Welcome to the latest Hollywood craze: post-converting movies that proved wildly successful upon their first release to 3D and then stuffing them back into cinema playlists for another turn profit-spin. We've known for a while about James Cameron's plans to release a 3D version of Titanic on the centenary of the tragedy, and that Pixar want to release Ratatouille 3D at some point. Last month saw the release of The Lion King 3D, which raked in an amazing $29.3 million on its opening weekend, twice the take that was expected. It's not completely surprising, though; The Lion King still holds the world record for the highest grossing animated film in the history of cinema.
Pixar and Disney seem to know a winning formula when they see one, so here are four more films that you can expect to see back in cinemas over the course of 2012/2013.
Monsters Inc … In 3D!
Release date: January 18th 2013
Finding Nemo … In 3D!
Release Date: September 14 2012
Beauty and the Beast … In 3D!
Release date: January 12th, 2012
The Little Mermaid … In 3D!
Release date: September 13th, 2013
I've not yet decided if I approve of this latest fad (and my approval matters a great deal to Hollywood execs, they don't so much as sneeze until I give them a gracious nod). One of the reasons given by the studios is that the re-release will allow a whole new generation of kids to experience this animated behemoths on the big screen, and in three whole dimensions nonetheless. Of course, the real reason is probably that converting an old film and releasing it again with "3D" added into the title is much cheaper than making a new film entirely, and knowing that a film made a lot of money the first time it was released is as close as you can get to a guarantee of a successful second release.
On the other hand, anyone's who has seen a film that has been post-converted to 3D will know that the process is far from perfect and doesn't compare to films that used a 3D rig in production. It may well be the case that the films will merely expose a whole new generation to the magical experience of headaches and squinting, but since 3D technology is evolving all the time it's impossible to say how good the films will look until they are released.
Well, not completely impossible. Our film editor Brendon Connelly recently did an interview with Andrew Neumann, who handles Disney's 3D conversion, so there's a good chance you'll find out more when the interivew is released later this week.