Posted on Sunday, September 13th, 2015 by Ethan Anderton
Even though it’s fairly standard for many blockbusters to have a period of their theatrical release on IMAX screens, that’s a relatively recent development with Apollo 13 and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones being the first blockbusters to play on the gigantic screen in 2002.
Since then the number of movies has gradually increased with about 32 blockbusters hitting IMAX screens in 2014. But even with more movies taking advantage of the larger screen format, the corporation still has plenty of times when there’s not a new movie hitting IMAX, and they’re hoping to change that in the future with a few possibilities, one of which would be IMAX producing movies on their own.
The Wrap reports that IMAX is taking steps to begin creating their own movies and maybe allowing for alternate programming to hit IMAX screens in the future as well. The company is currently talking with a variety of potential partners, TV producers and filmmaker in order to figure out how to keep the IMAX screen a great destination for entertainment the whole year round.
The new move is prompted by months like August where the pool of blockbusters movies is mostly non-existent. IMAX entertainment chief executive officer Greg Foster explains:
“There were no blockbuster movies released in August, there were none last week and none this coming weekend. That’s three or four weeks of beachfront property. We want to provide the very best premium entertainment 52 weeks a year, and if creating it ourselves is the best way to do it, we’re going to be excited about taking that step.”
So IMAX wants to make sure there’s always something fresh to see on their big screens, even if there’s not a new blockbuster movie, and that’s driven them to explore generating their own content, not unlike Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. IMAX could start developing, filming and distributing their own movies. However, Foster notes, “But that basically turns you into a mini-studio, and that’s the highest risk.”
Another option would have IMAX partnering with filmmakers to create movies for their screens. And since they’ve worked closely with filmmakers like Christopher Nolan regarding how his film Interstellar was presented in the IMAX format, they would have no problem partnering with them to get certain projects off the ground and into their theaters:
“We have had so many talks with filmmakers that have projects that they haven’t been able to get made for one reason or another. We are represented by CAA and we have already established a number of really important relationships that, with their help, we can build on. We can cherry-pick our projects this way, too.”
Foster also noted that there’s plenty of collaboration that they already do by bringing movies into IMAX theaters, “We don’t just take a hard drive, pop it into the projector and press play. We actually work with the filmmakers throughout the process, and that makes a difference.” So expanding that relationship just makes sense.
Finally, the other option would be to use windows of time in IMAX theaters for licensing programming that would begin on IMAX screens and then head off to television or VOD. For example, IMAX brought some episodes of Game of Thrones to theaters to last year, and there’s a good chance that could happen more often. IMAX is reportedly already talking to AMC about bringing The Walking Dead to theaters in the same way sometime in the future. However, there aren’t many TV shows that are worthy of a screen as big as IMAX, so that might not be the best option.
All of these options sounds viable for IMAX, but it remains to be seen which would be the most lucrative for IMAX. In the end, it may be a combination of the above options that works best for IMAX. No matter what happens, the giant screen will definitely be getting more play in the near future.Cool Posts From Around the Web: