Star Wars in 3D Targets Theaters in 2012

Paul Lilly

If you were never a fan of Jar Jar Binks to begin with, you probably couldn't care less that he's getting a 3D makeover. Maybe you couldn't care less about 3D, in which case go ahead and move along, this is not the announcement you've been looking for. Love it or hate it, the Star Wars prequel Episode 1: The Phantom Menace has been converted to 3D and is coming to theaters early next year.

Lucasfilm and Twentieth Century Fox jointly announced the 3D theatrical launch has been set for February 10, 2012, a little more than 11 months from now. This will be the first of all six films to be released in 3D, each one hitting the box office one year after the last. Or at least that's the plan, assuming this whole 3D fad sticks around for the long haul.

And there's the gamble for George Lucas and company. By putting the entire saga on a yearly 3D release schedule, they're banking on 3D still being relevant towards the latter part of the decade. That's probably a safe bet. According to market research firm iSuppli , box office revenues from 3D in North America nearly doubled to hit $2.17 billion in 2010, which represents one fifth of the U.S. box office. And by 2014, DisplaySearch predicts 3D in the homefront will have become mainstream.

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