Titanic has brought in over 190 million dollars since it’s re-release in 3-D earlier this month. Titanic is the second movie this year to see a big budget re-release in 3-D after The Phantom Menace came out in February. Despite criticisms over the necessity of these re-releases, so far they’ve been pretty successful at the box office. But are they good for the business?
3-D re-releases present two potential problems for the movie industry. A movie like Titanic, which is one of the most successful of all time, will receive prominent attention at every cinema it’s screened at. Early spring isn’t exactly a major time for movies, but ones that debuted over a decade ago are overshadowing those that are coming out now.
The other potential problem is that these re-releases could start to cheapen the 3-D format. Nearly 20 million dollars was spent to re-master Titanic for it’s re-release, but not every movie will receive that kind of diligent attention if these re-releases are to continue. There’s no doubt in my mind that these re-releases will continue and they’re not going to look as nice as Titanic did. We’ve already seen plenty of cases of movies that saw unnecessary 3-D releases for the first run in theaters. The public doesn’t need and probably won’t tolerate botched 3-D re-releases, especially when they cost the same as a new movie.
As long as it’s done in moderation, I’m for 3-D re-releases. They provide fans another opportunity to experience classic movies in a way that they haven’t seen since their initial runs. They also provide younger fans with an opportunity to see movies that they may not have even been alive to see when they first came out. My ten-year-old sister is a big Star Wars fan (runs in the family) and I’m happy that she can go see them in theaters and Jar Jar Binks can annoy her in the same way I was back in 1999.
I hope that some caution is exercised when the studios choose which movies will see 3-D re-releases. It’s format, which can provide a great experience for people to relive the initial magic, but it can also become burdensome should too many films see re-releases. I suppose there’s always the logic that if you don’t like a movie you don’t have to see it and that’s certainly true. The box office will likely dictate how future re-releases will unfold, but I’d hate to see the format cheapened by excessive abuse.