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.
At the time, that was the plan... Just because it's close together doesn't mean that how they performed, and at what level they performed, didn't directly dictate whether they went further with PT3D films.
That was a fairly well-known thing at the time... If TPM3D did a minimum, to them, then AOTC3D would happen... But "doing well" for Star Wars cannot be compared to much else when you think about it. Especially when one doing well by their standards is what the next one is hinged upon.
I saw TPM3D and enjoyed it well enough... I still think TPM3D sucks.
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.
Again, whether it's a failure or not was dependant on your POV... To LFL, it underperformed because it barely met its minimums they were calling for, to continue with AOTC3D and so forth... I think the latter would've done better. Likewise, for Star Wars, I think it did poorly... TPM was a success at the box office, but it's not held up well, and TPM3D was NOT a success to LFL at the box office... I think they really anticipated more. I think Lucas overestimated his fan-base for Star Wars on that one.
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.
First, I've never argued that Hasbro overestimated anything... That's obviosu to anyone. Guess who else made that mistake though? Pepsi, Frito Lay, Kellogs or whoever was doing that, McDonalds, etc... Like I said, if it was just Hasbro you'd maybe have some argument, but all those companies sank money in, and I think all of them probably saw an underperformance from what I saw out at retail with all that stuff around long after TPM3D was relevant.
I could be wrong, maybe they did great. Hasbro overestimated sure, but they don't do that on a whim regardless. They do it at LFL's pressure that X, Y, or Z is the next big thing. That's a symbiotic relationship people can't just dismiss.
In all my years dealing with Hasbro, never have I seen them go nuts making something without LFL having some hand in it... They push the company to support their latest projects heavily. That's just not the case.