Disney’s The Lion King is coming back to theaters on September 16, 2011. Great news, or greatest news?
The Lion King is not the first movie, Disney or otherwise, to get the big screen re-release treatment. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, the original Star Wars trilogy, and Avatar have all returned to theaters in “special edition” form. Even The Lion King itself was revived in 2002 for IMAX. Clearly, re-releasing a film is a studio’s attempt to make more money off an established brand—but as a consumer, I don’t mind. The huge screens of the multiplex are a perk I’m willing to pay for, and one that only a studio’s re-release can provide.
Lately, though, 3D has become a large part of these re-releases. Titanic, Top Gun, and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace are all expected to be re-released to theaters in 3D in 2012, with the rest of the Star Wars series projected to follow in later years. Is 3D conversion a good enough reason to bring a film back to the theaters? By re-releasing titles in 3D, movie studios hope to introduce new generations to their products, as well as give current fans a chance to experience their favorite films in a new way. But given many moviegoers’ aversion to 3D for 3D’s sake, such a marketing strategy can backfire.
Is this 3D overload? Probably. Are these studios trying to squeeze more money out of me? Absolutely. But Disney, at least, has me hook, line, and sinker on this one. You can bet I’ll be watching The Lion King on the glorious big screen and buying that DVD before it heads back to the Vault. And I’m happy to ride the nostalgia wave for as long as Disney wants to keep putting animated classics back in theaters.
Are you going to see The Lion King in theaters? What do you think of all these 3D conversions of older movies? Is the 3D re-release a good marketing move, or a bad one?