Super 8 – which has become something of an obsession here at EW.com, as our recent bevy of posts on the film can attest – opens throughout the day on 325 screens in North America as part of a sneak preview push organized by Paramount Pictures and Twitter. The slate of showings is also a big deal for IMAX, which is hosting the majority of these previews: Never before has the exhibitor effectively opened a movie on this many of its locations. “We have been talking for some time the notion about having a release window this early,” says Greg Foster, chairman and president of Filmed Entertainment at IMAX. “This is new territory for us. We have opened a couple movies in a handful of countries – Russia, France, Mexico – two or three days early, but no more than 15 theaters. This is the first time we’ve done it domestically on this level.”
Foster says 239 IMAX screens are participating in today’s unofficial soft open. It was originally announced that 240 theaters would be involved, but Foster says one screen was already booked to a private party.
Of course, there’s an implied irony involved with a movie named after low-fi filmmaking tech partnering with a brand name synonymous with state-of-the-art movie exhibition. However, while Abrams did not shoot Super 8 with IMAX cameras or in 3-D, Foster considers the Star Trek helmer part of a growing trend of movie directors who design and produce their films with IMAX in mind. In fact, about 30 minutes of the forthcoming Abrams-produced Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (directed by The Incredibles’ Brad Bird) was shot with IMAX cameras. Foster – who sees the preview program as a test for other programs like it – believes that titular irony aside, Super-8 is a perfect fit for IMAX. “Every movie has its own unique DNA. And this movie – between the type of movie it is, who made it, who it was made for, how it was made – has all the ingredients of an IMAX movie.”
For those of you planning to see Super 8 this weekend, what will be: IMAX or no IMAX?
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