In Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Letter To D’Alembert On Spectacles, the legendary French thinker chastises the theater for dumbing down citizens, corrupting their morals, and weakening the spirit of a society. “Also,” he adds at the end, “that 2015 Fantastic Four movie is just going to royally suck shit.” When Hollywood doesn’t make blockbuster popcorn extravaganzas, however, something far worse than the corruption of society happens: IMAX gets annoyed. The Wrap reports the giant-screen specialist is looking to move into the content production game, creating its own movies and other programming in the near future. After all, who wants to see a sequel to Dunston Checks In unless it’s projected on a screen 80 feet long?
“There were no blockbuster movies released in August, there were none last week and none this coming weekend,” says Greg Foster, throwing some serious shade at Fantastic Four and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.—not to mention Shaun The Sheep, America’s favorite even-toed ungulate. “That’s three or four weeks of beachfront property.” Indeed, IMAX theaters have long been known as the beachfronts of the mind, luring moviegoers with the enormous rolling waves of a promised action spectacle, then dragging them screaming into the undertow by screening Pandas: The Journey Home instead.
As a result, the company is taking steps to fill the void left by this country sadly not making enough Transformers films, through three strategies. The first is simply creating its own movies and content—in essence, becoming a studio of sorts. “But that basically turns you into a mini-studio, and that’s the highest risk,” says Foster. It’s a good point: Why take the risk of losing money on a subpar product? Leave that to the suckers who make the films that drive the majority of your profits! Another option is pairing with directors on projects to make them IMAX-friendly, such as the company has done with Christopher Nolan, most recently on Interstellar.
The third option is to license “windows” of screening time for things that could then be moved to other platforms. This has been done to great success with Game Of Thrones, for example, and IMAX is talking to The Walking Dead producers about a similar event. Of course, it’s not really going to become a popular option for a home audience until IMAX wises up and cuts a deal to show CBS’ Mom on its massive screens—Allison Janney cannot be contained by a mere television projection. Also, no word yet on whether mockbusters will also be considered, but it seems a shame to never get to experience Transmorphers in glorious IMAX display.