Last week's monster opening for Monsters vs. Aliens can only mean one thing: More 3-D movies. But do they have to be new movies? Apparently, Hollywood doesn't think so.

According to Variety, studios are considering following Disney's lead (the studio has already released a 3-D version of The Nightmare Before Christmas and have Toy Story 3-D ready to go this summer) and reworking old favorites in the new format. According to the trade paper, tests have already been done to see how Transformers and The Matrix will look in the format.


The problem with the potential of 3-D re-releases, however, may be the cost:

The conversion process can cost around $15 million for a long-ish actioner (about what Jeffrey Katzenberg says it cost DreamWorks to make "Monsters vs. Aliens" a 3-D release), and the transformation typically takes 10 to 14 months. The director is involved at the beginning and the end of the process, but need not be present for most of it.

The conversion is extremely complicated for any film, but costs more for a tentpole, where there can be extensive visual effects and images featuring many people and objects. It can run $100,000 per minute for the most difficult shots — but if a perfectionist director decides to tinker or re-edit, costs go up from there.


With there only being a limited number of 3-D-ready theaters in the country (leading to successes like Coraline being bumped off screens by the underperforming Jonas Brothers movie), studios will have to consider whether it makes financial sense to spend that kind of money just yet, or follow George Lucas' lead; the Star Wars creator announced back in 2005 that he'll be converting the space opera into 3-D, just as soon as there are enough theaters to make it worthwhile.

Studios have 'Monster' 3-D vision [Variety]