Jonathan Demme’s classic Talking Heads concert film “Stop Making Sense” returned to theaters for its 40th anniversary and became Imax’s highest-grossing live event. The film earned $640,839 and sold out 25 screens across 165 Imax locations in North America, according to the company.
All things considered, this is a pretty niche record within Imax. The previous benchmark for Imax Live — which consists of early screenings followed by live Q&As with stars and filmmakers — was Brandi Carlile’s “In the Canyon Haze,” which earned $505,000 in September 2022. Prior events have included director Peter Jackson’s Disney+ documentary “The Beatles: Get Back” and Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling.”
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The world premiere of A24’s 4K restoration of “Stop Making Sense” was held on Monday at the Toronto International Film Festival at Cineplex’s Scotiabank Theatre. It was followed by a Q&A live-streamed from TIFF and moderated by filmmaker Spike Lee with all four original band members — David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison — in attendance.
“The unforgettable ‘Stop Making Sense’ looks and sounds even more incredible in Imax, and we’re excited to share this event with TIFF and our audiences everywhere,’ said Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax. “This further establishes our ability to deliver live and music experiences with extraordinary quality, and we look forward to a great run ahead with our partners at A24.”
The late Demme’s “Stop Making Sense” is regarded as one of the greatest concert films ever. It was filmed over the course of three nights at Hollywood’s Pantages Theater in December of 1983 and features some of the band’s most memorable songs, like “Burning Down the House,” “Once in a Lifetime” and “This Must Be the Place.”
A24 recently acquired and restored “Stop Making Sense,” which will have a full theatrical run following the special premiere event, starting Sept. 22 in Imax and everywhere else on Sept. 29.
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