LOS ANGELES, USA (AP) — Batman has all the gadgets Bruce Wayne's resources can buy, but he doesn't have one thing nearly every other summer blockbuster has: 3-D.
Director Christopher Nolan made the 2-D vs 3-D choice easy for fans seeing The Dark Knight Rises, the finale of his superhero trilogy that began with 2005's Batman Begins and continued with 2008's wildly praised The Dark Knight.
Nolan is not a fan of digital 3-D, which essentially has turned a fleeting 1950s cinema gimmick into a multi-million-dollar value-added tax on fans who decide they want to put on the glasses and see a film with the illusion of depth.
With Avatar and other early hits in the digital 3-D era, studios took in two-thirds or more of their revenue on that third dimension, which costs a few dollars more than 2-D screenings. The 3-D fever has cooled since, with movies now typically earning well under half of their income in 3-D, sometimes as little as a third.
That still means a lot of extra cash on a movie that nets hundreds of millions at the box office, but Nolan never considered following the crowd and going 3-D on Batman.
"The question of 3-D is a very straightforward one," Nolan said in a recent interview. "I never meet anybody who actually likes the format, and it's always a source of great concern to me when you're charging a higher price for something that nobody seems to really say they have any great love for.
"It's up to the audience to tell us how they want to watch the movies. More people go see these films in 2-D, and so it's difficult data to interpret. And I certainly don't want to shoot in a format just to charge people a higher ticket price."
The choice this week as "The Dark Knight Rises" opens is whether to see it in a regular theater or in a huge-screen IMAX cinema, a format once reserved mainly for documentaries but whose Hollywood possibilities Nolan greatly advanced with a splashy IMAX release on "The Dark Knight."