The theme is simply epic, as the plugin & Octane render engines are!
What's wrong? We'll it clould be timing, it could be anything, but if You look around to what is happening in the field, it's more or less the same..- guys loose interest, but it doesn't mean that you have to ruin your efforts too..
Month to extend would give some more fuel for those who are thinking to start the contest, but maybe doesn't have time or balls to do that just yet, pluss those that had made entries because of new players maybe even concider to tweek their works a bit & polish up to higher levels.
In the end we all need to understand, that It's not prizes, it's not the amount..it's not destination, but the Journey that matter most. And thats the idea for refractive team - involve youself a bit more (i know that you're bussy, but..) give some spices to this competition, by pusshing your comunity to the edge..encourage fellow artist to finish up, or step up into competition. But don't extend it for three month..i might just overkill..
Last but not least - the prizes & progress. The final evaluation could be splitt for future under diferent categories, and levels of complexity. In addition to that You can give away one prize in the very beggining of the contest for the very promising artist that is showing let's say best wip images promissing high standarts - just fuel the competition bit more, raising enthusiasm of others with something left unspoken..just for suprize. These contest are really great, but if You push only for the prizes or even disqus about them..
A bit more flexibility and creativity on rules for future contests would help to gain better 'traction' for the whole event!
So, just to add or say once more - i'm for one mont extention & leaving the theme! - this is going to be epic..don't freek out to soon! I do believe, that in the end you can raise a glass of good wine for this!..Life goes on..