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maryann johanson | watching movies at home

question of the day: Is IMAX going to save Hollywood?

IMAX logo

Oh dear. It sounds like Hollywood is getting hopeful about saving itself. From USA Today yesterday:

Despite tickets that can run more than $15 each, IMAX box office is leading the industry’s rebound in revenue and attendance. Through the first six weeks of the year, IMAX reports, ticket sales hit $55 million, a 45% increase over the same period in 2011. Analysts project that, given the tent-pole movies heading to IMAX this spring, the first quarter could finish up more than 70% over last year.

The surge well outpaces the industry’s overall rebound, which has seen ticket sales and revenue rise about 20% over last year.

“There’s a consensus that with all the ads, all the gimmicks Hollywood pulls, IMAX is the real deal,” says Hollywood.com’s Paul Dergarabedian.

IMAX is “fulfilling the promise that 3-D didn’t keep, that it would be unlike anything you’ve seen,” says Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations. “And unlike great sound or 3-D glasses, you can’t replicate IMAX at home unless you have a six-story screen.”

It’s true that IMAX can offer an experience that you can’t get at home. But it has to be an experience than you want to have. If the movies are crappy, IMAX won’t make much of a difference. And if only a small portion of the audience can afford the price of an IMAX ticket, that won’t help much either.

What do you think? Is IMAX going to save Hollywood?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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