'Fifty Shades of Grey' Gets Small, Last Minute Run on IMAX Screens
With news hitting this morning that Fifty Shades of Grey may already have sequels in development at Universal Pictures, the release of the first film coming this weekend just got a little bigger. Deadline has word that IMAX is setting about 75 screens to play the film in the large format theater which the company's CEO Greg Foster describes as "something we’re doing literally at the last minute." Foster also says that it's "something I think we have to do" in order to "increase our bandwidth," which is another way of saying they want to make more money from audiences outside of those seeing big budget blockbusters.
IMAX has been more interested in viewers outside of those who will come see the latest Marvel Studios release or the forthcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and getting butts in the giant screen theaters when there's not much competition out there is a way of having more consistent revenue even when there's no major franchise in play. Fifty Shades of Grey certainly has a big fanbase that will turn out this weekend, and some of them will just see it on IMAX because it's there, playing into the company's plan to boost sales when they're not playing one out of an average of eight films that make up two-thirds of their box office.
American Sniper was another film that went this route and it seems to have worked out for Warner Bros. and IMAX, and it's the success of that film which prompted IMAX to also slate the Will Smith and Margot Robbie con artist drama Focus for the giant screen, as well as the sci-fi action drama Chappie. Some of these films just aren't necessary for viewing on IMAX screens, but there are plenty of viewers out there who don't that they're just burning money by spending the extra cash on an IMAX ticket when it doesn't really add anything to their movie-going experience. Choose your IMAX outings wisely, folks.