The Wizard of Oz premiered August 25, 1939. 73 years, 9 months, and 9 days later, the Technicolor wonder has cemented its status as a classic of American cinema. If you’re measuring in studio time, it is nearly the 75th anniversary, and Warner Bros. has big plans. First, WB will partner with IMAX to release a converted 3D Wizard of Oz in 400 IMAX theaters. WB has quietly remastered the Oz print for the last four months before presenting the test run to IMAX. IMAX presient Greg Foster remarked, “The sound was exceptional, the sharpness was exceptional. But it’s the color that stands out. What they could do is truly amazing, maybe what people felt when they first saw it.”
There are currently no plans for release on standard screens, but a limited international release is in the works. The theatrical re-release will be followed by a five-disc Blu-ray set—featuring a new documentary on the making of the movie—on October 1. [Update: We've updated the article with the full press release after the jump, which includes much more information regarding the Blu-ray including pricing and special features.]
Disney will release Tim Burton‘s stop-motion animated film Frankenweenie in IMAX 3D. The movie is an adaptation of Burton’s 1984 short film of the same name, which centered on a boy who takes a page from Frankenstein and brings his dead dog back to life. The feature-length adaptation will expand the story to have the eponymous canine wreak havoc on the town. Disney released a new trailer for the movie last week, and the flick looks charming. However, IMAX is usually reserved for massive blockbuster movies. Frankenweenie will be the first black and white film and first stop-motion animated film ever released in IMAX, but from what we’ve seen so far, the story seems too small for IMAX’s gigantic canvas.
Hit the jump for the press release. The film features the voices of Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, and Martin Landau. Frankenweenie opens October 5th.
Just because Men in Black III has experienced some bumps and bruises along the course of its production doesn’t mean that the MIB franchise isn’t still a Hollywood heavyweight. Released in 1997 and 2002 respectively, let us not forget that the first two installments in the franchise garnered more than a combined $1 billion at the worldwide box office against an approximate combined budget of $230 million. With this blockbuster status in mind, Sony Pictures Entertainment and IMAX Corporation apparently have similarly high hopes for the third installment as they have announced that Men in Black III will be digitally remastered and released in IMAX 3D when it hits theaters worldwide on May 25, 2012. According to Sony Pictures Releasing president Rory Bruer:
“Releasing a film in IMAX 3D signals an event release, and Men in Black III on Memorial Day weekend certainly qualifies in a big way. We couldn’t be more excited about how MIB III will look and sound in IMAX theatres.”
As a quick reminder, the film is directed by franchise mainstay Barry Sonnenfeld and stars Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin and Alice Eve. While plot details are not available in abundance, we do know that the film will feature a time-traveling element that sees Agent J (Smith) go back in time to save a young Agent K (Brolin) while averting a world-ending disaster.
Fox has released two images from the upcoming Avatar: Special Edition. In case you didn’t know, Avatar is being re-released into theaters because I guess it didn’t make enough money the first time around. This new version will have eight more minutes of footage and will only be available in 3D and IMAX 3D. If you’re willing to pay more than a dollar for every minute of new footage, you must really, really like Avatar.
Hit the jump to check out the new images. Avatar: Special Edition opens on August 27th.
Warner Bros. has announced that the first trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I will be released online this Monday at 4pm PST. It will then premiere in theaters on June 30th in front of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. I imagine it will be one of those situations where the trailer is better than the movie it precedes. Then again, Harry Potter is a fantastic, wonderful franchise the reaches across all demographics whereas Twilight…not so much.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on November 19th.
Disney has signed an agreement with IMAX that will put three of the studios 2011 3D films into IMAX theaters. Next year, you can look forward to Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Cars 2, and Mars Needs Moms to be released in IMAX 3D. All three movies are being created with 3D in mind and will not be post-production conversions.
Hit the jump for the full press release. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides opens on May 20, 2011. Cars 2 opens on June 24, 2011. Mars Needs Moms opens on March 11, 2011.
Cinematographer Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight) spoke with Cinematical about shooting the next installment in the Batman franchise and whether or not it would go 3D and/or IMAX. Pfister revealed that neither he nor director Christopher Nolan have any interest in 3D and see the technology as a fad. While both like shooting in IMAX (several scenes of The Dark Knight were shot in the format), they know that the camera technology don’t have the necessary mobility required to shoot all the scenes of an action film. But no matter how they end up shooting the flick, Pfister and Nolan have already agreed that they will shoot Batman 3 on film and not video.
Hit the jump for more on what Pfister had to say about digital cameras, 3D, and the benefits of shooting in IMAX.
If you were one of those people that never had the chance to catch James Cameron’s Avatar in IMAX 3D, you’re going to get one last chance this weekend. That’s because AMC Theaters is showing Avatar on April 16/17 in IMAX 3D in 29 cities. But…they’re only showing the movie at night and only one show a day. That means if you want to see Avatar, you’ll have to see it at 11 at night and it’s an almost 3 hour movie.
The fact is, Avatar in IMAX 3D is a stunning achievement and something special. Yeah, the story has been told a million times, but the 3D is off the charts and visually it’s another level. If you never saw Avatar in IMAX 3D, it’s absolutely worth your time. Hit the jump to see where it’s playing and ticket info.
As most of you know, Disney released the first trailer for Tron Legacy last week. While some movies meet online resistance from the webmasters and fans, it seems like Disney hit a home-run with the trailer as everyone is raving about it. Including me. Also, I saw the trailer in IMAX 3D and the visuals were on the level of Avatar. While this year has a lot of movies I cannot wait to see, Tron Legacy is at the top of my list and the trailer only made me more excited.
Anyway, in the next few days I’ve got some awesome Tron Legacy articles to post. Trust me, if you’re excited for the film, you want to come back to Collider on Tuesday. But until then, I’ve screen-grabbed my favorite 20 images from the trailer and you can take a look at them after the jump. I needed them for what’s coming in a few days…but I figured you might want to check them out now.
Deciding that not enough people had their minds blown by James Cameron’s Avatar in IMAX 3D, today THR is reporting that IMAX will independently develop their own Digital 3D IMAX camera, with a planned launch date of 2011. Said IMAX Chairman and President Greg Foster:
“Given the significant amount of 3D content being developed over the past 12-18 months, requests from filmmakers for an Imax 3D digital camera, consumer appetite for the Imax experience and this week’s joint venture announcement for the 3D television network, we believe the timing of this initiative could not be better,”
To which we all reply, “Well, duh.” Avatar truly has changed things as we’ve been reporting 3D stories left and right recently with the desire to have more movies in 3D as well as 3D TV, an endeavor IMAX has already begun in partnership with Discovery and Sony to create a 3D TV channel. It looks like Avatar has officially moved Digital 3D beyond a “fad,” and while I had my problems with the film, I should mention that my eyes never hurt. Maybe this isn’t so bad after all. And hopefully this new 3D IMAX camera, in addition to making movies look more spectacular, will lessen the eyeball-pain that some folks (myself included) feel when watching 3D.
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” opens July 15th. The opening 12 minutes have been converted into IMAX 3D. While everyone wants to see the boy wizard on the huge IMAX screen and in 3D…due to Harry Potter’s release date getting pushed back last year and “Transformers Revenge of the Fallen” having a 4 week IMAX contract, only three IMAX theaters in the United States are playing the film opening day. The rest of the country will have to wait until July 29th.
While this news has already been reported, I have an update. I’ve put together which IMAX theaters are getting the film opening day and they’re the Century City IMAX (Los Angeles), Henry Crown (Chicago), and AMC Loews Lincoln Square (NYC). So if you live in any of these cities and want to see “Harry Potter” opening day, you might want to buy your tickets now. The L.A. one is on sale here – MovieTickets.com. Also, IMAX.com sells tickets so you can check there.