Before Avatar, an erotic movie called The Stewardesses was the most profitable 3D film ever released. Made in 1969, it was initially offered as a B-grade skin flick with little in the way of budget, narrative or production values, but its explosive success encouraged director Allan Silliphant to inject it with new scenes and a more developed storyline, expanding it for redistribution as an R-rated 3D feature film. The Stewardesses ran for three years, and outsold higher budget movies left and right.
Given that sort of history, it came as no surprise when 3D adult films began appearing just months after we saw 3D screens pop up at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show.
It began with an announcement of the first 3D adult film intended for stereoscopic 3D televisions: Kama Sutra, an adult flick by French producer Mark Dorcel. Later, Dorcel also announced the first French (and, not long after, European) on-demand 3D adult entertainment channel, which launched with 60 Mark Dorcel films, and promised to add a new offering every week.
Between Dorcel’s 3D film and 3D channel was the announcement of two noteworthy 3D offerings for the adult sphere: Hustler’s 3D Avatar parody, This Aint Avatar XXX, and the first 3D adult film to be made for IMAX. The film, titled 3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy, is based on a Chinese erotic story called The Carnal Prayer Mat. The 3D interpretation is a $3 million affair, using proper IMAX cameras, which Director Stephen Shiu says will add a certain ‘wow’ factor to the classic tale.
“It will look as if the actors are only a few centimeters from the audience,” he said.
Months after all three, Penthouse announced its European 3D adult entertainment channel, with 100% full 3D native HD.
In discussions of 3D adult entertainment, people often talk about the porn industry being a serious factor in deciding which technology soars or folds. They wonder if 3D is the new VHS (porn is credited with creating VHS’ edge over Betamax, as the industry went with VHS). What we wonder is if 3D technology is functional enough, and delivered at reasonable enough price points, to really take off.
Image source: The Agony Booth