Could that return be affected though, by the fact that these movies just needed tweaking compared to full production? Or is it sill going to be super expensive to try?
This article indicates that 2-D to 3-D conversions usually cost around a million dollars or less:How Do You Convert a Flat Movie Into 3-D?
And this was from the article I posted earlier:
If you ask the medium's most dedicated evangelists what's wrong with 3-D, they'll point to the shoddy, post-production upgrades that flooded the market after Avatar. "It was just being applied liked a layer, purely for profit motive," said James Cameron, who rates the quality of 3-D in dimensional fractions, 2.2-D or 2.5-D. According to this theory, high-end, "real" 3-D sells itself, while the crappy, cash-in conversions—the "fake" 3-D—destroys the brand.
Again, there's some supporting evidence. Using information gleaned from http://www.RealOrFake3D.com, it's possible to compare box-office numbers from converted and native 3-D films: Since 2010, "real" films have an average ratio of 1.00, meaning they earn about the same amount from 3-D and 2-D on a per-theater basis. The "fake" films from that period had an average ratio of 0.87, which equates to minus-13 percent. It's also the case that fakeness is on the rise—it now accounts for about half of all 3-D releases—which could explain the general worsening of 3-D returns.
There was something in Brian's post I quoted about how all six films have already been converted to 3-D. If that's true, and Phantom Menace tanks next year, I can see them scrapping the one-a-year plan and instead releasing them all next year, within a few weeks or a month of each other--like they did in '97--in honor of "the franchise's" 35th anniversary. If they're already done.