I wouldn’t recommend seeing Jason Bourne on any format, but I especially wouldn’t recommend seeing it in 3D. Between the jittery camera work, the quick zooms, the frantic editing and the endless shaking, it’s enough to make anyone queasy in the second dimension, let alone the third. But someone at Universal Studios thought it was a good idea to give some “exclusive” 3D screenings for Paul Greengrass’ latest in select Asian markets, and they quickly learned why that wasn’t a good idea. The film is now promoting nausea, angry social media responses and protests in China.
Although the action sequel debuted to an impressive $11.8 million on Tuesday, reportedly a single-day high for the franchise, it didn’t take long before complaints about the format prompted unrest online. Several found themselves dizzy and nauseous. The fight scenes, in particular, were painful to watch. Several more complained because it was difficult to see the regular 2D version, since they knew it was a bad idea to see it in 3D, and some felt that it made it look like a “low budget film,” which isn’t something Universal wants to hear about their $120 million (plus marketing) blockbuster.
While the 3D craze has soften in the U.S. in the past five years, it remains a dominant cinema feature in China. That said, there are some films that simply shouldn’t be seen in 3D, and Greengrass’ style is not inviting to the format, plain and simple. The 3D version will also screen in Hong Kong, India, the Philippines and Vietnam, if it’s not already. Perhaps Universal should re-evaluate their decision, though. As of Thursday, Jason Bourne earned $25.1 million in China, making its worldwide gross a respectable $281.3 million. If it wants more money, though, cut the loses and ditch the 3D.