A new attempt at a distribution model within the United States looks like it may need a re-think.
True story dramas “Everest” and “The Walk” both attempted something different this Fall – opening exclusively in several hundred IMAX cinemas for a bit over a week before they opened wide theatrically across several thousand screens. The results have not been good.
“Everest” kicked off with a very good $7.2 million from its IMAX run, but then when the wide release hit the early run did not pay off – the opening weekend being only just $13.2 million and the total domestic gross so far being a very disappointing $33.3 million. Internationally it has fared better with $104.1 million from overseas ticket sales.
“The Walk” however was a disaster – the film grossed just $1.6 million from 448 IMAX screens last weekend, that’s behind even a live Met Opera transmission on October 3rd. With the wide release slated for Friday, it has not been a good start. On top of that IMAX operators are said to be unhappy as so few are seeing it, whereas “The Martian” is doing robust business in rival premium large-format auditoriums.
Sources for THR claim studios won’t stop partnering on exclusive IMAX runs, but it will likely be now more limited to wide-appealing event films such as the successful launch of “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” back in 2011 which took $13.2 million in an IMAX only opening before going on to global success.