Sunday, 3 June 2012

My Faith in the Movie Going Public has Been Restored

With the announcement earlier in the week that Independence Day is due to return to theaters on July 3, 2013 with a full 3D post-conversion, I was reminded that two other small, independent films were recently rereleased as post-converted 3D versions, though to be honest I'd almost completely forgotten about them.

When I first read about the plans to rerelease Titanic and The Phantom Menace in cinemas as 3D versions, I figured like most cinical people that it was simply a money grubbing exercise by the big movie houses. It's not like they didn't earn enough in their initial theatrical runs ($US600,779,824 and $US431,065,444 respectively), not to mention all the additional revenue from DVD/Blu-ray and television rights, and I really couldn't see how either would be significantly enhanced by the conversion to 3D; certainly not enough to justify outlaying the cash to see them at the cinema again.

Well, thankfuly, it seems the vast majority of people agreed with me. According to IMDb, the box office takings for the 3D version of each is as follows (number of weeks in release in brackets):
  • Titanic 3D - $US57,810,608 (8 weeks),
  • Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace - $US43,456,382 (15 weeks).
Not exactly chump change in either case, but when you consider that the cost of high quality 3D conversion can range from $US50,000 to $US100,000 per minute (putting the top end price for Titanic at over $US19 million) and add in all the usual expenses incurred for a theatrical release (marketing, theatre cut, etc), I'd be surprised if either have managed to breakeven yet.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not againt all 3D rereleases (I'd be very likely go along to see The Lord of the Rings series in 3D if they were ever to be released), but hopefully this will make studio execs this twice in future when considering yet another unnecessary 3D rerelease.