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"The Dark Knight" is Proving to be a Very Good Thing for IMAX

Posted on Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 3:41 PM

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The IMAX version of the new Batman movie The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience is proving to be a very good thing for IMAX theaters across the country!

IMAX Corporation has just issued a press release stating that the movie has brought in $16.3 million domestically as of Sunday, July 27th, and was on track to cross $20 million worldwide yesterday.

"The Dark Knight is continuing to create new Batman fans nationwide with many repeat customers experiencing it in IMAX theatres," said Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures. "The box office performance of the film in IMAX's format demonstrates how The IMAX Experience(R) transforms an already exciting movie into an event that lasts beyond the first weekend."

While many other movies have been converted from standard 35mm into the IMAX format using IMAX's DMR technology, The Dark Knight is notable in that several sequences were shot using IMAX cameras. That means that, instead of seeing something that has been blown up from 35mm to IMAX, audiences are seeing native IMAX photography during those sequences.

Since the number of screens playing The Dark Knight in IMAX are much fewer in number than traditional 35mm or digital cinema showings, the demand by audiences continues to sell out shows at IMAX theaters across the country. In my case, the closest IMAX theater to Milwaukee is the Regal Lincolnshire 20 & IMAX Theatre in Lincolnshire, Illinois. That theater continues to sell out the evening shows, to the point of if you wanted to see the 7pm show, the soonest you could get tickets is for Friday!

I'm not the biggest fan of seeing movies that have been done in the IMAX DMR format since they are just blow-ups of 35mm movies. However, the fact that this movie has some native IMAX sequences piques my curiousity enough to make it worth the 1.5 hour drive one-way. I'm hoping that the success of the IMAX version of The Dark Knight will spur more filmmakers to explore large-format photography for their movies (gone are the days when 70mm was used to make movies).

If this trend continues, we definitely need to get an IMAX theater here in Milwaukee. Driving to Chicago or Madison is just not practical on a regular basis!

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