I just watched Avatar last night and it is now clear to me that 3D is the new talkies.
What are talkies, you ask? Whenever a disruptive innovation hits the movie industry and gains traction, it tends to take over the entire industry. This was the case back in the 20's when synchronized sound was added to film. This new type of movie was called a talkie since actor dialog was the new and most salient feature. It happened again in the 50's when color films became mainstream.
It's happening now with 3D in which the viewer uses a specially treated pair of glasses to watch films processed to work with those glasses such that the elements of the film appear to have depth.
It sometimes takes a while for a technology to go mainstream. The first color processing was invented in the 20's and an earlier wave of 3D movies from the 50's died out, primarily because of the more primitive polarization effects used then resulted in eye strain and headaches. That is not the case with modern 3D.
Just like with color, animation and remastering old favorites are early adopters.
Both movie industry equipment vendors and movie theaters are making investments in the technology.
A lot of big name directors are positioning for their first 3D releases. Other applications of the technology are also being explored.
I am already starting to see in video rental that the other side of the disk is the 3D version and half of the previews what I saw when I went to see Avatar were also in 3D.
I've seen the future and it appears to be 3D.