Imax Touts Fourth-Best Fourth Quarter Since 2017

Imax Jan. 3 announced that with $277 million in gross revenue for the fourth quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2021), the fiscal period tally was the highest since 2017. Led by $83 million in revenue from Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: No Way Home, the December quarter marked the sixth-highest grossing quarter of all time for Imax.

The 3D exhibitor generated $638 million in global box office for the full-year 2021, up 146% from 2020. Imax also notched its highest-grossing year ever for local-language films in 2021 with $181.6 million — up 36% over its previous best set in 2019.

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“With our diversifying slate of global blockbusters and more releases than ever ‘Filmed for Imax,’ we head into a strong 2022 slate with great momentum,” CEO Rich Gelfond said in a statement. 

Imax recorded five releases in the fourth quarter grossing more than $25 million dollars — all of which were Filmed for Imax — including:

  1. Spider-Man: No Way Home$83.1 million
  2. Dune$43.9 million
  3. No Time to Die$43.7 million
  4. The Battle at Lake Changjin$31.6 million
  5. Eternals$25.2 million

At least 10 releases among the 2022 slate are filmed for Imax or include the company’s expanded aspect ratio, including Top Gun: Maverick, Thor: Love and Thunder and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, among others.

Roku Says Its Smart TV Operating System No. 1 Seller in 2021

Roku Jan. 3 announced that for the second year in a row, its branded operating system was the No. 1 smart-TV OS sold in the U.S., according to NPD’s Weekly Retail Tracking Service, based on available data from Jan. 3 through Dec. 4.

Additionally, Roku announced a partnership with Sharp to bring Sharp Roku TV models to customers in the U.S. Sharp is leveraging the Roku TV hardware reference design and OS to market a series of HD and 4K UHD TV models in 2022.

Sharp Roku TV models will come integrated with a customizable home screen, compatibility with the three major voice ecosystems and access to thousands of channels, including more than 200 live-TV channels.

“Sharp, like Roku, is an award-winning, household known brand and we look forward to a productive partnership together in the US,” Mustafa Ozgen, GM and SVP of account acquisitions for Roku, said in a statement. “We both firmly believe that the power and ease of use of Roku TV, combined with the Sharp brand promise of ‘simply better living’ makes an appealing combination for customers looking for a great TV experience.”

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Separately, the Roku TV licensing program in Mexico will expand to include a total of 10 brands, with the addition of Aiwa and HKPRO starting in early 2022. The Roku TV licensing program offers OEMs and TV brands a cost-effective way to make smart TVs.

Spencer

BLU-RAY-REVIEW:

Street Date 1/11/22;
Decal;
Drama;
Box Office $7.09 million;
$22.99 DVD, $25.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ’R’ for some language.
Stars Kristen Stewart, Timothy Spall, Jack Farthing, Sean Harris, Sally Hawkins.

Blurring the lines between fact and fiction, Spencer chronicles a series of events in 1991 that led Princess Diana to seek a separation from the royal family.

Part historical drama and part psychological horror film, it finds Diana (Kristen Stewart) attending a hellish Christmas at the Queen’s spacious Sandringham Estate. Strained by the confines of her royal image, and isolated by her husband Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, Diana yearns for a normal life with her two sons, though she knows that is impossible.

She finds a biography of Anne Boleyn and begins to see her as a kindred spirit, hallucinating images of the former queen who was executed by Henry VIII. Diana herself worries if the royals would have her killed if she stepped out of line. Her desire to escape leads to attempts to visit her childhood home nearby, where she can reclaim her family name, Spencer.

While the close proximity of the productions will no doubt lead the film to be likened to “The Crown,” which just depicted its own season of Charles and Diana’s troubled marriage, Spencer is much more a fictionalized interpretation of the situation, rather than the dramatization of actual events preferred by the show.

Spencer mostly serves as an acting showcase for Stewart, who shines as Diana.

The Blu-ray includes a decent eight-minute behind-the-scenes featurette.

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Hawkeye

STREAMING REVIEW:

Disney+;
Action;
Not rated.
Stars Jeremy Renner, Hailee Steinfeld, Tony Dalton, Fra Fee, Brian d’Arcy James, Aleks Paunovic, Piotr Adamczyk, Linda Cardellini, Simon Callow, Vera Farmiga, Alaqua Cox, Zahn McClarnon, Florence Pugh, Vincent D’Onofrio.

With 2021 bringing both a Black Widow movie and a six-episode limited series about Hawkeye, each of the original six Avengers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have finally received their own solo project.

Given how much the stories of Black Widow and Hawkeye are intertwined, it makes sense for the movie and show to arrive within months of each other, as the show carries on a pretty important story thread from the film.

Hawkeye picks up several months after the events of Avengers: Endgame, as the world has more or less returned to normal following the final battle to defeat Thanos. The archer Hawkeye, aka Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), is vacationing with his family in New York just before Christmas. But his past comes back to haunt him when a black market auction gets a hold of the outfit he wore as Ronin, the persona he adopted to hunt down criminals who survived Thanos snapping half the population away when Clint’s family did not.

Caught up in the plot is Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), a world-class archer in her own right who worships Clint and hopes to become an Avenger like him some day (and is known as the second Hawkeye in the comics). The local mafia comes to believe Kate is Ronin and responsible for attacking them, so they start to hunt her down, forcing Clint to protect.

It turns out Kate’s mother (Vera Farmiga), CEO of a security firm, has her own connection to the local crime lords, which embroils Clint and Kate in a murder mystery that only complicates his efforts to get back to his family by Christmas.

Hawkeye takes a couple of episodes to find its footing, but by part three has all the pieces in place for a solid action-adventure, fueled by the tremendous chemistry between Renner and Steinfeld, as well as a strong supporting cast and a few notable guest stars from other Marvel properties.

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‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Tops $600 Million North American Box Office

In its third weekend of release, Sony Pictures’ latest webslinger installment, Spider-Man: No Way Home, continued its box office domination, topping $52 million in projected New Year’s weekend revenue, and $609 million in projected North American ticket sales through Jan. 2.

The third movie in the franchise with Tom Holland playing Peter Parker’s alter ego ended 2021 as the top-grossing theatrical release globally with more than $1.2 billion in revenue. It now ranks as the 10th highest domestic release in history.

Notably, Spider-Man easily topped runner-up Disney/Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which, until just 18 days ago, was the top-grossing movie in the U.S. with $224 million.

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Among other box office releases, Universal/Illumination’s Sing 2 generated $19.6 million across 3,892 screens, to bring its two-weekend haul to $40 million. Disney/20th Century Studios’ The King’s Man finished No. 3 with $4.5 million across 3,180 theaters, and $47.8 million overall.

Lionsgate’s Kurt Warner NFL biopic American Underdog generated $3.9 million across 2,800 screens to put its total ticket sales around $15 million.