In addition to claiming to the top spot at the North American box office last weekend, Sony Pictures Animation packed IMAX theaters with special 3D presentations of the family comedy Open Season. The IMAX 3D version grossed an estimated $1.45 million in just 66 venues, averaging $22,000 per screen over the three-day period starting Friday, Sept. 29.
“The increase in box office performance between Friday and Saturday represents the largest jump in IMAX DMR history, suggesting very strong word of mouth,” says Greg Foster, chairman and president of IMAX Filmed Entertainment.
IMAX co-chairmen and co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler add, ‘The strong opening weekend performance of Open Season is a testament to a great film that is ideally suited for IMAX’s format, and the outstanding job Sony Pictures Animation has done in promoting it. We’re thrilled to be a part of Sony Pictures Animation’s first feature title.’
Fairly late in the production process, Sony decided to have Open Season digitally converted to IMAX 3D and re-mastered using IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology. Roger Allers, who directed the film with Jill Culton and Anthony Stacchi, tells us that while the film was not originally designed for 3D, many of the scenes look as though they were, particularly the scene where the characters go over the falls in Shaw’s truck. But in addition the action, Allers says there were unexpected benefits of the 3D conversion. “There were some surprises because of the designs of the characters-their noses are long,” he notes. “Boog has kind of this big, giant honker and Elliot has this long, shoehorn-like nose and so the 3D added another level of comedy.”