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Greg Foster Talks IMAX 3D

James Cameron's AVATAR returns to theaters on Friday in a 3-D "special edition" with an extra 8 1/2 minutes featuring more action, more Na'vi and the eagerly awaited sex scene.

James Cameron's AVATAR returns to theaters on Friday in a 3-D "special edition" with an extra 8 1/2 minutes featuring more action, more Na'vi and the eagerly awaited sex scene. Among the more than 800 screens in North America, Fox will platform the "special edition" in about 125 IMAX venues. This is in anticipation of the upcoming Blu-ray set this November, which will contain an additional 7 minutes and a host of bonus features.

Greg Foster, IMAX's president of Filmed Entertainment, spoke with us about AVATAR, TRON LEGACY and the recently-announced 20-film pact with Warner Bros., including LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS: THE OWLS OF GA'HOOLE, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS (PART ONE and TWO), HAPPY FEET 2 and THE HOBBIT.

Speaking of THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, although Tim Burke, the overall visual effects supervisor, says some great tests have been made by IMAX, the final decision apparently has not been made yet to convert the last two POTTER films in 3-D.

"One of the things that we focus on is differentiation," Foster emphasizes. "If it's something you haven't seen before and you can see it in an IMAX theater, that's great. Having toward the end of the summer, the ability to showcase [AVATAR], which is so important to us, with a filmmaker who, to say he's a visionary, is an understatement, is very exciting.

"And, with TRON LEGACY coming, again, we have differentiation, which means everything to us. We don't want to be just like everyone else. IMAX is a unique experience that you can't get anywhere else…

"I'm sure you've heard Joe [Kosinski] say about TRON that somewhere between six and seven of the big sequences are going to have a bigger aspect ratio, only in IMAX, and it's obviously not a coincidence that it's coming out at the same time of the year that a year ago AVATAR did. There's an association now that people have with the holidays and IMAX."

As for the current state of 3-D, Foster suggests that "if 3-D is your band-aid, then you're in big trouble. On the other hand, if 3-D something that has been thought about from the very beginning, from the design of the film, even if it hasn't actually pulled the trigger yet, but it's really been discussed and contemplated and is part of the framework, then there's an opportunity for it to really be something."

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