Disney has announced that it has canceled the 2013 release of The Little Mermaid in 3D. The news comes two months into the conversion process that started in November. It’s possible that it could still be released on BluRay at a later date. Disney was probably hoping for synergy with the recent opening of Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid at the new Fantasyland.
The Lion King was Disney’s most successful release in 3D. Building on strong childhood nostalgia and critical acclaim, it earned almost two hundred million worldwide when Disney released the 3D version in theatres in September 2011. However, increased competition and public audiences who grew tired of the 3D gimmick made each classic film that Disney released after that make less and less at the box office. Monsters, Inc which was released just days after The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has made less than thirty million domestically.
Despite cutting back on animated releases, Disney announced that all future major Marvel releases will be in in 3D, including Iron Man 3, Thor 2: The Dark World, Captain America 2: Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers 2.
Fox was expected to cancel the conversion of the Star Wars saga after the 3D release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was disappointing but they merely condensed the timetable to release all six in 3D before Disney releases Episode 7 in 2015. Episode 7 is also expected to be in 3D.