While American Sniper topped the box office charts for a third straight week in a row, this weekend also marked the historic IMAX screenings of two Game of Thrones episodes. Deadline reports that the Warner Bros./IMAX presentation took in a healthy $1.5 million from just 205 screens, bringing in a per-screen average of $7,323. While these figures are not record-breaking numbers by any means, it does show that die-hard fans are willing to pay to see a show like Game of Thrones in large-format IMAX theaters. Here's what Warner Bros. distribution executive vice president Jeff Goldstein had to say in a statement.
"This is the first time that HBO has taken one of their series episodes and released it in IMAX. We see this as a future, and not just with HBO. There is a business here and an interest from a rabid fan base."
IMAX CEO Greg Foster revealed in his statement that Game of Thrones was just the beginning, hinting that they may bring more TV shows to their big screens in the future.
"Game of Thrones was a lab experiment in IMAX that we'll continue to fine tune from what we learned. Our goal is to provide compelling content for our exhibitor partners 52 weeks out of the year."
The Game of Thrones screenings came at a time known as a "shoulder period," a time when no studio blockbusters are being released. These "shoulder periods" normally fall on Super Bowl weekend, most of April (after Easter and before the first weekend of May), the end of August, the beginning of September and the weekend after Thanksgiving.
The IMAX screenings included the last two episodes of Season 4, "The Watchers on the Wall" and "The Children", along with the first look at the Season 5 trailer. IMAX revealed that the screenings worked best in big cities, as opposed to suburban theaters. It's worth noting that Doctor Who put its 50th Anniversary special in theaters, earning $10.2 million worldwide over its three-day run in 15 countries, with $4.7 million coming from 650 theaters in the U.S. alone, but none of these screenings were in IMAX. What TV series do you think should be released in the IMAX format next?