In response to your question...it’s a little bit of both...fad and future. I see atmos like the cherry on the cake. So it’s most critical to have a cake before getting the cherry for the top. I was running front height and wide for a long time. Others just stuck with standard setup. Then when atmos came around a lot of people jumped into it. Frankly if you have been running front wides and heights, atmos is not such a big improvement, while I do understand those who see it as a big improvement when coming from a standard setup. My opinion on this matter is strictly based on a listening perspective and not getting into the whole discussion on true intended sound direction as per the film designer. Some are already seeing Auro 3D as the potential future...due to the vast expansion of speakers that can be allowed in an install.
Home Theater System Denon X8500H, Emotiva XPA-5 Gen 2, Polk CSi A6 Center, Polk RTi A9 Front, Polk RTi A7 Front Wide, Polk RTi A1 Front Height, Polk FXi A6 Side, Polk RTi A3 Rear, Polk RTi A1 Rear Heights, Polk 70RT Middle In-Ceiling, SVS PB12-NSD x2 Front, SVS PC12-NSD x2 Rear, JVC DLA-RS1000, Visual Apex CineWhite 100" Screen, Panasonic UB9000, Dish Hopper 3