Legend3D, which converts films like “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “Top Gun” into 3D, has closed an $8 million Series B Preferred Stock offering to support its continued expansion.
Monaco-based Augustus Ventures Limited and Toronto-based Northwater Capital Management led the funding round — two companies that contributed to a $19 million preferred-stock offering in December 2011.
The new money comes at a curious time for 3D companies. Many of the recent movies that have been re-released on 3D, such as "Monsters, Inc." and “Finding Nemo,” underwhelmed at the box office, prompting studios to cut back on that strategy. Though the conversion can be done cheaply, the marketing support for a theatrical release is costly.
As a result, Disney has canceled its planned re-release of “The Little Mermaid,” while Lucasfilm, which Disney bought last year, has put a hold on the re-release of the existing “Star Wars” library in 3D. It already reissued “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.”
Legend3D's conversion of "Top Gun," though, is still scheduled to open Thursday night in 300 theaters.
And it's not all doom-and-gloom on the 3D front. While the re-releases have struggled, higher 3D ticket prices contributed to last year's stellar box-office grosses, particularly overseas. Emerging markets like China are hungry for 3D films and most Hollywood studios are happy to supply them.
“The funding reinforces the confidence our lead investors have in the directions we are taking in the growth of the company both domestically and internationally,” Legend3D CEO Brian Robretsong said in a statement. “Our extensive R&D investments are ensuring constant innovations in the development of market-leading software and systems, which has allowed us to marry the highest 3D conversion quality in the industry with highly competitive pricing.”
The company, which was founded in 2001 and was behind Martin Scorsese's "Hugo," just opened a new 60,000-square-foot studio in Carlsbad.