Disney’s The Lion King is coming back to theaters on September 16, 2011. Great news, or greatest news?
Originally hitting theaters in 1994, The Lion King is returning for a special two-week run, this time in 3D. It will then be released on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D on October 4, with the regular DVD format arriving on November 15. The last time you could buy The Lion King was in 2004, making this comeback kind of a big deal, especially if (like me) you grew up with the film but neglected to buy the DVD after your VHS tape bit the dust. Plus, the movie will only be available for a limited time, so you’d better buy that four-disc Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo pack you never knew you needed before it disappears into the Disney Vault again.
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.
Many older movies are being converted to 3D and brought back to theaters.
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?
When not writing for the blog, Rachel is a data entry specialist at QLP. She spends most of her free time consuming a variety of geeky TV shows, movies, and books, as well as funny cat videos and other Internet oddities. Otherwise, she moonlights as an editor for a literary magazine and tries to spend as much quality time as she can with friends and family. You can also connect with Rachel on Google+.
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