"That's why you didn't see 'Cinderella' or 'Snow White' in 3-D. I could call up [directors] Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers and some of the colorists on the film and sit together and talk before we even started," Hahn said. "So it's not just a business decision [to do it in 3-D]. … To be able to see this in digital cinema and see it in 3-D — there is no downside to it as long as the original filmmakers are involved."
All of the major titles undergoing conversions have their artistic godfathers aboard: George Lucas has spent several years overseeing 3-D versions of his "Star Wars" titles, the first of which, "Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace," is to hit theaters in February, with the subsequent five films in the series coming out in 3-D at a rate of one a year. Director Tony Scott is working on "Top Gun 3D."
Due to software improvements, 3-D conversions are becoming less expensive. Twelve months ago, the conversion of a two-hour film cost about $100,000 ar minute; now it's closer to $25,000 a minute, according to Rob Hummel, president of Legend 3D, the company converting "Top Gun." At a certain price point, it may prove difficult for Hollywood to resist reaching even further into its catalog.