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Open Season to be simultaneously released as IMAX® 3D film in September

Open Season will be released in IMAX(R) 3D simultaneously with the motion picture's premiere in conventional theatres on September 29, 2006.
Movie Poster

March 8th, 2006

LOS ANGELES, March 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - IMAX Corporation and Sony Pictures Entertainment today announced that Sony Pictures Animation's first CG project Open Season, an animated feature from directors Roger Allers, the acclaimed director of The Lion King, Jill Culton, whose credits include Toy Story 2 and Monsters Inc., and co-director Anthony Stacchi (credits include ANTZ) will be released in IMAX(R) 3D simultaneously with the motion picture's premiere in conventional theatres on September 29, 2006. The motion picture will be digitally converted into IMAX 3D and re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience(R) through IMAX DMR(R) (Digital Re-mastering) technology. Sony Pictures Releasing will be the exclusive distributor of the motion picture to IMAX(R) theatres worldwide.

Open Season stars the vocal talents of Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Debra Messing and Gary Sinise.

IMAX's 2006 film slate now includes six new digitally re-mastered Hollywood films scheduled to be released day-and-date to IMAX theatres, and one original IMAX 3D film, Deep Sea 3D, which opened last weekend. Open Season brings the total number of new IMAX 3D releases for the year to four. The deal marks the second IMAX DMR release for Sony Pictures Entertainment, following the studio's 2004 release of Spider-Man(R) 2: The IMAX Experience.

"The amazing immersive quality of IMAX 3D will give moviegoers an opportunity to experience the first full-length animated motion picture from Sony Pictures Animation in a very special way," said Rory Bruer, President of Domestic Distribution Releasing. "This is a format that has proven especially successful with family features, and the IMAX theatre network helps generate incremental revenue for event titles such as Open Season. We are pleased to be an important part of IMAX's 2006 lineup."

"We are excited to expand our partnership with Sony Pictures to bring Open Season to IMAX theatres in September," said IMAX Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. "Sony Pictures has always produced incredible films, and as the studio invests in the animation business, the addition of Open Season to our strong 2006 film slate will enable IMAX theatre operators to attract moviegoers of all ages through the fall season."

"We began a successful working relationship with Sony Pictures several years ago with Spider-Man(R) 2, and we are delighted to work with them again," said Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. "The popularity of IMAX 3D has never been stronger and we are thrilled to offer moviegoers Open Season as the fourth IMAX 3D title for 2006."

In Columbia Pictures' new action-adventure comedy Open Season, the first feature-length animated motion picture from Sony Pictures Animation, Boog (Martin Lawrence), a grizzly bear with no survival skills, has his perfect world in the tranquil town of Timberline turned upside-down when he meets Elliot (Ashton Kutcher), a scrawny, fast-talking wild mule deer. Elliot arrives in Timberline, missing an antler, and strapped to the hood of a truck, courtesy of the paranoid uber hunter Shaw (Gary Sinise). Against his better judgment, Boog frees Elliot. Elliot attempts to return the favor by "freeing" Boog from his idyllic existence with his beloved Park Ranger Beth (Debra Messing), who raised him since he was a cub. Things quickly spiral out of control. The two troublemakers are relocated together to the wild...just three days before open season! With hunting season upon them and Shaw in hot pursuit, Boog and Elliot must learn to work together and unite the woodland creatures. In a rowdy, madcap battle, they make the woods safe once and for all by turning the hunters into the hunted.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution, operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.

About Sony Pictures Animation

Sony Pictures Animation was established in May, 2002 to enable Sony Pictures Entertainment to tap into the vast imagination of the creative community, develop characters and stories that are best realized through digital production and bring entertainment for audiences of all ages to the screen. The division is currently in production on its first two films, Open Season (due in theaters September 2006) and Surf's Up!, (summer 2007).

About Sony Pictures Imageworks

Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. is an Academy Award(R)-winning, state-of-the-art visual effects and character animation company dedicated to the art and artistry of digital production and character creation. The company has been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with Oscars(R) for its work on Spider-Man(R) 2 and the CG animated short film The ChubbChubbs! and nominations for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Spider(R)-Man, Hollow Man, Stuart Little and Starship Troopers. Imageworks continues to raise the level in the visual effects and character animation businesses, becoming a major force in the industry by providing leading edge technology to its world-class artists. Imageworks is a division of Sony Pictures Digital, which oversees the digital production and online entertainment assets of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

About IMAX Corporation

Founded in 1967, IMAX Corporation is one of the world's leading entertainment technology companies and the newest distribution window for Hollywood films. IMAX delivers the world's best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX, IMAX 3D, and IMAX DMR technology. IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) makes it possible for virtually any 35mm film to be transformed into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience. The IMAX brand is recognized throughout the world for extraordinary and immersive entertainment experiences. As of December 31, 2005, there were 266 IMAX theatres operating in 38 countries.

IMAX(R), IMAX(R) 3D, IMAX DMR , IMAX MPX , and The IMAX Experience(R) are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information on the Company can be found at www.imax.com.

This press release contains forward looking statements that are based on management assumptions and existing information and involve certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Important factors that could affect these statements include the timing of theatre system deliveries, the mix of theatre systems shipped, the timing of the recognition of revenues and expenses on film production and distribution agreements, the performance of films, the viability of new businesses and products, and fluctuations in foreign currency and in the large format and general commercial exhibition market. These factors and other risks and uncertainties are discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004 and in the subsequent reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission including the Company's 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005, scheduled to be filed on March 9, 2006.

Source: IMAX Corporation



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