You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Shattering Imax Records

Imax has become the favored destination for audiences looking to watch the Millennium Falcon rocket across the widest screens available.

The premium theaters are getting a big boost from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” both in the United States and around the world. Through last weekend, the film has made a massive $152 million from Imax showings globally, making it the second highest-grossing release in the company’s history. It has a very strong chance of overtaking “Avatar” and its $243.3 million global haul once it opens next weekend in China, where it will screen on 268 Imax locations.

“Imax and ‘Star Wars’ were tailor-made for each other,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. “You’re melding the immersiveness of Imax with the thrill of ‘Star Wars.'”

Domestically, Imax plans to show “The Force Awakens” at least until “Deadpool” debuts on Feb. 12, and possibly even beyond that date. The film will cede some screens to the adventure film “The Finest Hours,” when the drama about a Coast Guard rescue mission bows on Jan. 29, although the exact number has yet to be determined. Typically, a film holds Imax screens for two or three weeks, but “The Force Awakens” will likely triple that number by the time it wraps up its run.

In an interview a week ago, Imax Entertainment CEO Greg Foster noted the company had benefited from J.J. Abrams’ decision to film a key sequence using Imax cameras.

“There’s a connection being created in terms of Imax and it’s allowed us to break out from the pack,” he said. “The grosses are just incredible and there’s no sign of slowing down.”

The film is reaching high-water marks at a record pace. “The Force Awakens” reached its current Imax grosses in 19 days, whereas it took “Avatar” 47 days to hit the same number and it had the benefit of having opened in China by that point. The North American Imax results stand at $98.2 million, the second best in the company’s history, and it should cross $100 million early next week.

The film’s success has yet to be reflected in Imax’s stock price, however. The company’s shares closed down 1.61% at $35.54 on Thursday. Some analysts are concerned over reports that Disney, the studio behind the “Star Wars” franchise, is demanding a higher stake of receipts from exhibitors than it typically requests, cutting into their profits.

Imax isn’t the only company getting a “Star Wars” uplift. “The Force Awakens” is doing well in premium formats. Last weekend, it earned 45% of its gross from 3D locations, according to Rentrak.

More Film

  • Kevin Costner Diane Lane

    Kevin Costner, Diane Lane to Reunite in Suspense Thriller 'Let Him Go'

    Focus Features has tapped Kevin Costner and Diane Lane to star as a husband and wife in the suspense thriller “Let Him Go.” The two also collaborated on “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Thomas Bezucha (“The Family Stone”) is set to direct his own screenplay, based on Larry Watson’s novel [...]

  • Chris Hemsworth Hulk Hogan

    Chris Hemsworth to Play Hulk Hogan in Biopic for Netflix

    Netflix is in the early stages of developing a Hulk Hogan biopic with Chris Hemsworth attached to star as the wrestling legend and produce. Netflix has obtained the exclusive life rights and consulting services from Terry Gene Bollea AKA Hulk Hogan. Todd Phillips, whose credits include “War Dogs” and “The Hangover” trilogy, is attached to [...]

  • Rooftop Films Announces Filmmakers Fund Grant

    Rooftop Films Announces Filmmakers Fund Grant Winners

    Swedish documentary filmmaker Anastasia Kirillova and “Negative Space” co-directors Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter are among the filmmakers who will receive grants from Rooftop Films to help complete their upcoming projects. Kirilova will be awarded $20,000 to finish her film, “In the Shadows of Love,” while collaborators Kuwahata and Porter will receive $10,000 for “Dandelion [...]

  • Jim Gianopulos

    Paramount Chief Jim Gianopulos Unveils Diversity Initiative

    Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos has announced that all studio productions will be required to complete a plan to enhance diversity. Wednesday’s reveal follows Paramount’s commitment to participating in Time’s Up and Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s 4% Challenge. The name is derived from women having directed only 4% of the country’s top grossing movies [...]

  • Leave No Trace

    Oscar Analysts Are Sincere -- but Often Totally Wrong

    With Oscars arriving Feb. 24, we can expect multiple “who will win/who should win” columns. There will also be a flurry of post-show analyses about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and why members voted the way they did. Since AMPAS never releases polls or voting tallies, these pundits will never be contradicted [...]

  • Green Book spiderman into the spider

    On Eve of Oscars, Variety’s Film Experts Answer Three Pressing Questions

    We continue to live in a divided world, with the current political landscape in the United States a seemingly endless hotbed of tumult and acrimony. Issues of racism, bigotry, diversity and gender equality drive the creative players as well, with Oscar-nominated films parlaying said themes into compelling, thought-provoking cinema. To analyze 2018 in big-screen entertainment, [...]

  • Karl Lagerfeld'Lagerfeld Confidential' Photocall at the

    Karl Lagerfeld Remembered at Costume Designers Guild Awards

    The death of fashion and costume designer Karl Lagerfeld cast somewhat of a shadow over the usually jubilant Costume Designers Guild Awards — the only award show where clothes literally steal the spotlight away from actors — which was held at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday night. Here it was obvious that Lagerfeld’s impact on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content