Imax, Warner pact on pics

Duo make deal to release 20 WB films on Imax format

Imax and Warner Bros. have completed an agreement to release up to 20 Warner films in Imax’s format over the next three and a half years through 2013.

The pact was announced jointly on Wednesday by the big-screen exhibitor and the studio. It contains a December 2012 release date for “The Hobbit,” which has been in pre-production in New Zealand with Peter Jackson exec producing and Guillermo Del Toro directing two “Hobbit” pics that will be shot back to back.

The agreement includes a “Batman 3” project and a “Superman” movie, although neither has a specific release date yet and the studio hasn’t yet officially greenlit either project. The two-part “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” will also have Imax releases in 3D on Nov. 19 and July, 15, 2011.

Other titles covered by agreement with release dates are “Legends of the Guardian: The Owls of Ga’Hoole 3D” on Sept. 24 and “Happy Feet 2” in 3D on Nov. 18, 2011.

Other titles in the pact without specific release dates include sci-fier “Gravity,” “Dark Shadows” and “Fury Road,” the fourth pic in the “Mad Max” franchise. “Fury Road” is currently in pre-production in Australia.

“Our track record with Imax has been incredible, and incorporating 3D into this collaborative effort will serve as the ultimate experience for our audiences,” said Dan Fellman, Warner’s president of domestic distribution, in a statement. The announcement noted that since June 2003, Warner’s has released 25 titles in Imax’s format, including 10 which contained Imax’s 3D, and those titles have generated approximately $565 million in worldwide box office revenues at Imax locations.

Update: 3D boom buoys Imax

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