By Phil Contrino
So there's this little movie coming out on July 18th, and you may have heard of it. It has something to do with a guy in a bat suit who goes around fighting criminals. A couple of people across the country may go to see it.
Now with Iron Man, the latest Indiana Jones and WALL-E out of the way, the next big summer blockbuster that is drawing everyone's attention is The Dark Knight.
Thanks to the well-edited trailers, the highly innovative viral marketing campaign orchestrated by Warner Bros., and enthusiastic early reviews, excitement for the latest installment of director Christopher Nolan's Batman saga has remained steady over the past several months.
Since Batman is such a large cultural icon, it makes sense that Nolan and his creative team have joined forces with IMAX to bring the Caped Crusader to bigger screens across the country.
After achieving main-stream success with 2000's Memento, Nolan has continued to cement his reputation as a truly visionary director and he's brought that same artistic nature to his involvement with IMAX.
"Chris Nolan is someone who literally is a study in IMAX," said Greg Foster, Chairman, IMAX Filmed Entertainment, "He’s a real intellectual and he’s a student of the process. He has designed the six biggest set pieces in [The Dark Knight] to take advantage of the IMAX camera."
After finding that the IMAX format was a comfortable fit with 2005's Batman Begins, it was only natural that The Dark Knight would expand upon that progress.
Audiences are definitely noticing.
“It’s unbelievably exciting. It’s almost hard to believe just how enthusiastic everyone seems to be, not only about the movie, but about the campaign and about the fact that IMAX is a part of it. As a result of this, it’s created unprecedented advance sales,” said Foster.
Of all the advance tickets being purchased via Movietickets.com for Knight, 44% of them have been sold for IMAX screenings. That's a staggering figure, considering that the number of IMAX screens across the country is nowhere near as big as the number of conventional screens.
"It’s going to be the widest release we’ve ever had," said Foster, "There’s no doubt about it that this is going to open up an entirely new incremental audience for us, which is obviously great news."
"I think it’s great news for the movie business in general," added Foster, "There’s been some movies this summer that have done really, really well and there’s also been some movies that sort of faded out really quickly
This movie is a keeper and it’s not a movie that’s going to go away fast. It’s really an exceptional film."