“Game of Thrones” has reached all-screen domination.
The show became the first TV series to hit the bigscreen when it opened Friday to $686,000 at the U.S. box office. The fantasy series stands to earn almost $2 million from 205 Imax screens this weekend, bringing its per-screen average to a weekend high of $9,800.
This weekend’s No. 1 film, Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper,” is aiming for a much lower but still impressive per-screen average of $7,695. “American Sniper,” however, has been in theaters since Christmas Day and went wide three weekends ago.
Warner Bros. has a more modest weekend estimate between $1.3 million and $1.5 million, considering the unpredictability of Sunday’s earnings. That would lower the per-screen average to $6,341 to $7,317, respectably.
And given the show’s nature as seven-day alternative content that has already aired on TV, the studio doesn’t expect the Imax-only exhibition to behave like a traditional theatrical release, which drastically alters the math equation.
The grand scale of the HBO hit is clearly translating well to the bigscreen, setting an example for similar future experiments. It’s also likely that “Game of Thrones” would have grossed more had it opened on a different date as theater attendance is usually down on Super Bowl weekend.
HBO’s two-part season-four finale was digitally remastered to fit the Imax format. An exclusive season-five trailer also premiered at Thursday latenight showings.
“The cinematic brilliance and grand scope of the series is perfect for the Imax format,” Pamela Levine, chief marketing officer at HBO, said in early January. “We are always looking to provide fans with new and exciting ways to experience the show, and viewing two key episodes, along with the new trailer, on such an impressive platform makes for a great event.”