IMAX revenue grew almost 50% in 2010 alone
Alright, I'm going to have to call bullshit on this one right off the bat. IMAX is touting new sales numbers that say that the format saw a 45% increase in revenue last year, increasing to $249M. Their box office receipts doubled to $546M and the Variety article cited credits HARRY POTTER and TRON LEGACY screenings as contributing. Uh huh.
The article also cites " new business models that include a conversion to digital and revenue sharing with studios and theaters" which is the REAL reason the format has experienced this kind of growth.
My theory is that a lot of the reason that the format has grown so much is that it's being shoved down moviegoers throats. Theaters tell people an IMAX ticket costs $15 (in my home state of Michigan), yet the screen size is nothing like the IMAX screens of old that you used to watch documentaries about oceans and Mount Everest on. In fact, the comparison looks something like this:
So why are so many people paying for it? Often times, because they have to. Here's a breakdown of movie times for TRON LEGACY that I might have seen a few months ago opening weekend.
Tron Legacy IMAX 3D ($15)
11:20, 12:50, 1:50, 3:30, 4:10, 6:20, 7:45, 9:15, 10:35
Tron Legacy 3D ($14)
11:00, 12:30, 1:45, 2:15, 4:00, 5:30, 6:45, 740, 9:20, 11:15
Tron Legacy 2D ($10)
11:30, 3:20, 5:45, 7:50, 9:15
Increasingly for movies released in the format, there are way more showtimes in either IMAX or in 3D. For recent 3D releases like JACKASS and SANCTUM, there wasn't even an OPTION to see the film in 2D at my local theater.
Theaters are getting these sub-par IMAX screens installed because they automatically raise ticket prices by 50%. Since there aren't too many movies shot in IMAX, whenever there is one, the majority of the times are on that screen, and if you want to pay less, your options for when you can see the film are far more restricted. Sometimes you have to see it at a certain time based around your other plans, and the IMAX time is your only option to do so.
Sorry for my rant here, but ever since they started installing slighty larger than average screens in theaters an calling them IMAX, I've lost all respect for the company. I got to see THE DARK KNIGHT on true IMAX (the big screen seen above), and it was worth every penny and it stands as one of the best moviegoing experiences of my life. But to force feed an inferior product to people and then rave about your increased sales is just flat out annoying.
|Extra Tidbit:||Don't get me started on the "glasses surcharge" for 3D. I CAN BRING MY OWN DAMN $2 GLASSES MOTHER****ERS!|