By Matt McDaniel on August 15, 2012
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" was one of the biggest Hollywood hits of all time, and next month it will finally be projected on screens gigantic enough to suit it.
It was announced on Tuesday that the first Indiana Jones adventure will have a limited one-week run on giant-sized IMAX theaters across the country starting on September 7. The picture and sound have been digitally re-mastered to look and sound better than they ever have before. The IMAX conversion process was so thorough, it even won over the toughest audience you could imagine: director Steven Spielberg.
In a phone interview, the three-time Oscar winner told me he was "dubious" when he was first approached by the team at IMAX about bringing "Raiders" back. Spielberg said, "I didn't know if the 1981 print would stand up to a full IMAX transfer, so I came expecting a sort of grainy, muddy, and overly enlarged representation of the movie I had made  years ago. And I was blown away by the fact that it looked better than the movie I had made  years ago."
Spielberg said he was particularly impressed how the IMAX conversion was able to make up for some of the limitations he faced when he originally shot the film over three decades ago. "All the shadows in the earlier scenes that we shot in Hawaii [were] always kind of muddy anyway on 35mm," Spielberg explained, "because we couldn't schlep all of our big arc lights down into this valley." The restored version of the opening scenes was quite a revelation for him. He said, "Suddenly, there was definition in the shadows, which I had never seen before. And the shadows weren't murky and washed out; they were sharp as a tack." Spielberg joked, "I sat there, I think, probably with my mouth open a little wider than it normally is."
Spielberg commented that it wasn't just the image but also the sound that has been revitalized in this process. When the giant boulder comes rolling down after Indiana Jones, Spielberg said, "You'll see it full size, and you'll feel it in your stomach." He said that sound designer Ben Burtt didn't recreate any new effects, but was instead able restore the original elements to make them clearer and louder than ever. Read the entire article on Yahoo!.
By Dave Itzkoff on August 14, 2012
It's the kind of revelation that would melt the face of any die-hard Indiana Jones fan (this time, with joy): "Raiders of the Lost Ark," the 1981 adventure film that introduced that globe-trotting archaeologist, will receive a one-week Imax release next month, Lucasfilm said on Tuesday.
"For me, it's always been the bigger the screen, the better," Steven Spielberg, who directed "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and the three subsequent "Indiana Jones" sequels, said Tuesday in a telephone interview. "It's the only marked contrast we have to the generations that are seeing our movies on phones and hand-held platforms. It's a complete relief to be able to see a film that many people have just experienced on a palm-sized platform technology, suddenly hurled at that them on an Imax-sized screen."
Lucasfilm, the studio of the "Indiana Jones" executive producer George Lucas, said the Imax version of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" will receive a one-week theatrical release beginning on Sept. 7, in advance of the Blu-ray release of the Indiana Jones movies, which will go on sale Sept. 18. A list of theaters that will be showing the film can be found online at Imax.com.
Mr. Spielberg, who with the sound designer Ben Burtt supervised the conversion of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" to Imax, said that no special effects or other visual elements of the film were changed. The audio, he said, had been enhanced for surround sound: "When the boulder is rolling, chasing Indy through the cave, you really feel the boulder in your stomach, the way you do when a marching band passes by, and you're standing right next to it." Read the entire article here.
By Etan Vlessing on August 6, 2012
The Indian multiplex pioneer is to install a fifth large format theater in Bangalore, after an earlier four-theater agreement.
TORONTO – Indian cinema chain and multiplex pioneer PVR Cinemas has purchased an IMAX theater for Bangalore, to add to an earlier four-screen deal with the Canadian giant screen exhibitor.
New Delhi-based PVR, which is currently expanding its cinema circuit overall, will open the fifth IMAX screen in March 2013 in Bangalore’s Vega Mall.
The latest agreement follows an earlier March 2011 deal with IMAX for four theaters. Read entire article on The Hollywood Reporter's website.
By Brent Lang on August 5, 2012
In a summer where Hollywood has fielded nearly as many high-priced flops as blockbuster behemoths, one sector of the movie business has remained remarkably consistent – IMAX.
Audiences, particularly fanboys, have remained intensely loyal to its mammoth 70mm screens at a time when theatrical attendance domestically has declined.
Overall, IMAX, which has struggled in the past with the seasonal ups and downs of the movie business has been a more consistent performer. In the most recent quarter IMAX posted revenue growth of 22.7 percent. That outpaces the industry average of 13.4 percent. Profits increased six-fold to $11.1 million.
And even while the recent shootings at a Colorado theater have cast a shadow over the industry, the last month has been outstanding for the large-screen format. “The Dark Knight Rises” is shattering box-office records for IMAX, earning $50 million in just two weeks of release.
During the Batman’s sequel’s $160.8 million opening weekend, IMAX accounted for nearly 12 percent of the film’s box office, despite making up less than 5 percent of the screens showing the movie. A company that ten years ago was best known for showing science documentaries and only began screening theatrical features with "Fantasia 2000" in 2000, has become a true Hollywood player.
Indeed, at a time where theatrical exhibition is facing fierce challenges from gaming, digital content and elaborate home-entertainment systems that allow consumers to watch films from the comfort of their couch, IMAX provides something that can only be found on its screens. Read the entire article on The Wrap's website.
By Jill Goldsmith on July 26, 2012
A strong box office buoyed Imax profits as more filmmakers film bigger chunks of their movies for the massive screens, the longest bit so far being 72 minutes of Warner Bros. "The Dark Knight Rises," and two big releases shoot in Imax simultaneously for the first time.
Imax needs to ramp up camera production to meet increased demand, said CEO Richard Gelfond on a conference call Thursday.
"Prometheus" and "The Amazing Spider-Man" used Imax sequences. 2013 highlights include J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" sequel and "Catching Fire," the second "The Hunger Games" installment.
Gelfond began the investor call saluting victims of the tragic theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. at a "Dark Knight" screening last week. "Our thoughts go out to them," he said.
For the three months ended in June, net profit surged to $11.1 million from $1.8 million the year before. Revenue rose 23% to $70 from $57 million.
Total film revenue of $26 million was up from $19 million Production and Imax DMR (digital media remastering) revenues were $19.7 million vs. $12.4 million. Gross box office from DMR titles was $173 million from $108 million the year before. Average box office per screen in rose to $341,900 from $315,700.
Imax signed contracts for 40 theatre systems and installed 20 during the quarter. It increased its 2012 installations scheduled from current backlog to approximately 110 new theatres, from a previous outlook of 95 to 100 new theatres.
There were 280 theatre systems in backlog as of June 30, 2012 compared to 261 systems in backlog at the end of March and 294 systems in backlog in the 2011 second quarter.
Gelfond said China is its fastest growing market outside the U.S. through a partnership with the Dalian Wanda Group, which is in the process of acquiring U.S. exhib AMC Entertainment. Imax expects to grow its China footprint by 50% year-on-year in 2012. Read the entire article on The Hollywood Reporter's website.