3-D remakes cash in and play it safe

By Marco Horna

It seems today that all we see in movies are re-makes, reboots, and we are now starting to see a rise of re-releases–and why do they all have to be in 3-D?

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Kwantlen film professor Dorothy Barenscott about these trends in film.

A little background: 3-D film has existed since as early as the 1930s, but was popularized in the 1950s.

Barenscott attributes that rise in popularity of 3-D films to the threat of TV to the film industry. Similarly as the YouTube culture and movie piracy–now at an all time high–this presents a similar threat to the film industry. So what does this have to do with 3-D?

In these times, the film industry relies on selling an experience to get people to go to the movies. If people can feel like they are immersed in the film that is likely to get people back in the movie theatres. Barenscott also mentioned independent film makers trying to create a meaningful use for 3-D; hopefully we’ll get to see some of that in the future.

So how does this relate to the three Rs, reboot, re-make, re-release?

According to Barenscott, the ongoing threat of movie piracy combined with the current economic recession has forced studios to play it safe when it comes to making movies.

Sure, we could have a movie that would make us question everything we thought we knew, but the movie might not sell as well as say the new Batman movie. Franchises are another way to guarantee that you keep the audience coming back.

Re-releases, however, are all about the nostalgia factor. The idea in itself is safe, because you know the movie already did well once.

We definitely saw this with the Lion King 3-D, which wound up being the top grossing movie of September. Hopefully though, in the future, we’ll get to see less rehash of the same thing we’ve seen over and over.

Movies that will be re-released in 3-D in 2012 include Beauty and the Beast (Jan. 13), Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (Feb. 10), Titanic (April 6), Finding Nemo (Sept. 14).


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