Canadian-based IMAX saw ticket sales at its giant-screen theaters soar 35 percent in 2005, largely due to the success of blockbuster films that had been converted to the IMAX format, the company said Monday. IMAX’s success was all the more remarkable given an overall 6 percent drop at the domestic box office. Leading the field for IMAX was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which earned $16 million on 89 screens, just edging out Batman Begins: The IMAX Experience, which took in $15.9 million. Both films were produced by Warner Bros. Analysts observed that since moviegoers have thereby indicated that they are willing to pay a premium for IMAX screenings, studios will no doubt be releasing additional movies in the IMAX format.
Eric Wold, an analyst at Merriman Curhan Ford & Co. in San Francisco, told today’s (Tuesday) Toronto Globe & Mail: “Most theaters can’t really compete against each other. They all offer the same movies at the same times, the same theaters and the same popcorn. They have to offer something else.”
IMAX Theaters are the perfect place to see the typical big budget and special effect blockbusters. If ever had the opportunity to go see a Harry Potter movie or any of the Lord of the Rings movies in an IMAX theater, I’d be a pretty happy. Now that would be movie magic.