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Disney Signs 5-Movie Deal with IMAX

Posted on Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 5:29 PM by Scott Jentsch

The Walt Disney Studios announced today that they have reached a deal with IMAX Corporation to release five movies in the IMAX format.

The first movie to be released under this agreement is A Christmas Carol, starring Jim Carrey, in November 2009.

In the press release, Mark Zoradi, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group was quoted as saying:

"Experiencing great motion pictures in IMAX takes moviegoing to a whole new level of excitement, and we're thrilled to be working with the pioneers at IMAX in this venture. We can't think of a better way to launch than with Robert Zemeckis' fantastic new approach to the Dickens' classic, 'A Christmas Carol.' Following that, we have an incredible slate of new Disney Digital 3D(TM) motion pictures from some of the industry's most accomplished and innovative filmmakers, and we know audiences are going to love being immersed in these great fantasies and adventures in IMAX's format."

While no mention was made of the other four movies, the release does drop the names of director Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands and Batman Returns) and producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean and National Treasure). The full press release from Disney appears below.

Press Release

Disney's New Five-Picture Deal With IMAX to Begin With 'A Christmas Carol'

Epic Fantasy From Director Robert Zemeckis and Starring Jim Carrey Leads Impressive Line-Up

SINGAPORE, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Disney's "A Christmas Carol," the spectacular 3D 2009 holiday release from director Robert Zemeckis and starring Jim Carrey, will be the first film from The Walt Disney Studios slated for IMAX(R) theatres under a new five-picture arrangement the studio reached with IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq: IMAX; TSX: IMX), it was announced today by Mark Zoradi, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group. Disney's "A Christmas Carol" will lead off an impressive slate of upcoming films from the Studio and a roster of top filmmakers that may include director Tim Burton as well as producer Jerry Bruckheimer. This arrangement makes some of the Studio's most highly anticipated theatrical releases from November 2009 and beyond available to IMAX venues across the country and around the world.

Commenting on the announcement, Zoradi said, "Experiencing great motion pictures in IMAX takes moviegoing to a whole new level of excitement, and we're thrilled to be working with the pioneers at IMAX in this venture. We can't think of a better way to launch than with Robert Zemeckis' fantastic new approach to the Dickens' classic, 'A Christmas Carol.' Following that, we have an incredible slate of new Disney Digital 3D(TM) motion pictures from some of the industry's most accomplished and innovative filmmakers, and we know audiences are going to love being immersed in these great fantasies and adventures in IMAX's format."

"Entering into a five-picture agreement with Walt Disney Studios helps us ensure that our network has an outstanding slate of movies going forward," said IMAX Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. "We're delighted to enter this new partnership with one of the greatest brands in the industry, especially at a time when we're expanding to reach even more IMAX moviegoers."

Chuck Viane, president of distribution, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures added, "IMAX has a great track record and a loyal following when it comes to presenting epic entertainment, and we believe we have a unique and exciting slate of films that lend themselves to the IMAX format. With the introduction of IMAX's digital projection system, and the addition of new venues across the country, this is a great time to be working with IMAX to bring the ultimate moviegoing experience to audiences everywhere."

"Disney's commitment to 3D is great for IMAX moviegoers and dovetails ideally with our strategy to build a slate of top-quality movies from the best filmmakers and studios," said Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. "We look forward to releasing "A Christmas Carol" as the first of many great Disney titles and working with them to provide IMAX theatres with more outstanding 3D content in the years ahead."

Robert Zemeckis' takes the art of performance capture to the next level with the November 6, 2009 release of Disney's 'A Christmas Carol.' This multi-sensory 3D motion picture captures the fantastical essence of the classic Dickens tale in a groundbreaking motion picture event. Ebeneezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) begins the Christmas holiday with his usual miserly contempt, barking at his faithful clerk (Gary Oldman), and his cheery nephew (Colin Firth). But when the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come (all played by Carrey) take him on an eye-opening journey revealing truths Old Scrooge is reluctant to face, he must open his heart to undo years of ill will before it's too late.

Release dates for additional titles will be announced in the near future.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International are the global marketing and distribution arms of The Walt Disney Studios. They are responsible for all aspects of marketing, publicity, advertising, promotion, and distribution for motion pictures released under the Walt Disney Pictures (including Walt Disney Animation and Pixar), Touchstone Pictures, and Hollywood Pictures banners. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures oversees all domestic marketing and distribution activities, and generated a Studio gross of more than $1.35 billion in 2007, giving the Studio its 11th billion dollar year in the past 14 years, a feat unmatched by any other Studio. At the overseas box office, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International helped propel the Studio to a gross exceeding $1.7 billion in 2007, leading the division to an unprecedented 13 consecutive years of surpassing the $1 billion mark at the international box office.

About IMAX Corporation

IMAX Corporation is one of the world's leading entertainment technology companies, specializing in immersive motion picture technologies. The worldwide IMAX network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event Hollywood films around the globe, with IMAX theatres delivering the world's best movie presentations using proprietary IMAX, IMAX 3D, and IMAX DMR(R), technology. IMAX DMR is the Company's groundbreaking digital re-mastering technology that allows it to digitally transform virtually any conventional motion picture into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience. IMAX's renowned projectors display crystal-clear images on the world's biggest screens, and the IMAX brand is recognized throughout the world for extraordinary and immersive entertainment experiences for consumers. As of September 30, 2008, there were 320 IMAX theatres operating in 42 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 with respect to IMAX Corporation that are based on its management's 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. For a list of certain of these risks and uncertainties, please see IMAX Corporation's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007.

Source: The Walt Disney Studios



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