Why Disney Stops 2D-to-3D Conversions
No more 3D conversions for Disney classics are in the pipeline. Disney was happy whenThe Lion King 3D grossed nearly 95 M$ according to BoxOfficeMojo, but following conversions such as Beauty and the Beast 3D (47.6 M$), Finding Nemo 3D (41 M$) and Monsters, Inc. 3D (33 M$ and counting) made far less money. And as you will read below, the Mouse's lawyers have a problem too...
The result is that Disney is cancelling The Little Mermaid 3D even if the work started already. Note that The Little Mermaid will be released in 2D HD on Blu-ray on October 1st, 2013.
Why Stopping 3D Conversions?
The problem may be that it costs many more millions to market the film nationwide and they are not sure to make enough out of it to recoup the costs.
But the most probable cause is the fear of attacks from the new owners of the big stockpile of 3D conversion patents previously owned by defunct companies In-Three then Digital Domain. As reported on Nasdaq.com, the proud owner of the portfolio is now RealD.
As noted by Stephanie Gleason in her Nasdaq/Dow Jones Business News paper (from December 2012), Lucas Film (now part of Disney) had an agreement with Digital Domain that allowed the company to use their 3D conversion technology. In his December 2012 order, Judge Brendan Shannon of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court preserved Lucas Film's right to use the technology in the 3D conversion of the movie "The Nightmare Before Christmas". Disney had an agreement to use this technology on movies including "G-Force" and "Alice in Wonderland." but judge Shannon had ruled the past agreement to use this technology doesn't authorize Disney to continue to use it...
Disney will still shot movies in stereoscopic 3D, they're just stopping converting their good old classics.
On the joke side, note the 2D-Glasses is selling glasses to watch 3D movies in RealD equiped theatres in 2D ! It is true. Check here.