This summers big guns have been at war. Tom Cruise has begged executives to shorten the three week exclusive run on IMAX screens that Christopher Nolan’s film Oppenheimer has.
Mission Impossible, scheduled for release July 12 will have just one week on IMAX screens, Oppenheimer will take priority for the 3 weeks thereafter and Barbie will see zero IMAX screens, being pushed out completely.
Oppenheimer had agreed a deal to control North American IMAX screens long before the delayed Mission sequel. As Christopher Nolan typically uses IMAX cameras, he is granted exclusive windows upon his films releases.
In an interview with Variety Imax CEO Rich Gelfond has said.
“I feel sad in a way we can’t accommodate all of them. I know ‘Mission: Impossible’ is going to be a really big movie.” Nolan has a special place in Imax’s heart because he uses our cameras and promotes us. It’s not a matter of us saying which we can make more money on. I would hope after Oppenheimer’s run, we can bring back Mission.”
Studios bargaining for larger, higher quality screens like Dolby & ScreenX will usually have more flexible arrangements between exhibitors. The reason that IMAX has more control is because the companies technology creates a film print that’s specifically designed to fit the aspect ratio of its screens, meaning it can’t be projected onto other larger screens like the 2D version.
IMAX has a long standing relationship with Nolan and it’s no surprise that Oppenheimer has taken precedent. With Oppenheimer, Mission Impossible & Barbie all releasing within a week of each other, studios really need to knock their heads together and work on scheduling.