In the height of DVD in the 2000s, IMAX was flourishing. Previously they had only really tackled documentaries, shorts and very occasionally a short feature, but in the wake of yet another technological revolution, their larger than life screens provided an alternate way of seeing your favourite blockbusters instead of just art films.
Because the technology is so expensive, studios would not film on IMAX but instead remaster their prints for the IMAX screenings as an extra incentive for fans to see the full experience. Spiderman 3 broke the IMAX box-office record in 2003, while Christopher Nolans The Dark Knight took it one step further.
Nolan shot six sequences (totalling around 30 minutes) specifically in IMAX, making this the first time a major feature film was even partially shot using IMAX cameras. In IMAX screenings it took over $6m over one weekend in less than 100 cinemas.
The Polar Express was the IMAXs first full length, 3D animation. It perfectly highlighted the allure of motion capture. While its release in 3D was limited, the IMAX screenings accounted for nearly a quarter of its total gross, proving that the public may even prefer to pay more money for the experience if they could find a participating cinema nearby.
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