Exex crow cross-over hit has mainstreamed Imax

In August, Disney will return “Fantasia 2000″ to Imax theaters, where its worldwide grosses reached a healthy $64 million during an exclusive four-month run earlier this year.

Buena Vista domestic distribution chief Chuck Viane said the re-release would go until the end of the year in all, or nearly all, of the 54 giant-screen venues that have already played the updated animated classic. Exact dates for each venue have not been set.

“It was always an open question where we would go back, but we had such a successful run at the theaters that it was an easy decision,” Viane added.

“Fantasia 2000″ opened in conventional sites last weekend with an unimpressive $2.9 million at 1,313 theaters. Viane said post-weekend numbers showed signs of improved prospects for the rest of the three-week run outside the world of giant-screen venues.

“The weekend was not as high as we would have liked but we really did not know what to expect after having done the earlier run,” he added.

Overseas Imax re-release

Disney also plans to re-release “Fantasia 2000″ into overseas Imax theaters, where it generated more than $14 million at 21 locations in 14 territories during the January-April run. The relaunch will start a few weeks later in Asian territories and end in late January to coincide with Chinese New Year.

International grosses from conventional sites were disappointing in the United Kingdom but solid in France and Mexico. Several key markets, including Germany, Japan and Spain, will see launches next month.

Executives with Imax have said “Fantasia 2000″ represents the cross-over vehicle they needed to establish their theaters as a viable distribution channel for mainstream Hollywood films.

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