Warner Bros. supersizes picture deal with Imax
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In a sign of Imax Corp.’s growing box-office clout, Warner Bros. said Wednesday it would release up to 20 films in the large-screen format over the next 3 1/2 years.
The deal is the largest of its kind for the Canadian company, whose previous deals with Hollywood studios, including DreamWorks Animation and Walt Disney Studios, have been limited to five pictures. Imax screenings, projected in both 3-D and 2-D, have become increasingly important to the success of big event films such as ‘Avatar’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ creating a growing frenzy among studios to reserve space for their films in the company’s 309 commercial theaters.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
For Warner. Bros., the agreement would provide the studio with another platform to distribute a roster of tentpole films that it plans to release in 3-D, such as ‘Legends of the Guardian: The Owls of Ga’Hoole,’ ‘Happy Feet 2,’ ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.’
Since 2003, Warner Bros. has released 25 titles in Imax’s format.
‘Our track record with Imax has been incredible, and incorporating 3-D into this collaborative effort will serve as the ultimate experience for our audiences,’’ Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bro. Pictures, said in a statement.
Imax Chief Executive Richard Gelfond said the agreement would enable ‘existing and potential exhibitors to better know what’s ‘coming soon’ in their Imax theaters.’
-- Richard Verrier