For Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Imax is going big.

For the 1st 4 weeks of its run, set to begin on 18 December. J.J. Abrams’ sequel will have all of Imax’s large-format screens in North America and most of its foreign screens.

Imax reserving all of its screens for a single movie for a month is not unprecedented. The company had a similar deal for the three Hobbit movies 4 years ago.

The film is expected to open on 375 to 400 screens domestically and more than 400 abroad, there’s no exact count yet because Imax tends to install and open theaters in the Fall.


Domestically, Force will play in the commercial chains such as Regal, AMC and Cinemark that house Imax screens as well as most museums and other sites with Imax theaters.

Although he declines to discuss specifics, Imax Entertainment CEO Greg Foster expresses his confidence in the film, saying, “Star Wars: Episode VII is the ultimate crossover movie, it crosses over to everyone.”

Director Abrams, a fan of the format, has filmed a sequence with Imax cameras to take advantage of the oversized screen.

So far, Imax has not announced any January bookings beyond a 29 January opening for Disney’s The Finest Hours. But if moviegoers really are feeling the force, then Star Wars could dominate Imax screens even beyond that date.

Have some fun, see a movie this week.


Paul Ebeling