I was convinced 3-D was going to be the next big thing, I mean, who could deny themselves an awesome movie hangover inflicted by those fashionable thick-rimmed 3-D glasses. But it looks like IMAX has been trending up a storm since the appearances of Transformers and Spider-Man 3 (which totally should’ve been in 3-D!). Hollywood has found a bit of a hit when it comes to releasing films in the massive IMAX theaters, now totaling 425 across the nation and 325 that screen commercial movies.
But don’t take my word for it, IMAX connoisseur himself, Christopher Nolan completely endorses the use of the huge 65mm cameras, especially for that of Hollywood films. The Wall Street Journal had this gem from the visionary director.
“There was a huge irony that we were told it would be too difficult to shoot a Hollywood movie on IMAX when we had this gigantic camera department, grips, electric, hundreds of people working for us,” says the director, whose agreement to direct “The Dark Knight” was contingent on Warner Bros. allowing him to shoot the film in IMAX. “These were cameras that had been to the top of Mount Everest, to the bottom of the ocean and into outer space, but people thought we couldn’t make a feature film. It was absurd.”
While we’re on a Chris Nolan kick, we might as well touch on recent news surrounding the highly anticipated The Dark Knight Rises. Originally it was reported that the new Batman flick would only show about 40 minutes of IMAX footage, it’s now reported to screen an hour of the impressive format! Just do your best to get there early and avoid the front row, believe me, I’m speaking from experience, and nausea.
According to USA Today, recent numbers show that IMAX ticket sales for the first quarter should be close to a 70% increase from last year. Movie-going went up 20% a year ago, and a lot of that comes down to maintaining the special experience for the audience. It’s hard to compete with home entertainment centers, but IMAX seems to hit the nail right on the head. Executives are backing the idea that it’s an event for the family, one that cannot be replicated anywhere else.
But if you’re actually thinking about getting in on the IMAX business, it’s completely possible. Regal and AMC theaters have been doing just that. Regal Cinemas now has 70 of it’s own IMAX locations, and has started a spin-off called “Regal Premium Experience” that’s very similar to that of the IMAX experience. Nothing is wrong with a little competition, but these additional knock-offs may pose issues to the unique viewing of an IMAX movie. And there’s nothing more unique than watching actual footage from an IMAX camera in an IMAX theater.
But hey, if you actually have a spot to hang a 60ft screen, then you should totally invite me over.
- The Dark Knight Rises opens July 20th.
- J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek sequel will also be partially shot using the IMAX camera.
- Upcoming IMAX films include The Avengers, Men in Black 3, Prometheus, and The Amazing Spider-Man.