Perennial animated holiday favorite Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is being re-mastered in stereoscopic 3-D for a Halloween theatrical run, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Walt Disney Pictures and Industrial Light & Magic are apparently giving the film the same treatment it gave the CG hit Chicken Little, which screened in 3-D in 81 theaters in the U.S. last year.
Originally released in 1993, Nightmare is a stop-motion animated classic produced by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick (James and the Giant Peach, Monkeybone). Both Burton and Selick are reportedly involved in the digital remastering as Jack Skellington and crew prepare to make their 3-D debut. In addition, Selick is using a 3-D digital camera rig to shoot his current project, a stop-motion/live-action adaptation of Neil Gaimon’s Coraline, starring Dakota Fanning.
Not exactly a box-office smash, Nightmare earned around $50 million domestically with its initial release. However, the 3-D revival could make it a profitable Holiday staple like Warner Bros.’ IMAX 3-D version of The Polar Express, which has grossed more than $60 million at IMAX venues alone. Producer Robert Zemeckis’s latest performance-capture feature, Sony Pictures’ Monster House, will roll out in both conventional and 3-D formats on July 21.
Nightmare is already an annual Halloween fixture at Disney’s historic El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, where screenings are accompanied by panel discussions with the filmmakers and exhibits of actual animation puppets and sets from the film. The rest of the nation will have a chance to get reacquainted with the ghoulish inhabitants of Halloween Town when the 3-D version is released on Oct. 20.