Can 'Gravity' Save 3D?

Rolling asks: Can ‘Gravity’ Save 3D?

For once, critics and ticketbuyers are in sync: Gravity is the rare movie that’s really worth splurging extra to see in 3D, on a giant screen.

Awed critics contend that Alfonso Cuaron’s space opera – with its lengthy, fluid takes; its astronauts tumbling through space in every possible direction; its dangerous space debris hurtling at your face; its huge, looming Earth, almost always within view; and even the droplets of Sandra Bullock’s breath and the round globules of her zero-gravity tears – demands to be seen as Cuaron shot it, in state-of-the-art 3D, preferably on a planet-sized IMAX screen. The reviewers’ consensus is that it’s really the first film since Avatar four years ago where 3D is essential to the storytelling and not just a superfluous bell-and-whistle meant to sell higher-priced tickets.

And audiences seemed to agree. Gravity‘s opening weekend set several October box office records. One of those was that it earned 21 percent of its take from IMAX screens and 80 percent from 3D screens. Those are huge percentages, considering how few IMAX screens there are, and considering the disenchantment among both fans and filmmakers toward 3D

Even James Cameron, who earlier this summer told Cuaron he thought too many movies were being released in 3D that didn’t have to be, gave Cuaron’s spectacle a thumbs-up. “I was stunned, absolutely floored,” the Avatar director told Variety. “I think it’s the best space photography ever done, I think it’s the best space film ever done, and it’s the movie I’ve been hungry to see for an awful long time.”
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