“And visions of billion-dollar grosses danced in their heads…”. That’s what I always think of when I hear that tentpole 2D movies are undergoing the conversion to 3D. That means higher ticket prices and a bit of jet fuel that helped propel to billion-dollar worldwide grosses the recent films The Avengers, Avatar, Alice In Wonderland, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2. Now, Guillermo del Toro‘s Pacific Rim is having its ride pimped with a 3D conversion, which certainly better positions it for a ride to the stratosphere.

The film will be released both in 2D and 3D, and the release date stays at July 12, 2013. Pacific Rim, which stars Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba and a lotta big robots, came out of Comic-Con with a vibe that it was going to be a big summer 2013 contender in any dimension. Let’s hope this will be as pleasing to moviegoers as it will be to the film’s sponsors at Warner Bros and Legendary.

I expect The Hobbit to crack that billion-dollar stratosphere later this year, helped by higher 3D ticket prices. The only recent film to do it in 2D was Chris Nolan’s Bat-finale, The Dark Knight Rises. That film just eked over the billion mark but would have put up better worldwide numbers in 3D. Does that make 3D like performance-enhancing drugs in sports? Does it warrant an asterisk like Roger Maris got when he passed Babe Ruth’s single-season home run mark because season schedules had been increased to 162 games as opposed to the 154 played when Ruth was cracking homers?