IMAX and Warner Bros. today announced that The Dark Knight shattered opening box office records on 94 IMAX screens during its debut. The IMAX release contributed $6.3 million of the $158.4 million that the film grossed at the domestic box office, on a total of 94 North American screens this weekend. The picture posted a domestic IMAX per screen average of $67,036. Internationally, the picture generated approximately $725,000 from 15 IMAX theatres, and it is scheduled to open in 24 more IMAX locations in the coming weeks. The film’s worldwide IMAX opening total was a record-breaking $7 million.
“The results from both IMAX and conventional theatres are phenomenal,” said Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures. “Chris Nolan’s IMAX vision has resonated with all audiences, and it has turned a highly anticipated theatrical release into a spectacular event.”
“The international response to the film, particularly in IMAX, has been incredibly positive, with numerous sold out shows and very strong advance ticket sales,” said Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
“Chris Nolan and Warner Bros. Pictures have delivered a groundbreaking film that put IMAX theatres at full capacity over the weekend, even after adding many extra shows,” said IMAX Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. “This remarkable film shows the real potential of the IMAX theatre network, which we expect to grow significantly in the next few years.”
“This project has been perfectly executed on all levels,” added Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. “Everyone involved has done an exceptional job, from the filmmakers who have created a brilliant film, to the actors who delivered extraordinary performances, to Warner Bros. Pictures who distributed and marketed the film in a visionary way, to the IMAX theatre operators, who accommodated the incredible consumer demand by adding extra shows. We’re so happy with the results and very proud to be a part of such a big success.”
The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience features six sequences filmed with IMAX cameras, which marks the first time ever that a major feature film has been even partially shot using IMAX cameras, marking a revolutionary integration of the two film formats.
Sequences shot in traditional 35mm have been digitally re-mastered into The IMAX Experience with proprietary IMAX DMR technology. The two formats are seamlessly integrated and morph between IMAX and IMAX DMR. In other words, scenes shot in 35mm appear in IMAX DMR (letterbox), while scenes shot with IMAX’s cameras on 15/70mm film expand vertically to fill the entire IMAX screen, which can be up to eight stories tall, for an all-encompassing IMAX Experience.
With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to destroy organized crime in Gotham for good. The triumvirate proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a rising criminal mastermind known as the Joker, who thrusts Gotham into anarchy and forces the Dark Knight ever closer to crossing the fine line between hero and vigilante.
Christian Bale reprises his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman; Academy Award nominee Heath Ledger (“Brokeback Mountain”) stars as arch-villain The Joker, and Aaron Eckhart plays District Attorney Harvey Dent. Maggie Gyllenhaal joins the cast in the role of Rachel Dawes. Returning from “Batman Begins” are Gary Oldman as Lieutenant Jim Gordon; Oscar winner Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules”) as Alfred; and Oscar winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) as Lucius Fox.