BEIJING, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Industry insiders at the ongoing 2014 Beijing International Film Festival are calling for an end to the 3D craze in China to ensure sound development of the market.
"The 3D film market has grown fast in China but many films lack quality," said Yang Buting, chairman of China Film Distribution and Exhibition Association and China Film Overseas Promotional Corporation.
"If this kind of vicious competition is not contained, it will be a disaster for the 3D film market," said Yang, former chairman of the China Film Group Corporation, the largest film producer in the country.
Yang's remarks were echoed by Paul Anderson, director of the blockbuster series Resident Evil.
Anderson told Xinhua that some North American and European filmmakers should apologise for the bad 3D movies that have been released.
"China is one of the most vibrant 3D markets," he said, but so was America in 2010, and then it collapsed in four short years.
3D films, which enhance the illusion of depth perception, became more successful throughout the 2000s, culminating in the unprecedented success of Avatar in 2009.
In China, most big hits are 3D films, which cost between 100 yuan and 120 yuan (16 to 19 U.S. dollars) for a ticket. A 2D film costs about 70 yuan.
To increase profits, Hollywood has been promoting 3D films exclusively for the Chinese market.
The 2014 version of RoboCop, which debuted in February, was in 3D exclusively in China and in 2D in other parts of the world.
RoboCop, with an average of 5.5 on U.S. movie review site Rottentomatoes.com, notched up 329 million yuan in China, or 20 percent of its global box office.
Some industry insiders said converting 3D movies was done merely to make more money, rather than create a better experience for moviegoers.
Many filmgoers have complained that so-called 3D films have poor effects and some only had 3D effects at the beginning of the movies.
For some, it is an annoying distraction wearing 3D glasses. For others, it even creates nausea and headaches.
"It's hard to enjoy true 3D films with good pictures and effects in Chinese cinemas," said Yang Buting.
More than 20,000 movie screens in China can play 3D films and more companies are competing to sell their 3D projection equipment, which used to cost between 80,000 yuan and 150,000 yuan. Now equipment is no more than 20,000 yuan, said Yang.
"This kind of vicious competition has lowered the quality and cost of 3D films, thus upsetting viewers," he said.
Paul Anderson told Xinhua that it is better to give audiences a choice.
"If you don't give them a choice and you deliver bad 3D products, eventually they will stop going to the cinema. American people are choosing to watch 2D rather than 3D films," he said.
As the largest movie manufacturer in the world with the best technologies, the U.S. should not just simply convert 2D films into 3D versions to make money, said Yang, as it was cheating consumers.
In order to improve the 3D film market, Chinese enterprises are beginning to seek partnerships with international players to produce high-quality 3D films.
Fantasy Media Group (FMG), a Sino-Canada joint venture, was set up in Shanghai's pilot Free Trade Zone this year to boost 3D production capability in the country.
"There is a lack of industrial standards for 3D film production in China and we are pushing for it," said Ma Xiaorui, an FMG Asia regional manager.
Eric Deren, a U.S. senior stereographer, told Xinhua that there is a tremendous opportunity to grow 3D in China and not make the same mistakes as in other parts of the world.
"China is in a very good position to be able to learn from all that and move forward and succeed tremendously in this area," he said.