Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Twilight Saga: Eclipse to be released in IMAX.

Fresh off the presses, Summit has announced that it will be releasing the third Twilight film, Eclipse, in the IMAX format. This is a first for for the series, and the first for Summit Entertainment. This is a surprise, but a smart move for several reasons. First of all, after two films with very little action and/or visual incident, this feels like an announcement that the third film will actually have big-screen imagery that would justify the large-screen format. Second of all, this is another attempt to portray the series as the heir apparent to the nearly-concluded Harry Potter franchise, a process that started when the first film jumped on the November 21st, 2008 date that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince had infamously vacated. Third, this is a sure sign that Summit wants that three-day opening weekend record, and it wants it bad. It's worth noting that the $142 million opening sprint for New Moon was the biggest opening weekend not boosted by the large-screen format's higher ticket prices. Since it's still not known whether theoretical weekend-record-breaker Iron Man 2 will go IMAX this May, the advantage is currently for Team Edward to make a run for The Dark Knight's $158 million record. Now if Summit could just figure out how to market and open its non-Twilight films, it might eventually become a real studio. On the other hand, maybe Summit can release Breaking Dawn parts 1 and 2 in D-Box, so you can rock and roll to the absolutely insane narrative of Stephanie Meyer's finale. Below is the official press release.


Los Angeles, CA – December 9, 2009 – IMAX Corporation (NASDAQ: IMAX; TSX: IMX) and Summit Entertainment announced today that The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the third film in the studio’s Twilight franchise, will be released to IMAX® theatres simultaneously with the film’s launch on June 30, 2010. Directed by David Slade (30 DAYS OF NIGHT, HARD CANDY) and starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse will be digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images coupled with IMAX’s customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie. The film franchise is based on the book series by Stephenie Meyer.

Twilight moviegoers will have a whole new way to experience this next installment of the series, with the enhanced image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience putting them IN the movie,” said Richie Fay, Summit Entertainment’s President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution. “The IMAX release puts us on the event film calendar for 2010, and we’re very excited to work with IMAX to bring a new kind of film to the IMAX theatre network.”

“Our 2010 film slate continues to fill out with strong titles, and a film from this incredible franchise is a very welcome addition,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. “This title fills a valuable spot in our 2010 summer release window, and will no doubt thrill IMAX audiences.”

“We’re very excited to work with our new partners at Summit Entertainment to transport the very loyal and enthusiastic Twilight fans into the world of the Volturi via The IMAX Experience,” added Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. “With our growing theatre network, we’re poised to take advantage of the rapidly growing fan-base devoted to this dynamic, cutting edge series.”

In The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger as Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob — knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella is confronted with the most important decision of her life.

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