Hollywood is embarking on a new strategy to sell theater tickets, and it’s a move that sounds a lot like what happened more than a half-century ago — only in reverse.
Back then, the still-new medium of television discovered that it could fill airtime by running movies. This year, the movie industry will return the favor, putting a TV show on movie screens.
“Hollywood’s release calendar for this year is full of potential blockbusters like ‘Wonder Woman’ and a new ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’ But in the first week of September, the biggest new release at theaters might not be a movie at all, but a TV show,” The Los Angeles Times reports. “That’s because Imax Corp., the giant movie screen company, recently partnered with Marvel Television and ABC Television to make the upcoming superhero series ‘Inhumans,’ set to hit the cinema weeks before it appears on TV.”
The report calls the effort “the boldest move yet to blur the already fuzzy lines between films for the big screen and shows for the small screen. TV is enjoying a surge in critical prestige and has taken over some of the cultural cachet that used to be reserved for the movies. More than ever, shows like HBO’s ‘Westworld’ and Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ feature big stars and look more like expensive movies than run-of-the-mill shows.”
Ted Mundorff, chief executive of Landmark Theatres, is quoted in the report saying: “Production values are fabulous on the small screen right now, so they translate to the large screen. If you want to see ‘Game of Thrones’ on the big screen, that’s pretty awesome.”
Imax, which has 1,200 theaters, was unable to project how many of those outlets will feature “Inhumans.” But the company is said to be pushing for a worldwide release.