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Looking Back on 2002, a Year of Disney and DMR


Written by: BMZ Staff
Date: December 2002

BMZ editors reflect on 2002 -- a year with a record-breaking number of Big Movies released, dominated by Disney and marked by the premiere of IMAX DMR -- enabling Hollywood live-action films in true 70mm size and clarity.


Category: Columns

Dear Readers,

First, we'd like to wish you a prosperous and enjoyable holiday season! We'd also like to take a moment to reflect on what has been a very interesting year for "Big Movies".

With a record-breaking number of films, 2002 will end as it began -- with an animated classic from Disney reformatted for the Giant Screen. On January 1st 2002, Disney released BEAUTY AND THE BEAST to over 100 Big Movie theaters worldwide. But after a strong box office start, the film faded somewhat and ultimately did not come close to matching the $65 million earned by Disney's first foray into the medium, FANTASIA 2000. As the top-grossing animated film of all time (in 35mm theaters), will THE LION KING, coming to some 100 Big Movie theaters on Christmas Day, match or beat FANTASIA?

This past year was also notable for at least two other landmarks -- the premiere of IMAX Corporation's DMR(TM) digital re-mastering technology (*see below for explanation) with APOLLO 13 and STAR WARS EPISODE II, and the first simultaneous release of a first-run Hollywood film in 35mm and Big Movie theaters, with TREASURE PLANET. While TREASURE PLANET did not perform well in general at the box office, by at least one account the version shown in IMAX theaters did considerably better than its conventionally-formatted counterpart -- begging the question of when (or if) IMAX will convince a major Hollywood studio to release a new live-action film in IMAX and conventional theaters at the same time.

If 2002 was the year of Disney and IMAX Corporation, with the two companies responsible for a combined 9 out of 20 new films, it appears that at least the first part of 2003 will be marked by the re-emergence of many other longtime distributors such as MacGillivray Freeman Films (two new films in the first four months -- CORAL REEF ADVENTURE and TOP SPEED), Giant Screen Films (wider release of STOMP and ADRENALINE RUSH), nWave (North American release of SOS PLANET begins in February), and SK Films (BUGS, plus continuing rollout of STRAIGHT UP).

To all who participate, thanks for making Big Movies a vibrant and interesting industry to cover. May 2003 bring good fortune to your business, family and loved ones!

Best Regards,

BMZ Staff

*For more info on IMAX DMR:

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