard screens across America, and if the preview numbers are any indication, it won't make much of a dent at the box office.  Personally, I think it's worth forgetting about this movie and just recommend seeing "The Jungle Book" again.  Or seek out something really unique if you're feeling adventurous.

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