Posted on Friday, December 31st, 2010 by Germain Lussier
With the amount of money Disney spent marketing TRON: Legacy over the past few years, it’s no surprise that the film broke the $100 million mark this week, after twelve days at the domestic box office. What is a surprise, though, is that a quarter of that gross came from IMAX screens. To put that in perspective, the film is playing on almost 3,500 screens total in North America and only 235 of those are IMAX. Twenty-five percent of its gross is coming from about seven percent of its theaters. Read more about this after the jump.
To date, Avatar is the biggest grossing IMAX film, pulling in about $128 million over five months in the large screen format earlier this year. It grossed $760.5 million total, making the IMAX percentage just under 17%. And while TRON: Legacy won’t even come close to nearing those totals, it’s still impressive that its gross percentage for IMAX theaters is currently higher than Avatar.
What’s good for IMAX though is not good for both the regular theaters or Disney. IMAX theaters obviously have a much higher ticket price and sometimes that can deter families. It doesn’t necessarily deter men and women in the 18-34 age range, which is one of the target’s for TRON: Legacy. That’s largely who is turning out for IMAX. The non-core audience though, the people Disney needed for the $170 million film to be a box office smash, are not showing up.
Still, even if the core audience is turning out, is it performing well-enough with them? The film’s PG-rating might speak to that. A PG-rating, in theory, would bring in larger audiences. However, since the film is squarely aimed at an age bracket that doesn’t care about MPAA rating, a PG rating could suggest the movie is too cookie cutter for them to truly enjoy. It might actually deter some 18-34’s because it’s being aimed at a younger audience.
Ultimately, TRON: Legacy isn’t going to be the box office hit that Disney had envisioned but it’s going to turn a profit. It’s got another few weeks with little to no competition in the sci-fi family genre so it’ll certainly hang around the top five. And internationally, it’s doing well. Still, while $100 million isn’t the same as it used to be, $25 million IMAX is something entirely new.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter