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Disney 3D Conversions in Jeopardy: Convoluted Legal Stuff Does Something Right For Once

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trade News | January 8, 2013 | Comments ()


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There are two types of 3D movies. There are those that are filmed full 3D to start with, and in the right hands can be visually stunning. Worth the entry fee is another question of course. Then there is the second category: conversions. Every one hates conversions, except for leeches, because they're used to watching all their films through a layer of muddy water anyway. Hell, James Cameron and Michael Bay are even on the same side of the argument, which is probably a first. Cameron's argument boils down to "that looks like shit, stop it," while Bay's is "you may think my movies are shit, but at least they don't literally look like shit, stop it."

The thing is that conversion is significantly cheaper and easier than just doing it right in the first place, and so the fact that consumers and movie makers all hate it means that it just keeps on happening anyway. That is, until Delaware bankruptcy judge Brendan Shannon had his say in the matter.

What follows is an undoubtedly completely inaccurate account of the legal nuances of the case. If you don't like it, go read a law blog. What do I look like, Ally McBeal?

See, the technology that Disney has been using for upcoming conversions like Thor 2 and Iron Man 3 is technically owned by a company called Digital Domain, which has since gone into bankruptcy. Disney had a three picture agreement with the company, and it used the technology originally on G-Force, Alice in Wonderland, and Tron Legacy. Disney has reportedly been blindsided by the idea that "three picture agreement" does not in fact mean "if they go bankrupt we can just use their technology for free, right?" It seems that the sale of Digital Domain's assets has not even begun to cover their debts, and incredibly their pissed off creditors kind of sort of don't want Disney using their intellectual property for free.

So Judge Shannon told Disney to shut it all down, or he'd send Walt's frozen head off to a lighthouse crawlin' with gators. Now, this is inevitably a temporary situation, but we can dream can't we?

(source: THR)



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Comments Are Welcome, Douches Are Not


  • Whoa. Delaware's laying down the law, y'all.

  • Also, you can't spell "Delaware" without "law."

    http://img7.uploadhouse.com/fi...

  • psykins

    They're converting Jurassic Park into 3D for a rerelease...but I DON'T EVEN CARE cause that shit is bomb and I can see it on the big screen for my birthday!

  • Meh. Disney'll just buy the bankrupt company...and the creditors. And the creditor's children.

  • pissant

    So Judge Shannon told Disney to shut it all down, or he’d send Walt’s frozen head off to a lighthouse crawlin’ with gators.

    Can I just say how excited I am to see Maine Justice become a thing and outlive the SNL skit? "You gon' find we do thangs a lil' differen'ly down here in Maine" has become a staple at my house these past few weeks.

    Yeah, so Disney...this is just too sweet. The only downside to this whole affair is I've already seen people conflating patents with copyright.

  • TK

    As someone who is forced to repeatedly sit through terrible movies by his cruel, whip-wielding cretin of a boss, I can say that the only thing worse is having to sit through terrible movies that are made even worse by shoddy 3D conversion jobs (and having to cough up the bajillion dollars for the ticket).

    So for me, this is absolutely terrific news - if it sticks.

  • BWeaves

    Yes, but do you get to sit through terrible movies with your bot friends while riding on the satellite of love?

    At least you get to mock them mercilessly after the fact.

  • That reminds me how CinemaBlend always does their "should you see it in 3d or 2d?" article for big releases and how I just felt sorry for the poor bastard who not only got sent to see Wrath of the Titans but had to see it twice. Which version should you see? Whichever one is at the bottom of this bottle of whiskey.

  • Dragonchild

    The good news is that it's a solid case, which means even sheer size probably won't save Disney. If anything, it's evidence against as Disney can't make any sort of case that they can't afford it or didn't know (excuses that historically only work if you're powerful or rich, respectively).

    Last time I saw a mistake this bad, Microsoft had announced how much they were going to spend MARKETING the X-box -- before they'd confirmed that another company already owned the name. They settled for an "undisclosed amount", which leads me to believe it was not an insignificant sum of money. A public company refusing to tell the public how much a mistake cost means it's big enough that they fear setting a precedent or impacting share price.

    As the company is bankrupt the shareholders don't matter. This is about creditors, which means it's likely Disney just pissed off a big bank. Since movie revenue is pretty easy to determine and the case is about two evil giants battling over money the peons already spent, it's time to break out the popcorn.

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