The first commercially released 3D film was 1922’s The Power of Love. This was also the first 3D film to make use of anaglyph glasses. These glasses use lenses of opposite colors. When combined with a pair of corresponding film strips, viewers achieve the 3D effect. Red and Cyan are the most commonly chosen colors because that combination produces less image ghosting than others. Unfortunately, The Power of Love did not achieve wide release and the film has since been lost.
Filmmakers and theater owners continued to experiment with the growing 3D market. Laurens Hammond and William F. Cassidy debuted their Teleview System in late 1922. This form of projection rapidly alternated frames from two film reels. Small viewers attached to the seats were synchronized to open and close their displays in accordance with the projector. Because of the cumbersome nature of the format, only one movie was ever developed specifically for the Teleview System.
Experimentation continued for several decades, but high costs and the pressures of the Great Depression prevented studios from wholeheartedly adopting 3D. One notable success story during the Depression was Audioscopiks. This film relied on the red/cyan anaglyph format. Audioscopiks earned an Academy Award in 1936 in the Best Short Subject, Novelty category
Another promising new technology emerged that showed potential to replace traditional stereoscopic 3D films. Edwin H. Land invented the polarizing sheet and went on to help found Polaroid. Land saw potential in using his polarized sheets for 3D projection. These sheets can either absorb or deflect light depending on the polarization of their crystal coating. However, these polarized sheets required entirely new projectors and newer, silver screens to project onto. Few theaters were willing to bear the burden of that cost.
Facts of first 3D film:
- William Friese Greene of UK was the first innovator to file a patent for a viewing device that combines 2 pictures in one, a forerunner of the 3D image in 1894.
- In 1915 the first demonstration of a 3D film was made at Astor Theater in New York City, USA. They viewed the 3D reels of dancing girls and Niagara Falls. The film was produced by Edwin Porter and William Waddell.
- Movies of the Future (1922) documentary was the first stereoscopic print movie shown to a paying audience for only 14 minutes.
- Columbia Pictures was the first big studio to make the 3D movie Man in the Dark (1953).
- Italian film Nozze Vagabonde (Beggar’s Wedding) in 1936, was the first 3D movie to encourage the use of 3D polarizing glasses with synchronized sounds.
- First 3D Movie with stereo sound and full color was House of Wax released in 1953. It was made by Warner Brothers, the second Hollywood studio to join the 3D market
- First 3D adult movie “The Stewardesses”, of 1969 has the highest budget to box office ratio of all 3D movies. An estimated budget of over $100,000 was spent in the production of the film which grossed $30 million at the theatres.
- A Christmas Carol released in 2009 had production cost of $200 million and was the most expensive 3D animation film and one of the first new wave of 3D blockbusters. It eventually grossed $323,555,899 worldwide.
- 3D movie with the biggest gross in its opening weekend was Alice in Wonderland (2010) which grossed $116.1 million in the US on its first 3 days of showing (5-7 March) even surpassing Avatar’s performance in its opening weekend in 2009.
- The year 2009 a total of 10 3D films were made, the most number of 3D movies to be released in a single year.
source credit: ign