‘Christmas’ for Disney, Imax

Duo join forces on 3-D films

Disney and Imax are back in business together, inking a five-picture deal that commences a year from now with Robert Zemeckis’ 3-D holiday release “A Christmas Carol.”

The Mouse House — the market leader in 3-D — has been noticeably absent when it comes to exploiting Imax screens, choosing instead to play its digital 3-D titles in conventional theaters only.

Relations between Disney and Imax grew strained after the two partnered on “Fantasia 2000,” which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the acclaimed animated feature.

But the ongoing shortage of conventional 3-D screens, plus the success of other Imax studio partnerships, provided an opening for Disney and Imax to come together once again.

The five-picture deal was announced in Singapore, where Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Group prexy Mark Zoradi and Imax toppers, along with other studio execs, are attending a 3-D conference.

“Disney’s commitment to 3-D is great for Imax moviegoers, and dovetails ideally with our strategy to build a slate of top-quality movies from the best filmmakers that lend themselves to the Imax format,” Imax Filmed Entertainment chair-prexy Greg Foster said from Singapore.

Zemeckis’ “Christmas Carol,” a reworking of Charles Dickens’ classic tale toplining Jim Carrey, opens Nov. 9, 2009.

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