Disney has proved to be “King of the Box Office” with its incredibly successful re-release of The Lion King in 3D. Over just two weekends the 17 year old film grossed over $64 million dollars in ticket sales! That is an incredible statistic considering that Disney had to do almost nothing to create an instant smash hit. Does this mean that 3D remakes will be the ticket to movie studio success? Let’s hope not.
Sure, the novelty of 3D movies is still prevalent. Who doesn’t love wearing Harry Potter or Simba shaped 3D glasses? However, due to the costs of tickets and sometimes disappointing results, more people are still opting for the 2D version of movies when they have the choice. That simply shows that the 3D product has not proven its worth to the average American moviegoer. Until 3D is able to prove that it is worth the investment, the success of the visual stunt is only going to be short term.
The next logical argument will bring us back to Avatar, I’m sure. It is hard to argue that James Cameron’s blockbuster hit definitely proved the worth of 3D, but this does not necessarily mean that it should pave the way for 3D to become the cinematic norm. The difference between Avatar and re-releases like The Lion King is that Avatar was made specifically to be released in 3D. James Cameron and his crew took years to develop 3D equiptment and shot the entire movie with 3D in mind. Most 3D movies do not live up to those standards, making the final product extremely underwhelming.
So why is Lion King 3D such a smash success? In my opinion, it has nothing to do with the fact that it is in 3D. It is the nostalgia of re-releasing a movie that everyone loved 17 years ago. Rumor has it that Beauty and the Beast will be the next movie that Disney releases as a special edition 3D experience, and I have no doubt that it will be just as successful. Again, it is not because the 3D adds that much to the viewing experience. Instead, it is because these movies come from the “Renaissance of Animation”, and the generation that grew up with them are just hitting the peak years of nostalgia. The more Disney can capatalize on this idea, the more successful these re-releases will be.
Will other studios try to copy the nostalgia-goes-3D re-release model? Absolutely. James Cameron is already working on a 3D release of Titanic and Top Gun is getting prepped for 3D as well. While I’m skeptical on how successful Top Gun will be, I have no doubt that Titanic will have notable success, much like Lion King. All of those 11-year-old girls that had to wait for Mom to drive them to the theaters back in the 90s now have disposable incomes and a proper ID to get them into a PG-13 rated movie. The nostalgia of such a popular and iconic movie will bring great success to that re-release, and knowing that James Cameron is behind it makes me think the 3D technology won’t be too atrocious either.
So, will 3D last forever? In my opinion, no. There will always be new fads to keep the movie industry moving forward. In the meantime, I guess it doesn’t hurt to enjoy these classics coming to the big screen one more time, even if you have to wear silly glasses.
What do you think? Are you a fan of 3D remakes? Which movie would you really like to see be re-released in 3D? Leave us a comment below or join in on the conversation on our Facebook page! We may even feature your answers in one of our upcoming blogs.
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