IMAX’s experiment with a theatrical run of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” pulled in $1.5 million from 205 screens in the U.S. over the weekend, giving the event a very healthy $7,323 per-screen average.
It’s not a record by any means, but it is one of the best screen averages of the weekend, and one made more remarkable by the fact that the two episodes screened are freely available through HBO Go and first aired almost a year ago.
That fact didn’t make this as ‘must-see’ an event as something like an early screening of the first two episodes of the upcoming fifth season would have, but the screenings proved fans did come out for the series – especially in major cities where the numbers fared better.
IMAX has several times of the year known as ‘shoulder periods’, low box-office times when no major theatrical releases are coming out – specifically Super Bowl weekend, post-Easter weekend, post Labor Day weekend and post-Thanksgiving weekend. ‘Thrones’ was a case of perfect timing to test that, and we may well see other high-rating shows give it a try in the future – though only a handful meets the large-format provider’s visual and sound criteria.
Whilst this was the first time for a TV episode in IMAX, The BBC’s “Doctor Who” really set the path back in November 2013 when the show’s 50th anniversary special scored $4.7 million in the U.S. over that weekend on 650 screens, with a further $5.5 million from fourteen other countries.