The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Star Trek Sequel coming to IMAX and both shooting with IMAX cameras

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IMAX, Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate Films have announced that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the second film in the popular Hunger Games franchise, will be released in the immersive IMAX format on November 22, 2013. Additionally, the as-yet-untitled-sequel to J.J. Abrams’ 2009 blockbuster Star Trek will be released in IMAX 3D on May 17, 2013.

The first Hunger Games film just crossed the $400 million mark at the North American box office, making it the 14th highest-grossing film of all time. The film has grossed nearly $650 million worldwide, with a rollout in China – which will include 67 IMAX screens – later this month.

Helping to further eventize this cultural phenomenon and transport moviegoers into the world of Panem, director Francis Lawrence will utilize IMAX cameras in filming portions of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Exclusively in IMAX theatres, sequences shot with the extremely high-resolution cameras will expand to fill the entire screen with unprecedented crispness and clarity, putting moviegoers right into the action alongside Katniss and her fellow Tributes. Leading the cast is Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence, reprising her role as Katniss Everdeen, along with fellow returning cast members Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark.

“We are thrilled to continue the productive partnership we enjoyed with IMAX on the first installment of The Hunger Games,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger. “Our partnership on the first Hunger Games film was a resounding success, and we look forward to building on that experience with an expanded IMAX relationship on Catching Fire. IMAX delivers a unique and memorable experience that is the perfect way to celebrate this special moviegoing event.”

“Beyond the global phenomenon that was The Hunger Games, the film resonated exceptionally with IMAX fans, resulting in sell outs across the network during the limited IMAX run,” said IMAX Chairman Greg Foster. “We are excited to expand our partnership with director Francis Lawrence, producers Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik and the Lionsgate team as Catching Fire joins a select group of blockbuster titles that have filmed with IMAX cameras, elevating the property to the next level.”

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is based on the second book in Suzanne Collins’ bestselling series. It chronicles the life of Katniss Everdeen after she emerges from the 74th Annual Hunger Games victorious — but far from safe. Even as she becomes an unwitting symbol of the rebellion mounting in the districts, Katniss never loses sight of her commitment to protect her family. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will be directed by Francis Lawrence, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the second in a trilogy that has over 36 million copies in print in the U.S. alone. Lionsgate will release The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on November 22, 2013.

The Star Trek Sequel represents the second feature in the ground-breaking franchise to be released in IMAX following Star Trek, which grossed more than $375 million at the worldwide box office.

Following on the heels of Paramount Pictures’ and Bad Robot’s 2011 hit, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the filmmakers have once again taken full advantage of the IMAX camera as well as the clarity and scope that The IMAX Experience® provides in order to transport fans into this 23rd century world. Several key sections of the film that feature big action set pieces have been captured with IMAX cameras, which has become an integral tool for visionary filmmakers to tell their amazing stories.

Exclusively in IMAX, sequences shot with the extremely high-resolution cameras will expand to fill the entire screen and further immerse the audience in the vast dimension and adventure of this highly-anticipated follow-up. Directed by J.J. Abrams and written by Damon Lindelof (Prometheus), Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Transformers, Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek) the sequel follows another chapter of the USS Enterprise crew’s exploration into the unknown. Returning to their posts on the Enterprise are Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin and Bruce Greenwood. They are joined by new cast members Peter Weller and Alice Eve.

“We were so thrilled with the creative results of shooting IMAX for Mission: Impossible that we jumped at the chance to use the format for Star Trek. All expectations were exceeded — the action and resolution is insane at this scale. We cannot wait for audiences to see the crew of the Enterprise in a way they never have before,” said J.J. Abrams.

“J.J. and the filmmaking team behind the Star Trek franchise are once again working to give audiences one of the best film going experiences available today,” said Rob Moore of Paramount Pictures. “Following the great success of the first film in the newly revived franchise, the sequel to Star Trek will no doubt be among the top choices for moviegoers next summer.”