As if raking in an all-time record of nearly $2.8 billion at the box office was not enough, the James Cameron epic motion picture “Avatar” now firmly stands as the king of 3D viewing technology, a format craze that has expanded beyond anyone’s wildest expectations.
There have been countless attempts, in Hollywood and other industries, to match the film’s success. Movies are consistently offered with 3D and traditional audiences in mind. Electronics companies are furiously marketing 3D TVs, video cameras and video games. But viewers beware. This is not the end of the road, and the next slew of 3D moneymakers has already started to emerge — the cinematic re-release.
In what is inevitably going to become the most obnoxious 3D push yet, Hollywood production companies are beginning to re-release timeless classics with 3D effects in a greedy attempt to rake in millions from shameless movie-goers.
George Lucas and his legendary namesake production company Lucasfilm have jumped on the bandwagon with a re-release of “Star Wars: Episode I” that debuted Feb. 10. The news was met with rampant excitement and anticipation, of course.
But consider this — any sensible “Star Wars” fan had no problem forking over nearly $100 for the Blu-ray box set to get the classic saga in crisp high definition. It is nothing more than greed to ask fans to pay another $13 to see the film in 3D. This goes without considering that, with modest success from the first re-release, Lucasfilm will have no problem releasing the other five films in 3D to capitalize on the craze.
Cameron is rolling the dice as well. “Titanic,” which until “Avatar” was the highest grossing film of all time, will get another swing at box office history with a 3D re-release of its own on April 4. It is hard to remember the last time “Titanic” was not on TNT, raking in royalties and solidifying its generation-spanning exposure.
Cinematic experiences in 3D present a unique double-edged sword. Seeing the on-screen spectacle of Liam Neeson waving around a lightsaber or watching the “Titanic” split in two in 3D will be quite a sight.