Hollywood's obsession with the goldmine that has marked 3-D releases over the past six months continued today with news that Paramount Pictures would convert M. Night Shyamalan's "The Last Airbender" in time for its July 2 release.
Word is that Shyamalan has been pushing for "Airbender" to be converted to 3-D for sometime and has been testing the effect on his footage for months. After recent tests convinced Paramount's brass to move forward with a change which should add $5-10 million to the film's budget.
"Airbender" is also taking advantage of only one other major 3-D movie being scheduled to be in the marketplace when it opens, "Toy Story 3." However, the following week Universal's "Despicable Me" debuts in 3-D and there are rumors Chris Nolan's "Inception," scheduled for July 16, could also make the 2-D to 3-D conversion. If it doesn't, the next major enhanced release would be Warner Bros. "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" on July 30.
Paramount may also be hoping 3-D makes "Airbender" more palatable to families looking to take their kids to something other than "Toy Story" again. The adaptation of the Nickelodeon animated series will already face stiff competition from "Grown Ups," "Knight & Day" and "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" over the Fourth of July weekend and had to deal with the buzzworthy "Predators" on July 5. Can all these movies be hits? "Airbender" clearly doesn't want to take a chance it's the odd warrior out.
Other films scheduled for 3-D conversion include "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1," "Priest" and the recently announced "The Green Hornet."