70mm: "3-D without
glasses", or "The Showmanship Format"
The 70mm Newsletter
Edited by: Ramon
My slogan for 70mm would be (and this is for 65/70 productions shown in
70mm or SDS-70), "3-D without glasses", or "the showmanship format".
As far as for marketing 70mm as viable format, the proof is not only
with "The Dark Knight" run in IMAX theaters, but with movies
shown in IMAX period. I think back to the weekends of June 30th, 2006,
and March 9th, 2007 when "Superman Returns" & "300" broke
house records. On the Saturday we tried to see SM, it was sold out not
only for the rest of that day, but it had been sold out since it's
opening day. When we got home to try and order tickets for Sunday, it
was sold out. So we got 'em for Tuesday afternoon. When "300"
came out, we were going to see it that Saturday (when it comes to
movies, I'm a Saturday kind of guy), but it was sold out. Thankfully, we
were able to get tickets for Sunday. For that 1:10pm showing of 300 on
3/11/07, nearly all 270 seats in the IMAX auditorium were full. And
while we were coming out, another crowd of 250+ were trying to pile in.
Now with "The Dark Knight", when word got out that scenes were
going to fill the entire image, there was intense frenzy of sold out
tickets in advance. It opened 7/18, yet if you hadn't bought your
tickets online, you weren't going to get in. I had to see it in 35mm
that weekend. But I was able to see it a month later in IMAX, and THAT
screening was almost filled to capacity.
So our evidence to producers/directors is this: Moviegoers will go out
of their way to see a movie presented in the best way possible. Look at
the always packed showings in IMAX, and look at how 3-D screenings
outgross their 2-D counterparts in multiplexes. This was especially true
for "Monsters vs. Aliens", which opened to 59.3 million, 25
million coming from 3-D, or 42% of it's weekend gross. "The Dark
Knight" grossed 533.3 million at the domestic BO. 49.9 million of
that was made from IMAX, which is a record for a movie re-mastered for
If there is a production in 70mm, then if it's the right movie, and
promoted right, it will make money.
Now, if there is a new production in 70mm, then a program booklet could
be included for every paid admission. This booklet would explain to
moviegoers what 70mm is, the history, and what they're about to witness.
This wouldn't be a large scale release. Only about 12-20 prints in
select markets would be needed. This way, moviegoers will drive/commute
30 miles or more to a premier theater in said market. The rest of the
movie's release would be in 35mm or digital. But watch the SDS-70
theater outgross the others in terms of per-screen average & online
It is my belief that Ron Fricke & Mark Magidson should go about in
showing "Samsara" this way. Since it's release will be very
limited, only a dozen or so prints would be needed.
Most of it's marketing would be done online at say, myspace or other
teen-based sites. You get teens interested, then you'll make money.
Another great thing about SDS-70 is that the exhibitor won't be buying
the projector, they would be leasing it for a movie's run. It would be
paid for via the admissions. Another thing (sorry for this long e-mail),
4K DLP has a resolution factor of over 4 to 8 million pixels. SDS-70 is
22 million pixels.
I do believe digital projection will be commonplace, and it's not a bad
thing. But it won't replicate the experience of seeing a movie on a
super large screen with life-like resolution. If digital comes close to
this, it will be when I'm a grandfather with white hair. For now,
attempts to stretch a hard drive to it's limits could result in damaging
Tamir Sharif (future exhibitor, fan of the widescreen).
in 70mm reading:
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