How many copies of Jurassic Park do you own? I’ll give you an hour to tell me. That’s because if you are a dino-fan, it will take awhile to tally them all. Don’t miss any! There’s VHS, Laserdisk, DVD, the Trilogy DVDs, the Adventure Pack DVDs, Blu-ray…. So, how many copies of Jurassic Park do you own? Well, get ready to buy some more. The Jurassic Park: Ultimate Trilogy Blu-ray set is being released today (with a freshly remastered DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack and a whole lotta extras as incentives to purchase). And after that. . .
For years, the music industry rereleased old music on newer formats. The idea of buying the White Album, again and again, became a running joke. But in reality, all popular music was sold many times in vinyl, cassette, CD, surround, download, etc. It took Hollywood about two seconds to appreciate the beauty of it. Where movies once had a useful lifespan of a few theatrical weeks, they instead became enduring workhorses of profitability. Hollywood originally fought bitterly against home video formats, then realized that they presented an immense and ongoing revenue stream.
Hollywood also learned that beloved movies could be rereleased theatrically; all that was needed was a minor incentive to make them seem worth watching again. Disney has digitally restored many of its old animated classics, and showed them theatrically again. And, of course, the restoration justifies yet another release to home video.
Technology marches on, and with it comes yet another wave of rereleases. In particular, 2D to 3D conversion is the next opportunity. Since conversion costs have fallen (a year ago it was $100,000/minute and now it’s south of $25,000/minute) studios are speedily opening up the vault doors.
The industry that once declared colorization of B&W films sacrilege apparently has no qualms about the infinitely more radical changes that 3D conversion entails. For example, visualize Kate Winslet and Leonardo diCaprio facing each other with the ocean in the background. If Kate is moved to a forward plane, she also moves apart from Leo. The gap between them must be painted with something that matches the ocean behind them. That is something that was never in the original frame, and a radical change in the original artistic vision.
In any case, get ready for a wave of aged films hitting the theaters again, in 3D — films like Titanic, Top Gun, and Star Wars Episode 1 The Phantom Menace (followed by the other five, one per year). Just imagine, the films you originally paid $5 to see will now cost you $15 to see again. And, don’t forget, you’ll also want to buy the new 3D home video versions. For all you fans who are buying the Jurassic Park: Ultimate Trilogy on Blu-ray — don't forget to leave room on your shelf for the 3D version.
How many copies of Jurassic Park will you eventually own? The answer is n + 1, where n is the number you currently own.
Ken C. Pohlmann is well known as an audio educator, consultant, and author. He is a professor emeritus at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, and the author of numerous articles and books, including Principles of Digital Audio and Master Handbook of Acoustics.
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