The IMAX movie experience is synonymous with a mammoth screen (we’re talking up to eight stories high) and being cloaked in surround sound, but things at the digital entertainment technology company are changing. In a brand boost that will see IMAX expand beyond large-format presentations, the Toronto- and New York-based company recently partnered with Connecticut’s Northstar Media, passing the distrib the worldwide rights to 21 IMAX films for TV, VOD and – wait for it – mobile. While IMAX has always promised cinema viewers ‘the best seat in the house’ with its immersive movie-going experiences, that seat can now be on your sofa or on the bus.
It’s the first time all 21 titles have been available for these outlets, and Greg Foster, chairman and president of filmed entertainment at IMAX Corporation, says the deal is helping IMAX build a wider customer base. ‘It’s another way to see content, and we are not going to tell someone what’s the best way, what’s the worst way – it’s simply another way,’ says Foster. (With IMAX’s films now available to view on TV and mobile screens, it may be time for the company to revisit its corporate tagline: ‘Think Big.’) If the king of large-format cinema is dipping its toes into mobile opportunities, how much longer will other companies hold off doing the same?