‘Dark Shadows’ and ‘The Avengers’ Call Imax Truce
'The Avengers' had the Imax field all to itself this weekend. It was on 275 Digital Imax screens and made $15.3 Million there, which would figure out to $55.6 Thousand per screen (and that's nearly eight thousand above the total per screen average). It also did $207 Million over the weekend, which meant exhibitors were none too happy to lose any of these screens to 'Dark Shadows,' which they already had booked. But a deal's been made to share screens.
This was a last minute decision because - though everyone in the industry knew 'The Avengers' was going to be huge - the level of record-setting was a shock. Even if 'The Avengers' is off 70% next weekend, that would still generate $60 Million, a number that 'Dark Shadows' may not get to in its opening weekend. The companies have agreed to alternate the pictures, according to Variety.
Digital Imax is relatively cheap for the studios, as they don't have to go about making Imax prints (which - when it comes to Imax - is infinitely more expensive), and with the ticket price increase it's a win-win. For the rest of the month, all the big releases have been prepared for Imax, from 'Battleship' to 'Men in Black 3.' Imax has been gaining more and more traction because it's a way to charge more without costing the studios that much more, and we've seen every event (and would-be event) film try to get on these screens. The more audiences go for this format, the more there will be wars and compromises like this until there are more screen (or the fad dies).
But if you were hoping to catch 'The Avengers' in Imax, your choices are going to be somewhat cramped this weekend.