January 28, 2013 4:50pm PT by Erik Hayden
Disney Postpones 3D Release of 'Star Wars' Prequels
With J.J. Abrams now at the helm of the future of the Star Wars franchise, Disney and Lucasfilm have postponed the plan to continue the re-release of the prequel trilogy in theaters in 3D.
"Given the recent development that we are moving forward with a new Star Wars trilogy, we will now focus 100 percent of our efforts on Star Wars: Episode VII in order to ensure the best possible experience for our fans," the company stated in a post on the franchise's official site. "We will post further information about our 3D release plans at a later date."
The Phantom Menace 3D reissue was released by 20th Century Fox on Feb. 10 and grossed $22 million in its opening weekend en route to a total domestic haul of $43 million. The fate of the 3D versions of Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith are now to be determined.
Prior to the reissue of Menace last February, George Lucas spoke with The Hollywood Reporter and explained why he thought releasing one film a year was better than releasing all six films in 3D at once.
"I said, ‘This won’t sustain for six years (doing it that way),'" Lucas stated. "Everyone will go to the first one or two, and pretty soon you’ll be spending a lot of money and not having a lot of people come see the movie. I wanted to do it every year, and I wanted to make something that was sort of reliable. I wanted to put the same amount of effort into each conversion. It takes about nine months to do it."
Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled for release in 2015, but THR has previously reported that Abrams hasn't yet committed to that release date. The untitled sequel will be written by Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3).