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Wednesday, 7 August, 2002, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
Imax aims for blockbusters
Imax Cinema in London
London's Imax cinema opened in 1999
Imax cinemas has signed up with one of the biggest talent agencies in Hollywood in an attempt to show blockbuster movies.

The Creative Artists' Agency (CAA), which represents such stars as Tom Cruise and Gwyneth Paltrow, has relationships with many top directors and studios whose films Imax would be keen to show.

The company is hoping it will be able to persuade film companies to let it show up to six Hollywood films a year.

Imax has previously persuaded Walt Disney to convert two of its films, Fantasia 2000 and Beauty And The Beast, to its format.

Both were successful when released on Imax screens across the world.

Ron Howard's Oscar-winning drama Apollo 13 is also due to be released in the Imax format later this year.

Imax offers both 2D and Imax 3D images on curved screens up to 10 storeys high, using the latest film technology.

Until recently, Imax cinemas around the world showed mainly science or nature films, because of the expense involved in converting Hollywood films to their format.

We believe this relationship opens up new avenues to a number of our clients

Richard Lovett, CAA

Most of the films have been specially made for Imax cinemas, and are shot using special cameras on film much larger than the normal 35mm.

Normally it costs about $3m (2.1m) to convert a conventional film to be shown on an Imax screen.

Imax has now developed a digital remastering technology which allows conventional 35mm films to be transferred to the format needed for a sharp picture on one of their screens.

Signing with CAA was "an important next step to secure event films for simultaneous release to Imax theatres," said Imax co-chief executives Richard Gelfond and Bradley Wechsler in a statement.
Mickey Mouse in Fantasia 2000
Fantasia 2000 was a big hit in the Imax format

CAA president Richard Lovett added: "We believe this relationship opens up new avenues to a number of our clients."

Imax also said it could significantly boost its own profits by being able to show major films in its cinemas on the day of general release.

It will be showing the upcoming Disney cartoon Treasure Planet on the same day as it is released at cinemas across the US.

See also:

22 Mar 02 | Entertainment
29 Nov 01 | N Ireland
09 Oct 01 | Science/Nature
28 Mar 01 | South Asia
16 Apr 99 | Entertainment
15 Feb 01 | Entertainment
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