‘Interstellar’ to open two days early in select film-using theaters

Matthew McConaughey in ‘Interstellar’
Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar,” starring Matthew McConaughey, will open two days early in theaters projecting the movie on film, rather than digital.
(Melinda Sue Gordon / Paramount Pictures)

Stellar news for Christopher Nolan fans: The director’s latest film, “Interstellar,” will hit some film-using theaters two days ahead of its Nov. 7 nationwide release.

Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros., co-financers of the film, announced on Wednesday that advance showings of the space drama will play on 240 screens -- including 70 mm Imax, 70 mm and 35 mm -- in 77 markets across the U.S. and Canada beginning Nov. 5, before expanding to digital theaters.

The three-hour film follows Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), an engineer and pilot who has been called upon to lead an expedition through a wormhole to find a hospitable new planet for humanity because Earth is turning into a giant dust bowl. His costars include Michael Caine, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley and David Oyelowo.

Nolan, who is a supporter of celluloid film, shot “Interstellar” using a combination of 35 mm anamorphic film and 65 mm Imax film. He also used Imax film and high-definition cameras for “Dark Knight Rises.”
In July, Nolan joined other industry leaders, including various studios and directors J.J. Abrams, Judd Apatow and Quentin Tarantino, to ensure Eastman Kodak Co. could continue production of movie film.


“We hope [releasing the film early on select screens] will be a moment to honor and acknowledge film as an important part of our past and future,” Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures, told The Times. “And that it gives everyone the moment to reflect on the benefits on different formats and conversation about the moviegoing experience.”

The release “goes hand-in-hand with Chris Nolan as a filmmaker and his belief in the theatrical experience,” Moore added.

The announcement comes at the beginning of a marketing campaign for the film geared toward mainstream movie audiences. Short TV spots released last weekend showcase new footage of McConaughey and costars on their expedition.

Paramount Studios did a similar early release for 2011’s “Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol” five days before the film was open in wide release. The action film, starring Tom Cruise, grossed about $209.4 million in the U.S. and Canada.


“It worked out really nicely,” Moore said of the “Mission: Impossible” rollout. “It’s a great way to experience the movie and it will generate word of mouth.”

Tickets for “Interstellar” advanced showings went on sale on Wednesday.

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