Monday, July 3, 2017

Universal Springs Last-Minute IMAX Release of "Despicable Me 3" on Audiences This Weekend (No 3D...of Course)


IMAX is getting more and more confusing with their animated releases.  We've known for a long time that the company is not focusing on family movies for the past few years.  This isn't exactly news.  However, the company seemed to warm back up to the idea of releasing animated movies in the states again after "Frozen," "Big Hero 6," "Tangled," "Inside Out," or, basically, any of the Disney movies did well in the format overseas.  That said, their embracing of family movies again has been rather...weak, to say the least.  "Inside Out" was more or less ignored by most theaters in favor of "Jurassic World."  "How to Train Your Dragon 2" and "The Secret Life of Pets" were released in the theaters at the last minute and had their IMAX releases announced on their Twitter page (in both cases just a couple days before the release of the actual movie).

Then - to pretty much everyone's surprise - we got "The LEGO Batman Movie" and "Cars 3" in IMAX 2D but NOT IMAX 3D (save for that one theater in Rhode Island...that one got 'LEGO Batman' in IMAX 3D)!  Now, I find out that "Despicable Me 3" got an IMAX release this weekend.  Yeah, I know, I hadn't heard about it either.  This must have LITTERALLY been a last minute thing, because IMAX screens weren't even showing any previews on Thursday!  At first I was upset because I would have loved to be given the chance to watch the movie in IMAX 3D.  Then I realized the movie wasn't being projected in 3D.  At all.  Anger subsided, whipped out my Surface to write the blog post, and then realized the movie got a lukewarm review from me in the first place (which brought into question why I felt this was a big loss in the first place).  It does make me wonder what is up with IMAX though?

Why are all these animated movies getting last-minute releases and (more recently) without their 3D counterparts (even when a perfectly serviceable one is available)?  Well...you're going to have to come back on Wednesday.  I know, that's a bad place to end.  I really did have a suspicion typed out.  However, once I finished the original draft of this post, I realized I had written a long editorial about the state of IMAX and their relationship to animated films (most of which had very little to do with Ilumination's latest helping of the movie equivalent of Jell-O Pudding).  So I've cut that, I'm going to sharpen the argument, send it to IMAX for comment (doubt they will), and we'll discuss what IMAX's problem with animation is later this week.  But, for whatever it's worth, "Despicable Me 3" is in IMAX.  It doesn't appear to be on any of the giant screens and the 3D is completely gone, but if you want the small version of the butchered film you have the option.

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