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On the surface, 3D is dying: revenues are down and two of the biggest hits this year are The Hangover Part II and Fast Five, both in 2D. More people went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strangers Tide in 2D rather than 3D.
In addition, Mark Ruffalo has confirmed on his Twitter account that The Avengers will not be shot in 3D. Still, Hollywood may try to force 3D down our throats and post-convert the film.
Director Jon Favreau refused to convert Iron Man 2, but Marvel’s 2011 films Thor and Captain America: First Avenger have been shown in 3D, so Marvel has gone both ways. Shooting films in 3D is expensive and does not guarantee success, such as with the latest Pirates, lacking subtly with their 3D shots. On the other hand, post-converting films in 3D have been critically derided; Clash of the Titans and The Last Airbender being prime examples.
Both Thor and X-Men: First Class have been critical successes and made decent box-office grosses, but one was in 3D and the other was in 2D. I personally view that many superhero films have worked perfectly fine in 2D. If a tent pole film like The Avengers turns its back, then it seems that the days of 3D in its current form are numbered. If producers and studios make The Avengers in 3D behind the filmmakers back, then we have every right to be cynical.