That is very interesting. I initially thought that maybe the profits from the 3D re-releases were supposed to fund the sequel trilogy. At one movie a year, that doesn't seem likely though. The Blu-Ray box sets were wildly successful though.QuoteVariety is reporting that Star Wars has sold more than one million units in only a week on the markiet, shattering records for the high-definition format, and further cementing Blu-ray's dominance as the home video format of choice.
Despite an average list price of $79.99, the nine disc set generated more than $84 million in worldwide sales. U.S. sales accounted for $38 million of that total, with 515,000 units sold in North America.
That was September of 2011. Expecting families to shell out 3D ticket prices for TPM just four months later is a tough sell. Still, TPM3D opened to 22m and grossed 44m domestically. It earned 102m worldwide. I'm just not sure what a realistic number would have been to be deemed successful.
This is why I cringe when people call TPM 3D a failure. It was not a failure at the box office. It made far more than other similar 3D-ified rereleases. The fact that "people" hate TPM jades objective opinion. The Phantom Menace was a phenomenal success. TPM 3D performed quite well for what it was. Retconning either into "bomb" territory just does not hold water.
The issue is HASBRO overestimated the demand for TPM merch and it torpedoed everything since. I refuse to believe this was LFL's fault since it isn't like TPM 3D merch hung around forever in other market segments.