3D re-releases seem to be incredibly popular. Titanic, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and more have all received the treatment, with plenty more headed our way. Of course, it’s incredibly hard to say just how the 3D Blu-Ray market is doing, especially as 3D televisions aren’t exactly the most popular brand of home entertainment. Now, 20th Century Fox has announced that one of their own sci-fi films will be re-released in 3D, but it won’t be hitting the big screen.
HM Magazine reports that at an event this week in Las Vegas, the studio announced that the 2005 feature I, Robot will be returning to shelves in 3D form. The way they are doing it, however, could send many studios into re-release mode. Fox is working with the JVC Kenwood group on the process, as Kenwood has developed a method that converts the 2D material into 3D visuals for “a third of the $50,000 to $70,000 per minute it costs to transfer a typical feature film”, which reportedly “reduces the amount of labor required to ‘rotoscope’ each frame of a movie”.
Executive Vice President Danny Kaye said in a statement, “The advances in 3D conversion technology developed by JVC has exceeded our most optimistic expectations. We look forward to bringing movies like the already visually stunning I, Robot to home on 3D Blu-ray.”
Does this mean more 3D re-releases are coming? Possibly. With the home video 3D market not exactly the strongest, this test could either make or break what comes out of the now cheaper method. If seen as a still cheap enough method that’s received well, technology like this could be used to not just result in home video releases, but also feature releases, effectively making the process that much cheaper.
Then again, post-converted 3D, even for a non-classic film, is seen as a waste of money for for $4 surcharge it costs for the films in theaters. With 3D Blu-Rays being equally more expensive, and the regular HD discs being pretty costly as they are in certain retailers, this could be a venture that not too many slap down the extra cash for. Especially including that we’re only talking about I, Robot, not Independence Day, Men in Black, or some other much wider acclaimed Will Smith movie.
No release date for the Blu-Ray 3D release has yet been revealed.