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Beauty and the Beast in 3-D postponed indefinitely

CORRECTION: As pointed out by reader Alexander in comments, Beauty and the Beast producer Don Hahn mentioned at the D23 Expo last year that the re-release has been postponed until some time in 2011 (exactly when has not yet been determined), primarily to have it coincide with the film’s 20th anniversary. Hollywood trade publication Variety actually reported the news this past October in a piece about releases scheduled for 2011, to no fanfare online.

How this all got past myself, John, and others, I do not know! Disney PR didn’t tell me of any such change, only that the re-release had been dropped from their schedule for this year. Still, my apologies.

As honestly embarrassed as I am to be having to correct a story so thoroughly, I’m exceedingly happy that the release of one of my favourite Disney classics in 3-D has not been cancelled or “postponed indefinitely”.

The much talked about re-release of Beauty and the Beast in Disney Digital 3-D, previously scheduled for this February 12,  has been quietly dropped from Disney’s theatrical release schedule for 2010 and no new release date has yet been set, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures PR confirmed for me about an hour ago after I inquired about advanced screenings of the film.

This is really too bad. I’ve been looking forward to seeing Beauty and the Beast on the big screen in 3-D ever since the re-release was announced. I’d hope for an early 2011 release but that would make no sense if the film’s Blu-ray release proceeds as planned this Fall, and a delay of the Blu-ray would be very unfortunate and unwise as well. None of this makes any sense.

Sill, there are numerous possible reasons I can think of for the delay or possible cancellation. The first thing that comes to mind is that the Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3-D double feature could certainly have done better at the box office. New Walt Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross is making a lot of changes to Disney’s film slate (mostly good), and may have been of the opinion that ‘Beauty in 3-D would not draw in audiences and axed the release, even though Disney already spent millions on the 3-D conversion process. It’s very doubtful that there were any technical problems; those who’ve seen portions of the re-mastered film have been surprised and pleased by what they saw.

In any case, I’m very dissapointed. Somewhat outraged, actually. I  would like to hear what explanation Disney has for this. Your thoughts?