When The Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan told the Director’s Guild of America that IMAX was “the best film format that was ever invented,” he was apparently putting his mouth where his money had already gone.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal‘s MarketWatch, the film will be released with more than an hour’s worth of footage in its final cut that was shot using IMAX technology. If true, the Journal says, that would be a new record for a Hollywood feature film. There’s really nothing close, either, as they report that the second-highest remains The Dark Knight with just over 40 minutes of IMAX footage.
The site also notes that a lot of summer blockbusters are being shot in other formats and then upconverted for IMAX screenings, noting that The Hunger Games, The Avengers, The
With relatively few screens to support the format, IMAX has traditionally been found at non-traditional venues like museums and has often relied on educational and animated content to fill the time between screenings of that rare blockbuster that embraced the format. More and more, though, The Wall Street Journal reports that big-budget blockbusters are flocking to IMAX screens, either in or out of 3-D, giving exhibitors a great opportunity to turn a profit on the expensive format.Amazing Spider-Man, Men in Black III and Dark Shadows have all undergone the conversion. According to the site, The Hunger Games performed so well in IMAX that it will have an “encore performance” in the format.
Like 3-D, IMAX screenings have traditionally been more expensive than traditional screenings to get into, artificially inflating the box office takes of the films that choose to use the format. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol was released exclusively in the format for five days and that, coupled with a sneak peek at The Dark Knight Rises, helped make it box office’s top draw that week.