Re-releasing old movies has been something of a mixed bag for Hollywood. Family movies like The Lion King have done really well while, on the other hand, George Lucas’s attempt to force push The Phantom Menace back into theaters was kind of a flop.
You’d think the failure of Phantom Menace would discourage future 3D re-releases of other sci-fi movies, but it looks like Fox is going to try and make a quick dime off Independence Day by giving it the 3D re-release treatment. They made a lot of money off Titanic 3D earlier this year and think they can do the same with director Roland Emmerich’s summer disaster movie.
Roland Emmerich will actually be involved in the 3D conversion process, though I’m not sure that’s any reason to have confidence in what they’re doing. It’s not like Emmerich is a 3D expert and even if he were, the movie’s already shot, it’s not like he can rework the scenes so they’re specifically designed for the format. They aren’t and the truth with all these post-conversions is that it probably won’t work all that well.
For better or worse the plan is for Independence 3D to be in theaters on July 3, 2013. Back in 1996 Will Smith’s alien invasion movie was worth seeing because it was the biggest, dumbest, summer spectacle ever created up to that point and thus was a lot of fun. Alien invasion movies weren’t so common back then either, the concept alone was worth getting excited about. Now there’s an alien invasion released every week. You might be better off just buying a ticket for one of its resulting spectacle clones. This year that movie is the so dumb it’s almost fun Battleship. It’s not as good as Independence Day, of course, but its close enough to make re-releasing a movie like ID4 pretty unnecessary.