Spider-Man will be back in IMAX theaters on May 5th, 2011. After staking out that critical “First Weekend of Summer” release date for “Spider-Man 4” back in June, Columbia Pictures today announced that the movie also has its IMAX contracts for the very same date in order.
At this point it would be more surprising if IMAX and Columbia had decided to skip the whole IMAX thing for “Spider-Man 4”. The franchise has been a huge property in the digitally-enhanced format and we’ve all seen how those IMAX sales can tip a movie over the top financially. You can read some of what Sony Pictures had to say in today’s press release after the jump.
“The last two Spider-Man releases have been available in IMAX theaters, and we’re very much looking forward to our return to a wider IMAX theatre network with this exciting new chapter in the continuing adventures of Spider-Man,” said Rory Bruer, President, Worldwide Distribution for Sony Pictures Releasing. “The addition of so many new IMAX locations will give even more fans of Spider-Man an opportunity to experience the action and adventure in a unique way.”
The only question mark left for “Spider-Man 4” (aside from the obvious issue – will it suck?) is how much time the studio has booked for the film’s IMAX run. This summer gave us two examples of films that were supposedly hindered by the lack of available IMAX screens: JJ Abrams’ “Star Trek” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”. In the case of “Star Trek”, an abbreviated run in IMAX in May led Paramount to re-book the theatres for the end of summer. “Harry Potter”, meanwhile, had to wait two weeks after its regular release date for “Transformers 2” to loosen its month-long death grip on the medium before it got a chance to taste the sweet nectar of $16 bucks a seat.
I’m sure Columbia paid attention to these examples and booked the theatres for as long as they could get away with. Gary Ross is still polishing up his version of the “Spider-Man 4” script which will reunite director Sam Raimi with actors Tobey Maguire (Spidey) and Kirsten Dunst (Mary Jane).