With Fantasia/2000, Imax looked to be a great hope for animation, now Karl Cohen investigates why this immediate future looks shaky.
Tagged With: Imax
On Monday, November 20, 2000, DreamWorks announced it would release its US$186.6 million summer blockbuster GLADIATOR on Imax screens. The film will hit theaters in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Toronto and other major cities on Wednesday, November 22, one day after it hits video stores on VHS and DVD. The flick will be shown in its original 35mm format. No details on the financial terms of the deal between Imax and DreamWorks were released. When Disney's FANTASIA/2000 played on the giant screens in January, the two companies split the proceeds 50/50.
Imax has canceled plans to release DreamWorks' 3D feature SHREK on 150 giant screens. Apparently, increased costs associated with creative changes at DreamWorks have led to Imax abandoning the project. Last month, Imax's stock dropped 70% after the company reported an earnings loss warning for the quarter. This project originally looked like a promising financial boost for Imax (and the distribution of animation) after their big success with the release of FANTASIA/2000. SHREK is scheduled to arrive in regular theaters on May 18, 2001.
Cyberworld 3D is Imax's next foray into animation. Eric Lurio reports that while the story might not be there, the eye candy makes it all worthwhile.
On Thursday, July 13, 2000, Imax Corporation announced that the company has brought in financial advisors Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Wasserstein, Perella & Co. to help maximize revenues for the company, which could include the sale or merger of the company. Imax co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler said, "Imax has made tremendous strides in the last few years on several strategic initiatives including establishing the IMAX theatre network as a release window for Hollywood films and securing a role in the digital future of entertainment.
Imax Corp. has struck a deal that will bring DreamWorks and PDIs newest 3D animated feature SHREK to the giant screen. Opening December 2001, six months after its initial theatrical release, the ogre odyssey will arrive in Imaxs 150 digital 3D theatres. Imax will foot the US$10 million bill to transfer the two-dimensional cartoon to eye-popping 3D. SHREK follows the misadventures of an annoyed ogre and his new frustratingly friendly fairy-tale neighbors.
Imax has inked a deal with Fox, DreamWorks and Sony Pictures to deliver to
audiences 3D versions of THE SIMPSONS, Princess Bala from ANTZ and several
original animated characters. The Imax feature will be entitled CYBERWORLD
and will hit U.S. theatres in October. Produced by Hugh Murray and Steve
Hoban, the 45-minute pic will feature 3D clips from ANTZ and THE SIMPSONS
interwoven with Phig, the tour guide of this futuristic animation museum.
The advanced ticket sales for
Disney's IMAX release of FANTASIA/2000 have already seen strong numbers. In
Reuters Magazine, Brian Weisfeld, senior vice president of operations for
Toronto-based IMAX Corp., said advanced ticket sales were as high as
$80,000 in some IMAX-operated theaters versus a more normal $4,000. IMAX,
the owner and franchiser of more than 180 IMAX theaters worldwide, hopes
that FANTASIA/2000 will attract other major films to their eight story
Toronto, Canada-based IMAX CORPORATION, which operates a chain of largeformat film theaters, has appointed MARY PAT RYAN to the new post ofExecutive Vice President of IMAX Ltd. and Network Group President. Ryanwill oversee the ongoing development of the Network Group, which is chargedwith ensuring the success of all theatres in the worldwide network of IMAXtheatres and the development of the IMAX brand. Based in New York, Ryanwill have responsibility for all areas of the Network Group including brand
Alexander Petrov, a Russian master animator whose best known films are THE MERMAID
and THE TRAGEDY OF A RIDICULOUS MAN, has completed a new film, THE OLD MAN
AND THE SEA, based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway about an old man's
struggle to catch a fish. Two years in the making, the film is now playing
at IMAX Theaters throughout the world and features Petrov's renowned
paint-on-glass technique for which he is world famous. For more information
IMAX Corporation, owner of the large format film theater chain, hasannounced the closing of its strategic investment in Vancouver,Canada-based Mainframe Entertainment Inc., a producer of CGI animation.Under the terms of the agreement, IMAX invested CDN$8 million to acquire a19% equity stake in Mainframe and CDN$8 million to acquire convertiblesenior debt which, if converted, could bring IMAX's ownership up to 30% ofMainframe. Simultaneously, Mainframe announced that two leading Canadian
Imax Corp. has agreed to make a strategic investment in Vancouver-based Mainframe Entertainment, producers of the 3D computer-animated REBOOT and BEAST WARS. The company will invest CAN$16 million (U.S.$10.6 million) into Mainframe to acquire an equity and convertible senior debt, giving Imax an approximate 30% stake in the company. As part of the deal, Imax and Mainframe will co-produce 3D animated films for release in IMAX theaters and other markets. Their first collaboration, GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, is expected to be released to IMAX theaters by summer 2001.
Animation World Magazine takes a jaunt into the innovative and remarkable: IMAX invents a new technology that allows animators to animate in thin air!
Vancouver, Canada-based Mainframe Entertainment will produce two feature-length, stereoscopic, 3D computer-animated films for IMAX large-format cinemas. The announcement comes exactly two years after the two companies announced a production deal [AF 8/21/96] to produce two 3D CG-animated ride-films based on Mainframes TV series, ReBoot. The first one, ReBoot, the Ride opened in IMAX ride theaters last year and the second, Journey Into Chaos will open next month.