Tween girls flooded the theaters on Labor Day weekend for the opening of the 3D concert documentary, “One Direction: This is Us,” and will run again this weekend for a new “extended fan cut” with 20 more minutes of footage. The film features the five boys of 1D — Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson — both onstage and off. While some claim that the film is just a PR stunt, fans are not complaining. To the surprise of cynics, “This Is Us” topped the Labor Day weekend box office, outdoing the ranks of the Oscar buzz film, Lee Daniels’ “The Butler.” While 1D in 3D is the first time moviegoers can see the fab five onscreen, it’s hardly the first 3D concert movie.

For the past five years, 3D concert movies have emerged as their own film genre. Studios pump out these flicks as audiences crave to see their favorite entertainers — like Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, the Jonas Brothers and Michael Jackson, to name a few — on the big screen. Not only are they well-reviewed by critics and audiences alike, they’re also huge moneymakers. With $261 million, “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” is currently the highest-grossing documentary worldwide. Miley Cyrus’ concert documentary had a mere seven-day theatrical run and brought in over $70 million.

The formula is simple: concert footage, never-before-seen backstage access to the stars’ lives and countless shots of screaming fans. So what’s the appeal?

For people who can’t afford a concert ticket, the films give you a good idea of what it would be like for the price of a movie ticket and without all that concert hassle. Screaming fans at your sides, parking fees, worrying about having a good view of the entertainers and countless other headaches are absent in a movie theater. Instead, you get perfect sound quality, multiple angles and your favorite songs sung from beginning to end. Of course, there is something to be said about experiencing live music, but for the cost of a movie ticket, it’s a pretty good deal.

Concert documentaries are also trending because they provide a kind of VIP pass. Fans crave the chance to get to know what their singers do in their free time, their crushes and their unique pre-show rituals. These films show the stars as real people living real lives and provide the false reality of getting to know them. From home movies to footage from the tour bus, these films provide a look at the celebrities’ lives past anything you can find on Perez Hilton or YouTube.

3D concert movies are also popular with fans because the VIP pass limits the view of the singers to the best light possible. While this tactic may not always lead to the most truthful documentary, it does lead to pleased audiences.

One Direction is known for their womanizing and partying, yet not one scene or shot is devoted to the boys going out or to any of their girlfriends. Instead, there are repetitive shots of the band fooling around when they’re supposed to be rehearsing and standing on rooftops waving to fans. Director Morgan Spurlock knows that teenage girls, and their parents, want to see their idols being cute, friendly and funny, not acting wild.

The same is true of concert docs like “Katy Perry: Part of Me” and “U2 3D.” While we feel like we’re getting to know the singers, we only have a controlled view of them that doesn’t go far past the surface and includes sex, drugs and alcohol.

Overall, 3D concert movies are made solely for the fans’ enjoyment, but there’s also plenty for non-fans to enjoy. If you see “One Direction: This is Us” and don’t like the British boy band, you’re unlikely to convert to a Directioner. But with an open mind, these films can be entertaining for more than just the superfans. 3D concert films do have a narrative, they’re not just hours of concert footage. You see where the singers came from, their families, friends, colleagues, personalities and their journey to stardom. At the very least, a 3D concert movies is a rags-to-riches tale of sorts, with concert footage popping up here and there.