Why the Chinese Theater was the Perfect Flagship for ‘Wizard of Oz’ in Imax 3D

The Wizard of Oz

Re-release totals $3 million enough to land in the domestic top ten

The TCL Chinese Theater was just one home to the “Wizard of OzImax re-release this weekend — but there was no other place quite like it.

The newly remodeled historic Hollywood movie palace scored a whopping $75,000 for “Oz,” which, in total, grossed $3 million and landed in the domestic top ten — a first-time achievement for an Imax-only release.

Wizard of Oz” was digitally remastered and converted to 3D in time to commemorate the film’s 75th anniversary.

SEE ALSO: Witch’s Mole and Nose in Imax 3D’s ‘Wizard of Oz’

The Chinese gross for “Oz” marks the highest of any film this weekend for a single theater, though higher-priced Imax tickets certainly goosed grosses, as well as anticipation for the renovated theater, which now is the largest Imax theater in the world.

Overall, the weekend gross for “Oz,” from 318 total screens, is an impressive feat, considering the only other Imax release to earn more — “Jurassic Park 3D,” with $6 million — had a nationwide bow and marketing muscle from Universal on which to piggyback.

The “Oz” release, which was done by Warner Bros.’ home entertainment division, was absent of any P&A spending. Instead, a more grassroots campaign for “Oz,” as well as for the Chinese, grew on social media.

Nostalgia surrounding “Oz” helped the film appeal to family audiences, an interesting fact since Imax has gotten out of the family tentpole business. Imax is screening “Oz” for only one week, however.

The mega-screen exhib launches Picturehouse’s “Metallica Through the Never” on Friday as an exclusive Imax event, followed by next weekend’s major blowout of Warner Bros.’ “Gravity.”

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  1. Linda Clark says:

    I drove from Iowa to Omaha Nebraska to see the movie in IMAX 3d. Words can not express the experience other than all persons should see it who enjoyed the original. In my opinion this classic will now extend into another generation of fans.

  2. Flying monkey misses the point. Those who will love this experience are people who loved the original. It was a special moment to take my kids and share a memory together.

  3. Flying monkey says:

    What a waste of time & money. ZERO cool 3d effects. Sure, the people ‘popped’, but nothing came at you, nothing made you look in amazement. And digitallly remastered? Someone fell asleep behind that wheel too.

  4. Jim Krisvoy says:

    Good luck with ordering tickets online for Wizard of Oz at the Chinese. Over the weekend, impossible!
    Perhaps the theatre should actually hire a professional web designer/webmaster for this aspect of their business. Bad way to rollout a venue that has been struggling for years to regain an audience. While the theatre did well in spite of this, no telling how much more it would have taken in otherwise.

    • utzworld says:

      Blame Movie Tickets.com – not Chinese Theatre. All the major theatre chains are jumping ship and moving to Fandango. This is the reason why.

      • Jim Krisvoy says:

        Tried to order via the Chinese website itself – and have to blame them for the hassle and dissapointment. The ratty seating chart is theirs too, not Movie Tickets.com. Think it will be a lot simpler to go to the AMC Century City until the Chinese gets its’ act together.

  5. nina gordon says:

    Saw it, loved it, great experience…awesome…saw and noticed details I never saw before.
    It was totally enchanting….loved the theater and big screen as well.

  6. cadavra says:

    Yay, Evan Rachel Wood! You keep focused on what’s important–which is NOT the movie, apparently.

  7. StoryMapsDan says:

    It was fantastic in iMax 3D. The 3D is not very noticeable, it’s kept to a minimum. Don’t worry, they haven’t changed the film in any way. There’s not things flying off the screen at you.

    Amazingly, many of the special effects still hold up! The back-screen projection is often flawless (the twister looks great) and although you can see the bottom border of the flats in certain shots, who cares? Have fun with it, just like when you were a kid (and didn’t notice things like that).

    It was amazing to finally see one of my all-time favs on the big screen. What a classic.

  8. Carl Lau says:

    Having seen this in IMAX 3D, it is a major disappointment both visually and audio-wise. No doubt, it is the best available print available but because of the huge image of the IMAX screen, the “restoration” shows its flaws. Whether or not one is willing to see it in IMAX 3D or buy the upcoming 3D BR, is up to the viewer. It is too bad that the restoration couldn’t have been done at the same level as Gone With the Wind. Nonetheless, for those who have never seen it, it maybe worth seeing on an IMAX screen.

  9. joe says:

    imax has “gotten out of the family tentpole business”. translation: usurped by the agenda mafia.

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