Ethan Anderton, of /Film:
Nowadays, movies move in an out of theaters very quickly. Gone are the days of a movie sticking around your local multiplex for months. And movies have an even shorter shelf-life on IMAX screens, since there are far fewer of the giant movie theaters available for movies to inhabit.
Therefore, it’s somewhat surprising, though also not entirely unexpected, that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be getting an extended stay in IMAX theaters when it opens on December 18th. Fans we’ll get their chance to see The Force Awakens IMAX screenings in theaters across the country for an entire month.
However, Anderson’s post brought with it a bit of bad news, I’m afraid:
The only downside is that you probably won’t be able to see the film in IMAX without also seeing it in 3D, simply because if a movie hits IMAX 3D like this, it usually doesn’t also have an IMAX 2D release [emphasis added].
It seems Anderton updated his post after I tweeted him this:
@ToniWonKanobi Because if a movie is released in IMAX 3D, which THE FORCE AWAKENS will be, it’s usually not available in IMAX 2D.— Ethan Anderton (@Ethan_Anderton) August 26, 2015
I didn’t know that this was the norm for IMAX releases, although I suppose it makes sense. If a film is to be projected on IMAX 3D, and if there are only so many IMAX theaters across the country, it would not be cost effective to project both a 3D and a 2D version of the same film.
And finally, Anderton notes that we may not be missing much if we miss the film in IMAX:> Plus, there’s only one sequence that was actually shot with IMAX cameras, so hopefully that will make it worth the higher ticket price.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in both IMAX 3D and non-IMAX 3D versions December 18.