When it comes to a certain segment of the ever-expanding crop of 3-D movies, everything old is new again. Last year brought the re-release of "The Lion King" in 3-D, which added some $94 million to the modern classic's already hefty gross.
In 2012, resurrecting big hits in 3-D has become a full-on trend. With Disney bringing "Beauty and the Beast" back to theaters on Friday, we decided to preview some of the other retrofitted classics coming back to the big screen and offer our best guess as to which of them will be worth coughing up the inflated 3-D ticket price.
'Beauty and the Beast 3D'
We're not crazy about experiencing traditionally animated films in 3-D, but those misgivings are trumped by the inescapable fact that "Beauty and the Beast" is one of the most enduring films in the Disney canon. The movie got that 1991 Best Picture Oscar nomination for a reason, even if it lost to "The Silence of the Lambs." There's never a wrong time or place to revisit it again.
'Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace 3D'
Opens: Feb. 10
See it (begrudgingly)
George Lucas - never one to resist an opportunity to tinker with his films - plans to release all six "Stars Wars" movies in 3-D. On the surface, then, there's no good reason to bother with the one that gave us Jar Jar Binks. However, if the retooled "Phantom Menace" flops financially, dreams of a 3-D Han Solo might never be realized. So we grudgingly suggest bucking up and supporting the Lucas machine anyway.
Opens: April 6
This is the most no-brainer conversion of the bunch, as James Cameron is Hollywood's 3-D prophet. His massive, record-breaking, award-winning hit demands to be seen on the big screen, and it's sure to look fantastic in the extra dimension. But you've probably already seen it anywhere from one to 35 times, so we suggest moving on.
'Finding Nemo 3D'
Opens: Sept. 14
The halcyon days of Pixar demand to be revisited after the studio's last release, the dispiriting "Cars 2," and its next release, the seemingly conventional princess movie "Brave" (though we haven't seen the latter film, opening on June 22). "Finding Nemo" is one of the best-loved of the studio's most popular movies, so it's a good place to start.
'Top Gun 3D'
Opens: Sometime in 2012
We're ready to return to the "Danger Zone" and once more share Maverick's "need for speed," but not at 3-D prices.