Open Season Gets IMAX Treatment

IMAX Corporation and Sony Pictures Entertainment today announced that Sony Pictures Animation’s first CG project Open Season, an animated feature from directors Roger Allers, the acclaimed director of The Lion King, Jill Culton, whose credits include Toy Story 2 and Monsters Inc., and co-director Anthony Stacchi (credits include ANTZ) will be released in IMAX 3D simultaneously with the motion picture’s premiere in conventional theatres on September 29, 2006. The motion picture will be digitally converted into IMAX 3D and re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience(R) through IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology. Sony Pictures Releasing will be the exclusive distributor of the motion picture to IMAX theatres worldwide.

Open Season stars the vocal talents of Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Debra Messing and Gary Sinise.

IMAX’s 2006 film slate now includes six new digitally re-mastered Hollywood films scheduled to be released day-and-date to IMAX theatres, and one original IMAX 3D film, Deep Sea 3D, which opened last weekend. Open Season brings the total number of new IMAX 3D releases for the year to four. The deal marks the second IMAX DMR release for Sony Pictures Entertainment, following the studio’s 2004 release of Spider-Man 2: The IMAX Experience.

“The amazing immersive quality of IMAX 3D will give moviegoers an opportunity to experience the first full-length animated motion picture from Sony Pictures Animation in a very special way,” said Rory Bruer, President of Domestic Distribution Releasing. “This is a format that has proven especially successful with family features, and the IMAX theatre network helps generate incremental revenue for event titles such as Open Season. We are pleased to be an important part of IMAX’s 2006 lineup.”

“We are excited to expand our partnership with Sony Pictures to bring Open Season to IMAX theatres in September,” said IMAX Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. “Sony Pictures has always produced incredible films, and as the studio invests in the animation business, the addition of Open Season to our strong 2006 film slate will enable IMAX theatre operators to attract moviegoers of all ages through the fall season.”

In Columbia Pictures’ new action-adventure comedy Open Season, the first feature-length animated motion picture from Sony Pictures Animation, Boog (Martin Lawrence), a grizzly bear with no survival skills, has his perfect world in the tranquil town of Timberline turned upside-down when he meets Elliot (Ashton Kutcher), a scrawny, fast-talking wild mule deer. Elliot arrives in Timberline, missing an antler, and strapped to the hood of a truck, courtesy of the paranoid uber hunter Shaw (Gary Sinise). Against his better judgment, Boog frees Elliot. Elliot attempts to return the favor by “freeing” Boog from his idyllic existence with his beloved Park Ranger Beth (Debra Messing), who raised him since he was a cub. Things quickly spiral out of control. The two troublemakers are relocated together to the wild…just three days before open season! With hunting season upon them and Shaw in hot pursuit, Boog and Elliot must learn to work together and unite the woodland creatures. In a rowdy, madcap battle, they make the woods safe once and for all by turning the hunters into the hunted.

Next on tap for IMAX is V For Vendetta, which will be released simultaneously on theaters and IMAX screens, on March 17.