While everyone continues to argue about whether 3-D is a trend or a game-changer or the worst thing ever, we'd like to remind one and all of another moviegoing gimmick that seems here to stay: IMAX. And if you needed any more proof that the format's crazy-large-screen experience remains popular, the IMAX Corporation wants to let you know it had its best year ever in 2010 -- by a wide margin.
In a breathless press release, the company announced that its "global gross box office reached a record $546 million, more than doubling the Company's previous global box office record of $270 million achieved in 2009." Helping the company -- or should we say, "the Company" -- was the fact that nine of the 10 top-grossing domestic films were available in IMAX.
We tend to be a little suspicious of "enhanced" theater tactics -- 3-D, ETX, etc -- because they often seem like lame ways to drive up ticket prices without offering much back in return. But we have to admit we've come around on IMAX, which at least features a huge screen that just about takes your breath away. (Unless, of course, it's one of those stupid tiny "fake" IMAX screens that Aziz Ansari rightly went postal about a few years ago.) We're already sick of retrofitted 3-D movies, but IMAX feels like a case where you definitely get what you pay for. Put it this way: We're still mad we missed seeing "The Dark Knight" in IMAX. We're not going to let that happen when "The Dark Knight Returns" comes around.