Following just on the heels of George Lucas’ announcement of Star Wars 3D, the 3-D re-release of James Cameron’s 1997 hit Titanic was confirmed to be heading to silver screens by April 2012, coincidentally the same year as Lucas’ sci-fi re-release.
Titanic 3D is simultaneously a surprise and an expected inevitability. Cameron’s latest runaway hit, Avatar, was shot in native 3D, and enjoyed the highest-grossing-run in film history. Cameron’s enthusiasm for 3-D technology has made a possible Titanic re-release a definite possibility for some time now. However, the director has also criticized the 3-D conversion process, making this morning’s announcement a surprise to some.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Titanic 3D has an expected release date of April 15, 2012. Not only the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster, April 15 is also the centennial of Paramount Pictures, the company responsible for producing Titanic, making the date a sure possibility. George Lucas’ Episode I: The Phantom Menace is also slated for a 2012 release, though, as of yet, no specific date has been mentioned, leading to potential arm-wrestling between the two directors. However, Titanic 3D could be released as early as Valentine’s Day weekend. The conversion of Titanic to 3-D is expected to cost $10-15 million to produce. As of yet, no production house has been hired to oversee the project.
As told to the The Hollywood Reporter by Jon Landau, Titanic producer, the process of converting stereo film into 3-D is costly and time-consuming. To be done effectively, the process of converting Titanic to 3-D must be performed meticulously and with a creative eye. According to Landau, several production houses have been tested, and a select group has already been chosen for further review by Cameron.
Currently, there are 2,000-2,500 3-D theaters in the United States, though this number is growing by up to 500 cinemas a month. By Titanic 3D’s release in 2012, Paramount and Fox, the domestic and international distributors of the film, respectively, should have no problem securing venues for the film.
With two classic movies already slated for re-release in 3-D, one might ask, “What’s next?” Can we expect other venerable films to return to the silver screen as new releases, only with new technology behind them? With the increasing availability of 3-D television in the home, one can only wait and see what becomes of the phenomenon.
Be ready to look for Titanic 3D sometime mid-April 2012.
Jen Chaney, “Titanic to get 3D Re-Release.” Celbritology 2.0
Carl DiOrio, “Titanic rerelease ready for April.” The Hollywood Reporter