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Disney to Re-Release Four Animated Hits in 3-D After ‘Lion King’ Success

Walt Disney Co. (DIS), which generated more than $79 million in U.S. theaters after converting “The Lion King” to 3-D, will re-release four other animated features in the format.

“Beauty and the Beast” will be reissued on Jan. 13 next year, followed by “Finding Nemo” on Sept. 14, the Burbank, California-based company said today in an e-mail. “Monsters Inc.” will be reissued in January 2013, and “The Little Mermaid” will follow in September of that year.

“This is just pure gravy for Disney,” said Wade Holden, an analyst with the consulting firm SNL Kagan in Monterey, California. “Disney puts their films back in their vault, and then re-issues them a few years later for the next generation anyway.”

The 3-D conversions also help DVD sales by elevating the profile of the films, Holden added. Disney released “The Lion King” on DVD and Blu-Ray today. The three-dimensional version of the film opened in theaters on Sept. 16.

Disney rose 86 cents to $29.86 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have declined 20 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ronald Grover in Los Angeles at rgrover5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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