Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Opening Early in IMAX Theaters

Posted October 3rd, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Paramount has announced that Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol will release early on Friday December 16th exclusively in over 200 IMAX theaters and possibly a small number of prestigious theaters. The standard release date for the fourth film in the franchise that begins a transition from star Tom Cruise to Jeremy Renner for a full roll-out in theaters has been and remains Wednesday December 21st.

Director Brad Bird: “The two things that movies have that you can’t get anywhere else are really big screens and an audience… I feel like multiplexes and the shutting down of the grand old theaters have taken a lot of the showmanship out of presenting movies. There used to be a thing such as ‘first run.’ The meaning of ‘first run’ is gone now because on opening day you can see a brand new movie on a good screen but it’s more likely you’ll see it on a crappy screen. And it can even be a small, crappy screen. It used to be that when a movie opened, if you wanted to see it early, you had to see it great. To me, the best example of showmanship now is IMAX. I pushed to shoot in IMAX, and Paramount went along with me, so we filmed a good chunk of this movie in IMAX, which is a pain in the butt. The cameras are big and they’re noisy. But the image quality – you can’t get that any other way… you really feel it when it’s in IMAX. Maybe one of these days I’ll get to do a whole film that way.”

The idea is to generate an “event” type feel for the picture – and of course reap the benefits of sold out shows in high priced IMAX locations. Portions of the film were shot with IMAX cameras making the viewing experience especially worthwhile and thankfully they didn’t end up going the 3D route. This move also represents a sign of confidence in the film as word of mouth will build early and it is unlikely the studio would risk it unless they expected supportive buzz heading into its full release.