Re-releasing older blockbusters in 3D is totally in right now, just like The Spice Girls, Tickle Me Elmo and Duke Nukem 3D. Wait… Hold on… We're actually getting word from our editors that all those other things were popular in 1996. Weird. Maybe fads don't last very long? After all, Roland Emmerich's 1996 alien invasion movie Independence Day was supposed to be re-released in 3D next summer, and now that release has been cancelled.
Yes, Fox made the announcement (courtesy of Coming Soon) that the July 3, 2013 release of Independence Day 3D, aka ID43D, has been scuttled, possibly because that acronym looks ridiculous. Or possibly because of a crowded summer release schedule. Or possibly because the post-conversion process wasn't worth the time and effort for the amount of money they were likely to make from it. Or possibly because there was some issue related to the Independence Day sequels, which have yet to go into production and probably wouldn't have had a trailer ready in time for cross-promotion. Or possibly a bunch of aliens stormed 20th Century Fox's offices and tore down all the computers, ate all the snacks and threatened executives that if they don't stop the re-releasing movies in 3D they'd exercise their option on a Titan A.E. sequel.
Because, you see, Fox hasn't actually explained why Independence Day 3D got the shaft, and there's a ton of plausible reasons and a whole lot of stupid ones that could be responsible. Some folks are asking what this means for the sequels, and while the scheduling change could be the result of some issues with the Independence Day brand, like development problems with the sequels for example, there are so many reasonable or at least unrelated possibilities that it's not worth getting into a tizzy over. Just throw on your Independence Day Blu-ray and let your eyes unfocus a bit and you'll get the gist of it anyway.
Is this the end of 3D re-releases? Of course not. After all, we've got 3D versions of Star Wars: Episodes II and III to look forward to in 2013. But if a major studio no longer considers turning one of their biggest summer blockbusters into a 3D experience to be a viable financial model, maybe the other studios will take follow suit. As for us, we love that the film industry has taken to re-releasing old classics in theaters, but weren't so hot on the whole 3D gimmick, particularly for films that weren't originally shot using the process. Remember Beauty and the Beast 3D? Because we wish we didn't.
The Independence Day sequels, ID Forever – Part 1 and ID Forever – Part 2, as far as we know, are still being developed, although all we know for sure about the storyline is that it will finally address the Mac/PC compatibility plot hole from the first film.
Follow William Bibbiani on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.