The Walt Disney Company could face a potential hurdle when it comes to upcoverted its old catalog for re-release in 3-D.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Disney may lose the right to convert 2-D films to 3-D due to the bankruptcy of the company that helps them convert the films.
Disney works with Digital Domain Media Group to convert films for 3-D. But the company went bankrupt a few months ago.
Most of the company’s assets have been sold off to pay creditors, but one particular asset still up in the air is a set of patents related to 2D-to-3D film conversion developed by In-Three, a company acquired by DDMG a few years back. The 3D patents owned by DDMG, which have ties to everything from The Avengers to The Nightmare Before Christmas to Alice in Wonderland, have sparked a good bit of worry among various Hollywood studios, because depending on who winds up owning those patents, various studios could lose some 3D distribution rights.
Disney is one of those studios, and last week it filed an emergency motion in federal court to stop a ruling that could put its 3D distribution rights in jeopardy. See, just last month a Delaware bankruptcy judge ruled that Disney’s initial contracts with DDMG did not entitle it to use the 3D technology provided by DDMG forever. If that’s the case, it puts a number of Disney’s films—including Alice in Wonderland, Tron: Legacy and G-Force—in a position that might mean they never see a 3D distribution again.