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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Large Format Forum   » 1,000 IMAX Screens??? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: 1,000 IMAX Screens???
Michael Coate
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1837
From: Los Angeles, California
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 08-11-2005 01:40 PM      Profile for Michael Coate   Email Michael Coate   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
IMAX Corp. predicts 1,000 worldwide screens within a few years, according to this new article. With the studios and IMAX considering these recent releases a success, I guess we're past the point of no return for those in the industry to come to their senses and use 5-perf 70mm rather than the much-more-expensive and wasteful 15-perf 70mm. Oh well, preaching to the choir here...

quote:
Imax format a big hit for commercial films

By Dan Zak
The Washington Post
Posted August 3 2005

E-mail story Print story


There was a time when we went to Imax theaters for whales and rockets. That was when the big big screen was for shorter educational films about the deep sea, outer space and wild kingdoms -- movies shot on big Imax film with big Imax cameras.

Now we go to Imax for eccentric candymen and superheroes with bat complexes. And we're going more often.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was No.1 at the box office in its opening weekend last month with a $56.1 million take, $2.2 million of which was made on 65 Imax screens. It was Imax's biggest opening weekend ever, besting the debuts of Batman Begins and last winter's The Polar Express, which eventually grossed a record-breaking $45million on 83 Imax screens.

When Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire opens in November, it will be the year's fourth Hollywood feature to open simultaneously in Imax and regular 35mm theaters. There were three such releases last year (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Spider-Man2 and The Polar Express) and two the year before that (the final legs of The Matrix trilogy). Next year there will be six, maybe more.

Imax's corporate strategy is to entice Americans happiest in front of a 60-inch plasma-screen TV, wrapped in the fuzzy warmth of a Netflix plan.

"Consumers are saying, `In order to get me out of the home, you need to wow me, you need to give me something special,'" says Rich Gelfond, co-chairman and co-CEO of Imax.

"[Imax] helps `eventize' our big movies," says Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures, the studio behind half of the feature film releases on Imax. "And we will continue to release our big films that way." Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, Columbia and Disney have also released features in Imax.

The regular box office is still down 7.5 percent, but Imax is up 37 percent, according to Greg Foster, Imax's co-chairman and president of filmed entertainment. Charlie made double on its Imax screens what it did on regular screens. At Fort Lauderdale's Blockbuster Imax Theater in the Museum of Discovery and Science, Charlie sold out 25 shows in its first six days.

Not everyone is sold. "Our experience at Fox is still under review," says Julian Levin, vice president of digital exhibition and non-theatrical sales and distribution at Fox, which released Robots this year on Imax. "Other than the sort of unique bump with Polar Express, the performance of the other pictures really haven't shown to be that incredibly remarkable."

The folks at Imax compare their brand to Starbucks for coffee or Tiffany for jewelry, in that people will pay a premium price for an amplified, high-quality experience -- in this case, gargantuan, crystal-clear images and booming, 12,000-watt sound. Seventy-five screens are slated to open in the next few years toward the eventual goal of 1,000 locations worldwide, according to Imax.

The world's largest Imax screen is the 97-by-117-foot Panasonic Theatre in Sydney, Australia. The Imax film frame area is three times that of the standard 70mm frame, and 10 times the 35mm frame.

Batman Begins director Christopher Nolan saw some of his dailies on an Imax screen in London and found it "astounding."

"It takes you right back to the scale of movies that you felt when you were a little kid in some large movie palace. And for me, that's what I'm striving for, to get back to the sense of scale in films," said Nolan.

Imax and some studio executives say it's a format reserved for tent-pole movies -- they need the buzz of a blockbuster to increase the odds that they'll recoup the high costs of the format.

Still, imagine an Imax reissue of Casablanca, and the feel of actually being in the smoky, arid sauna of Rick's Cafe Americain. Then, imagine Ingrid Bergman's glorious face 70 feet high as she turns to see Bogart for the first time since Paris.


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Joseph L. Kleiman
Master Film Handler

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From: Sacramento, CA
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 - posted 08-11-2005 03:04 PM      Profile for Joseph L. Kleiman   Email Joseph L. Kleiman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That number is correct. The company has identified 900 zones for exclusitivity worldwide, of which only 60 are currently being used. In the 1st quarter earnings call, they also mentioned that the area covered by a zone may change during a contract period. They used the example of Brooklyn. A theater opening in Brooklyn now would have exclusive rights to the borough, but after a few years those exclusitivity rights may retract to only a few blocks.

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Andy Summers
Master Film Handler

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From: Bournemouth Dorset United kingdom
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 - posted 08-11-2005 03:11 PM      Profile for Andy Summers         Edit/Delete Post 
Michael

I like to share the same excitement about this; however the Sheridan IMAX at Bournemouth hasn’t done so well, I’ve seen around 9 IMAX films there well if they had kept there promise and got the other newer IMAX films in instead of showing the Cyberworld over and over etc, etc, etc that’s just one of the highlights, then maybe they would have been successful.

Liked to have seen Blade Runner in 70mm Dolby Stereo A type there, but the manager was jerking the Bournemouth folks off big time giving us all false illusions.

Anyway I hope they do re-open although, I can very see this happing, but there are all types of possibilities…

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Ben Wales
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Most of the planned extra Imax Theatres will have the small MPX setup, rather than the real GT 3D Imax and I belive that National Amusements (known as Showcase in the UK)are to open some screens.

But if this can belive there will be a 1,000 screens world wide, will there be more prints made as Imax Theatres in the UK have to wait as with "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", there is only one print and is playing in Scotland!.

As for the Bournemouth Imax Theatre, it never had 35mm or 5/70mm installed.

The likely reason the Bournemouth Imax failed was it was badly supported by the Bournemouth Local people who objected to the size and location of the building.

Quite how by turning the building into a Swimming Pool will have locals flocking remains to be seen....

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Dan Suomi
Film Handler

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 - posted 08-11-2005 04:22 PM      Profile for Dan Suomi   Author's Homepage   Email Dan Suomi   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Not everyone is sold. "Our experience at Fox is still under review," says Julian Levin, vice president of digital exhibition and non-theatrical sales and distribution at Fox, which released Robots this year on Imax. "Other than the sort of unique bump with Polar Express, the performance of the other pictures really haven't shown to be that incredibly remarkable."

I have a huge issue with this statement I don't know if anyone else does. How can somone say that 2.2 million dollars gross on as little as 65 screens not be remarkable? I bet if Fox released Starwars instead of Robots [puke] in IMAX they would be singing a different tune.

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Andy Summers
Master Film Handler

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From: Bournemouth Dorset United kingdom
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 - posted 08-11-2005 05:13 PM      Profile for Andy Summers         Edit/Delete Post 
Well I have to say this I’ve lost faith in the Bournemouth Sheridan IMAX and most other IMAX cinemas for the time being, its all about first impressions and will always be, so the Bournemouth Sheridan IMAX have got a lot to do to explain, and lying to the general public about refurbishment is not true at all… [Confused]

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Michael Coate
Phenomenal Film Handler

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 - posted 08-11-2005 09:47 PM      Profile for Michael Coate   Email Michael Coate   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Theatres in the UK have to wait as with "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", there is only one print and is playing in Scotland!
"Charlie" begins an engagement at the bfi London IMAX Cinema tomorrow, August 12. (Joseph Kleiman: "Charlie" begins in Sacramento Aug. 26.)

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Joseph L. Kleiman
Master Film Handler

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 - posted 08-11-2005 11:35 PM      Profile for Joseph L. Kleiman   Email Joseph L. Kleiman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Michael,

I know...at the same time local schools are starting. The timing couldn't be better. [Roll Eyes]

That's why I saw it in San Jose on the dome at midnight opening day! [Big Grin]

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Michael Coate
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 - posted 08-14-2005 11:53 AM      Profile for Michael Coate   Email Michael Coate   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Not everyone is sold. "Our experience at Fox is still under review," says Julian Levin, vice president of digital exhibition and non-theatrical sales and distribution at Fox, which released Robots this year on Imax. "Other than the sort of unique bump with Polar Express, the performance of the other pictures really haven't shown to be that incredibly remarkable."
quote: Dan Suomi
I have a huge issue with this statement I don't know if anyone else does. How can somone say that 2.2 million dollars gross on as little as 65 screens not be remarkable? I bet if Fox released Starwars instead of Robots in IMAX they would be singing a different tune.
Fox is probably on the fence with IMAX because I'm guessing they didn't think "Robots" performed very well. But what do you expect...they released it simultaneously in IMAX and D-Cinema (and, of course, conventional 35mm). In this instance, the grosses may have cannibalized one another.

"Attack Of The Clones: The IMAX Experience" performed well. It did $7-8 million in only 58 venues. At least that seems like a good performance to me, especially when one considers the number of bookings, the fact that the large format release took place about five months after the movie's release and was playing as it arrived on DVD. But I guess since it didn't pull in another $300 million in IMAX as it did the first go-round, then I guess it flopped in IMAX. [Roll Eyes]

The studio exec quote seems in line with the corporate greed mentality that, unfortunately, exists today. They don't seem to care to put anything in context; only BIG numbers seem to matter. I think these studio bean counters are from another planet. I mean, these are the types who will make an estimate for a particular release and then if it happens to underperform they'll claim they lost money!

I've never put much stock in the quotes from the studio folks or, for that matter, those quote whores from the box office tracking companies and websites who like to dazzle the world with their bullshit insight into why a film performed as it did.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Film God

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 - posted 08-16-2005 08:07 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Michael Coate
It did $7-8 million in only 58 venues.
I wouldn't be bragging about that total. Thats onlt a bit shy of 140K per location.... subtract print, diatribution, advertising and other"Imax" costs and that doesn't leave all that much revenue... and oh yes if the locations are lucky thay'll each get a dime per admission too so you have to count dimes into this as well. I think you'll find that more of the larger mainstream 35mm locations did alot better than that. Leads me to believe that the print ups to Imax will not go on for ever.... The average print has go to cost on the average of 50K+ alone depending on the length of the film!!

Mark

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Joseph L. Kleiman
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 - posted 08-16-2005 09:12 AM      Profile for Joseph L. Kleiman   Email Joseph L. Kleiman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Avg print cost for a 2 hr DMR is in the range of 35K

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Film God

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Thats a little hard to believe except for a bare 5 reeler such as a Disney cartoon feature.... since its ALOT more footage and film sells by the foot. Today a print of L.O.A. costs close to 30K. Granted the more footage you buy the less expensive it gets but even that much footage is not that much less expensive... then there is the cost of genrating the DMR itself and so on so I'll stick more towards the 50K range for that much printed film for something like Martix, to me its a far more realistic figure.

Mark

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Michael Coate
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 - posted 08-16-2005 11:26 AM      Profile for Michael Coate   Email Michael Coate   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Michael Coate
It did $7-8 million in only 58 venues.
quote: Mark Gulbrandsen
I wouldn't be bragging about that total.
Mark,
You seem to have overlooked my follow-up sentence which provided context for my comment.

quote:
At least that seems like a good performance to me, especially when one considers the [low] number of bookings, the fact that the large format release took place about five months after the movie's release and was playing as it arrived on DVD.
So how do you guys think "Attack Of The Clones: The IMAX Experience" would have performed had it been released day-and-date with the 35mm and D-Cinema versions? Which raises another interesting question:

Should these IMAX whatever-you-want-to-call-them versions should be released day-and-date, and risk confusing moviegoers with too many "flavors" of how to experience the movie; or do you release in IMAX before or after the conventional release so as to give an opportunity for it to be viewed as a unique, stand-alone experience?

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Joseph L. Kleiman
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Mark,

The reduction in DMR print costs is the result of a deal IMAX signed with Technicolor in early 2002.

Joe

quote:
IMAX Signs Exclusive Five-Year Agreement With Technicolor Resulting In Cost Savings for IMAX(R) Theatres

TORONTO, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq: IMAX - news; Toronto :IMX - news) today announced that it has reached an exclusive five-year service agreement with Technicolor, a Thomson multimedia business (Paris Euroclear: 18453; NYSE: TMS) which will enable IMAX® theatres to purchase film prints from IMAX at a significantly reduced cost.

Film prints have traditionally represented a significant part of an IMAX theatre's operating cost. This move should improve financial returns for IMAX theatre owners and is another important part of the Company's strategy. In addition, filmmakers using DKP/70MM Inc.'s post-production services will benefit from these newly negotiated IMAX rates.

"Improving financial returns for our customers in the IMAX theatre network is one of our top priorities and as such, we're pleased to be able to provide theatres with these significant savings," said IMAX co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. "We believe that this agreement with Technicolor will have a positive impact on a theatre's bottom line and on the industry as a whole. Our relationship with Technicolor's affiliate CFI spans many years and we're happy to continue our association with them."

"We are pleased with our strategic partnership with IMAX and continue to be extremely optimistic about the future growth of this powerful film format," said Walter Schonfeld, president of Technicolor Content Services. The opportunities for CFI and Technicolor to provide industry-leading services are greatly enhanced by this new agreement with IMAX."

As part of this agreement, Technicolor, through its wholly owned subsidiary Consolidated Film Industries (CFI) will provide IMAX with a full suite of film laboratory services that will reduce the cost for IMAX film prints, representing increased operational savings for IMAX® theatres and filmmakers using IMAX's post-production facility.

For more than 75 years CFI has offered integrated film laboratory services to motion picture image makers and has received 13 Academy Awards for technical achievement. CFI caters to studios and the independent film community offering 16mm, 35mm, and 65mm film developing; 35mm and 70mm printing and restoration; digital film recording; telecine, and digital imaging. CFI is the world's leader in large format 65/70mm film processing.

Founded in 1967, IMAX Corporation is one of the world's leading entertainment technology companies. IMAX's businesses include the world's best cinematic presentations together with IMAX, IMAX 3D and the development of the highest quality digital production and presentation. The IMAX brand is recognized throughout the world for extraordinary and immersive family experiences. As of September 2001, there were more than 220 IMAX theatres operating in 30 countries. More than 700 million people have seen an IMAX presentation since the medium premiered in 1970. IMAX Corporation is a publicly traded company listed on both the Toronto and Nasdaq stock exchanges. IMAX® is a registered trademark of IMAX Corporation. More information on the Company can be found at http://www.imax.com.

About Technicolor

Technicolor is a Thomson multimedia (Paris Euroclear: 18453; NYSE: TMS) business within Digital Media Solutions, a Thomson division focused on giving content providers, broadcasters, network operators, and advertisers the digital building blocks required to deploy electronic entertainment services. Technicolor serves a worldwide client base through its Packaged Media Group, Film Group and Entertainment Services Divisions. Technicolor has evolved as the number one processor of motion picture film to become the world's largest independent manufacturer and distributor of DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, CD-ROM, CD- Audio and Videocassettes. On an annualized basis, the production capacity is approximately 250 million DVDs, 500 million CDs and 800 million videocassettes.

With main offices in Camarillo, Calif., Technicolor serves an international base of entertainment and software customers with its facilities in the U.S, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia. Key Technicolor customers include Hollywood studios and game and software publishers, with major Hollywood clients including Disney, DreamWorks, New Line and Warner. Software publishers include Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft.

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are based on management assumptions and existing information and involve certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Important factors that could effect these statements include the timing of theatre system deliveries, the mix of theatre systems shipped, the timing of the recognition of revenues and expenses on film production and distribution agreements, the viability of new businesses and fluctuations in foreign currency and in the large format and general commercial exhibition market. These factors and other risks and uncertainties are discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2000 and in the subsequent reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.



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Richard Hamilton
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quote:
TORONTO, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq: IMAX - news; Toronto :IMX - news) today announced that it has reached an exclusive five-year service agreement with Technicolor, a Thomson multimedia business (Paris Euroclear: 18453; NYSE: TMS) which will enable IMAX® theatres to purchase film prints from IMAX at a significantly reduced cost.

This was in early 2002, what happens in early 2007? What is significant? Do these Imax theaters actually get to purchase film prints?

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