IMAX has published its Q3 2022 Financial Results, showing a significant increase in IMAX DNA titles, mainly in the blockbuster segment. The report shows a record of 12 IMAX DNA titles expected for 2022 Blockbuster, and the heavy film slate continues into 2023. ‘Filmed for IMAX’ and the new fleet of cameras will strengthen that even further.
IMAX CEO – Richard Gelfond- was interviewed a few years ago (pre-pandemic era), explaining the advantages of IMAX as he sees them. According to Gelfond, these are the main pros of IMAX: “The screen is bigger, the resolution is higher, the picture is brighter, the sound is louder. I won’t be calling it a ‘Movie’ but an ‘IMAX Experience’” he stated and added: “It’s not just the director’s movie, but your movie, once you are totally immersed into it. When you see an IMAX movie, you can see it twice. The first time, you are focused on the story. At the second time, you can focus on the stunning visuals”. Furthermore, Gelfond said that there’s no home-theater system that can imitate the IMAX experience, although a sophisticated system can mimic a ‘regular’ movie theater. Moreover, you are getting 26% more imagery due to the vertical aspect ratio. Now, as explained, this interview was held before COVID. Post-COVID makes the platform very relevant to moviegoers. Indeed, it seems that there’s a growing demand for the IMAX Experience by cinephiles.
The screen is bigger, the resolution is higher, the picture is brighter, and the sound is louder. I won’t be calling it a ‘Movie’ but an ‘IMAX Experience.
IMAX CEO – Richard Gelfond
Record of IMAX DNA titles
Accordion to the IMAX Q3 2022 Financial Results (published yesterday), a record 12 IMAX DNA titles are expected for 2022 Blockbuster, and this heavy film slate continues into 2023. Furthermore, 3D is back in the game again, thanks to James Cameron’s Avatar, which was shot on a dedicated 3D system which is the Sony VENICE 3D (on land and underwater). According to IMDb Tech Spec, the VENICE 3D is the camera behind Avatar 3 (2023) and Avatar 4 (2025). BTW, as we know Cameron, he would not film on the same camera system in Avatar 4 and beyond, since he would want to utilize more advanced technology, which might be the next generation of IMAX cameras. BTW, those cameras are being developed as we speak. Expect to deploy at least 4 new film cameras (12 IMAX cameras in total) in the next 2 years (This piece of an update is also mentioned in the report). This new fleet of next-generation IMAX cameras will offer a much friendlier user experience, advantage of weight, usability, and not less important – reduction of noise when operated. Additionally, Richard says that the fleet is being developed by a winning team composed of Kodak, Panavision, and FotoKem.
IMAX also states that there will be a “Transformation to an All-IMAX with Laser Product Line”. That means IMAX’s most advanced theatre experience, advanced 4K projection, and 12-channel sound. The days of the analog 70mm film projection are over, which is unfortunate since nothing can compete with the 16K resolution of the IMAX 1570 (read more here: IMAX 1570 (Film) vs. IMAX Laser (Digital)). This comparison raises the old debate of film vs. digital. There are pros to digital projection though, especially laser, which makes the blacks more blacks, and the whites more bright. So it’s a matter of personal preferences.
According to the Q3 2022 Financial Results (see slides in this article) there’s a total number of 26 titles that are aiming for IMAX screening between 2023 to 2024. Here’re a few interesting names: DUNE 2, Avatar 3, Deadpool 3, Mission Impossible 8, A Quiet Place part III, Thunderbolts, Captain America: New World Order, Godzilla/Kong (another one?), Joker: Folie A Deuz, Creed III, John Wick 4, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3, Fast and Furious 10, The Marvels, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, and more. Anyway, the slides in the deck are not so accurate, as it doesn’t indicate which films are going to be shot on IMAX film cameras, and which will be shot for the IMAX (IMAX certified cameras as part of the Film In IMAX program – read more: ‘Filmed For IMAX’ Vs. ‘Shot With IMAX’: Which is Better?). Either way, this is a very loaded list of IMAX titles, which will be further expanded when the new fleet of 2nd generation of cameras will be ready. When you think about it, almost every high-budget film will be compatible with an IMAX theater, as most probably has been shot with an IMAX-certified camera (almost all high-end cinema cameras are certified by IMAX, excluding the new ALEXA 35).
Shooting for the IMAX is not a rare land anymore, that was preserved by top-notch directors (Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Michael Bay, etc.). With the new fleet of cameras coming up in two years (Shot With IMAX Film) and certified digital charge sensor cinema cameras, almost anybody can shoot for the huge canvas. Hence, IMAX-ing your present project is a much more affordable and simple process compared to a few years ago. Anyway, shooting on a true IMAX film camera is very expensive ($1,500 for 3 minutes), and that will not be changed soon.
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