iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Scott Mendelson

Scott Mendelson

Posted: July 29, 2009 12:25 PM

Harry Potter and the Future of Day-and-Date Simultaneous IMAX/35mm Releases

What's Your Reaction:

For those who don't already know, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: An IMAX Experience, with its initial fifteen-minutes in 3D, finally gets its nationwide release today. This will be a very interesting weekend for Warner Bros, IMAX, and the movie industry in general. The IMAX release of mainstream films has only been a major deal for five-years or so (the game changer was The Polar Express 3D in November, 2004). But this is the first time in the modern IMAX era that a major studio release has debuted in IMAX after its 35mm release. As I have asked elsewhere, if Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince sees a substantial bump in box office this weekend, or at least if the IMAX effect cushions the weekend-to-weekend drop by a notable degree, could this be the end of same day 35mm/IMAX releases?

Make no mistake, every studio is watching this weekend's results very closely. If delaying the IMAX release of a major tentpole (especially one with IMAX footage or 3D content) can guarantee repeat viewings for said blockbuster, wouldn't the studios have to consider that? If the delay could keep a major movie closer to the top of the box office a little while longer, than that could very well be the status quo in the very near future. Pure speculation, but we'll see how it develops this weekend.

 

Follow Scott Mendelson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ScottMendelson