Polar Express to Make Second IMAX 3D Run

Is the computer-animated family flick, The Polar Express, poised to become the next big holiday tradition? IMAX Corp. and Warner Bros. Pictures certainly hope so. Today the two companies announced that The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience, will return to IMAX theatres in November of this year. First released in November of 2004, the Tom Hanks vehicle hauled in $45 million in large-format distribution to become the highest grossing IMAX release to date.

“The outstanding success of The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience convinced us that this film can be a holiday perennial, similar to It’s a Wonderful Life, that will draw audiences year after year,” comments IMAX co-chairmen and co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. “Commercial exhibitors took note of the movie’s performance to date in IMAX theatres, leading to increased signings momentum, and many of our customers have expressed a desire to bring the film back for another run.”

Based on the classic Caldecott Award-winning children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express reunites the Oscar-winning Forrest Gump team of director Robert Zemeckis and star Tom Hanks. Imagemotion, the proprietary motion-capture technology developed by Sony Imageworks, was employed to tell the story of a doubting young boy who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole.

A presentation of Castle Rock Ent., in association with Shangri-La Ent., The Polar Express is a Playtone/ImageMovers/Golden Mean production. The film is produced by Steve Starkey, Robert Zemeckis, Gary Goetzman and William Teitler. Tom Hanks, Jack Rapke and Chris Van Allsburg served as exec producers.

IMAX also announced this week that it will join forces with Warner Bros. to release a large-screen version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on Nov. 18, 2005. The highly anticipated feature will be digitally re-mastered into the IMAX format through the company’s IMAX DMR technology.