Friday, December 9, 2016

"The Polar Express" Returns to IMAX

 
Life... sucks right now.  I'm not even going to sugarcoat it or make excuses for why updates have been slow.  Life just sucks right now.  It's amazing how things work out.  You try to help someone, you hope for the best, and before you know it things slip so fast through your fingers you swear you were trying to keep air from falling.  Relationships become broken, people don't want to be part of your life anymore, and the goldfish dies.  Right now it doesn't even feel like the holidays.  I could sure use some good old Christmas cheer right about now.  Thankfully, I may have gotten at least a little bit of that with the news that Robert Zemeckis's "The Polar Express" is returning to IMAX 3D this week only!  Though the film was initially met with mixed reviews, it was embraced by audiences who saw the IMAX version and made the yearly trek out to see it.  Once BluRay 3D became a thing the annual re-releases came to an end, but IMAX is bringing back the tradition starting today.

Anyone whose seen this movie can tell you what a difference the IMAX version made in comparison to the 2D version.  Even the Nostalgia Critic himself recommended the movie only if you saw it in 3D.  It is a prime example of just how good the format can be when used properly.  Bringing the film back is a welcome surprise.  That said, there are a few strings attached.  First of all, while most IMAX's will have the movie, almost all of them will be showing the film once a day, early in the morning.  Some might show it twice, but don't expect there to be any evening showings.  Also, as a result of this, for some reason the 3D version of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" has been pulled from every IMAX I can see.  You can still see the movie there, but only in 2D.  Finally, I have no doubt this was done pretty much because 'Fantastic Beasts' wasn't as big as everyone was hoping it would be.

Was it successful?  Yes.  Did it make a lot of money?  Yes.  Was the IMAX 3D version great?  Yes (which is why it was so strange most theaters opted to show it in 2D).  Did it have the staying power of previous Harry Potter movies?  No, not even close.  IMAX inked a deal with Warner Bros. to exclusively show the movie for three weeks.  This meant that "Moana" and "Billy Flynn's Long Halftime Walk" had to have their IMAX releases shuttled.  They were betting that 'Fantastic Beasts' would be huge.  It wasn't.  It was successful, yes, but during the second week the movie was showing to largely empty IMAX's.  Two weeks would have been fine, but three was pushing it.  As a result, they have given some time to another Warner Bros. release, hoping to pick up some of the slack.  Next week they'll have "Roque One" in theaters, so they won't be suffering much longer, but if you wanted to know why they are doing "The Polar Express" once more (seemingly out of the blue), this is the reason.  Still, it remains one of the best IMAX 3D experiences ever, so if you've never experienced it before now is your chance!

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