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Sony plans 'Spider-Man 3' IMAX release

July 26, 2006 at 9:30 PM

LOS ANGELES, July 26 (UPI) -- Sony will challenge Warner Bros.' dominance in the IMAX movie exhibition format when it opens "Spider-Man 3" in U.S. theaters next summer.

Warner Bros. has a stranglehold on IMAX the record book, with movies such as "Batman Begins," "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and "Superman Returns" opening on IMAX screens on the same day as their wide theatrical release, Zap2it.com reported. Sony executives are going for an IMAX breakthrough with the 2007 release of "Spider-Man 3," the Web site said.

"The simultaneous IMAX release of 'Spider-Man 3' allows us to celebrate one of the most anticipated motion picture events of the year in an exciting event format," said Rory Bruer, Sony's president of domestic distribution.

Key to Sony's plan is whether "Spider-Man 3" can be released in more IMAX theaters than "Spider-Man 2" was released in. IMAX Co-Chairmen and chief executive officers Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler said that shouldn't be a problem.

"Moviegoers loved 'Spider-Man 2' in IMAX theatres, and with a larger theater network for 'Spider-Man 3' -- we estimate that well over 100 IMAX theatres in North America will exhibit the film vs. 63 for 'Spider-Man 2' -- we will be able to garner an even wider audience, significantly increasing the earning potential for the IMAX release," said Gelfond and Wechsler.

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