#IMAX

Alexandra Cheney on Christopher Nolan:

A huge proponent of IMAX, Nolan says he shot more of “Interstellar” on IMAX cameras than ever before but that he used spatial interiors and “real environments,” in effect shooting the film and the actor’s responses to action “like a documentary.”

Although he’s all in favor of new technologies, he’s hesitant to adapt or use anything before it’s time tested – in a theater for certain and ideally in front of audiences.

New technology “has to cede what comes before that, and it hasn’t done that yet,” he said.

I cannot wait for Interstellar even though I know basically nothing about it. But in Nolan I trust, given this:

On the subject of 3D, Nolan praised Baz Luhrmann for “The Great Gatsby” but said that as far as the technology, “Just as stadium seating isn’t the best thing for a comedy, 3D isn’t the best for a shared audience.”

Well aware of his audience – a packed house of exhibitors – Nolan defended seeing films on the big screen and lobbied for more re-releases of films. He cited “Citizen Kane” and “The Odyssey” for their non-linear structure and advocated for shooting on 35 mm.

We’ve entered what, year five of 3D (post-Avatar). And for the vast majority of films, it’s still incredibly stupid and gimmicky.

Two interesting nuggets from this week’s box office report by Andrew Stewart — first:

So far, “Gravity” has amassed a stellar $170.6 million domestically, of which Imax has contributed more than 22%, with $38 million. Premium formats, particularly Imax, have become a major selling point for “Gravity,” lifting its playability.

A great film, hugely cinematic in scope shown on IMAX is like gasoline on a fire when it comes to making money. Hollywood will not only recognize this, they’ll go overboard and everything will be on IMAX next summer. Naturally, they’ll forget the key “great film” and “hugely cinematic in scope” elements and many films won’t do well in the format.

Second:

Fox’s “The Woverine” is the latest film to get the coveted B.O. boost from China, bowing there with $13.6 million and bringing the film’s total international tally to nearly $260 million. Globally, “Wolverine” has cumed more than $390 million.

The Wolverine, while a massive improvement over the first Wolverine film, wasn’t a huge success in the U.S. (certainly not when compared to the other X-Men films). And yet, it’s doing twice as well overseas as it is in the U.S., which means we’ll definitely get another one. The U.S. continues to matter less and less when it comes to the box office.

The behind-the-scenes battle going on in Hollywood: digital versus film. Movies like The Avengers are shot entirely digital while movies like The Dark Knight Rises are still done entirely with film. 

While the digital camp is trying to lure moviegoers with 3D, the film camp is increasingly using IMAX — in fact, The Dark Knight Rises will have over a hour of footage shot specifically for IMAX screens on 65mm film. 

One wildcard are RED Epic digital cameras, which Peter Jackson is using for the upcoming Hobbit films. Given the increase in resolution (5k versus 2k) and the move to 48 frames-per-second (up from 24), it could be enough to push everyone to digital.