May 4, 2020
Sony Pictures Entertainment May 4 announced an expansion of its theatrical distribution with Imax Corp., encompassing hundreds of new movies in the 3D format over the next two years, including all upcoming SPE theatrical releases. The “Imax Enhanced” releases include hundreds of catalog titles, as well as theatrical releases for home entertainment available across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific regions.
Imax markets branded in-home “Imax private theatre” packages that include the required technology, screen and audio features for the well-heeled costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. The set-up can also screen Blu-ray releases, including 4K UHD.
The distribution format features digitally remastered 4K HDR content and DTS premium audio delivered through high-end consumer electronics and streaming platforms.
The Imax Enhanced content library includes Spider-Man: Far From Home, Jumanji: The Next Level, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Venom, Bad Boys for Life, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Only the Brave, Men In Black: International, Zombieland: Double Tap, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Little Women (2019), and Charlie’s Angels (2019).
“The success that SPE has enjoyed in collaborating with Imax and DTS has inspired the decision to significantly increase our volume of content,” Pete Wood, SVP of new digital distribution at Sony Pictures, said in a statement. “SPE’s investment in the Imax Enhanced program ensures that we will continue to deliver even more of our films to audiences who now expect to experience movies at the highest technical quality — even in their own homes.”
Imax CFO Patrick McClymont said working with Sony Pictures and DTS is helping deliver ever-expanding roster of “movie favorites” across multiple genres.
“We look forward to continuing to drive momentum on all fronts by working tirelessly with our leading consumer electronics and streaming partners on delivering breakthrough technology and content experiences for consumers around the world,” McClymont said.
Bill Neighbors, GM of Imax parent Xperi, said that with consumers looking for new ways to access movie content, Sony Pictures’ content library is a “seamless fit” with the Imax brand.
“[The deal is] preserving the films’ best-in-class sight, sound and scale for an at-home entertainment experience that truly stands out,” Neighbors said.
Now available on four streaming platforms in 14 countries and across 17 consumer electronics manufacturers, Imax Enhanced uses proprietary digital remastering technology to deliver ultra-vivid 4K HDR picture with more vibrant colors. Select content features Imax’s expanded aspect ratio — enabling viewers the full scope and scale of the picture. Imax and DTS have also partnered with Hollywood sound mixers to use a special variant of the DTS:X codec technology integrated in home audio equipment to deliver a signature sound experience with more immersive, powerful audio.
To ensure optimized playback of fully immersive Imax Enhanced content, the two companies are also designing “Imax Mode,” calibrated to deliver the best viewing and listening experience in the home.