Disney and IMAX sign three-picture 3D deal

Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:45pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Walt Disney Co will release three 3D movies to IMAX Corp theaters in 2011, including the next "Pirates of the Caribbean" film, under an agreement between the two companies revealed on Wednesday.

Chuck Viane, president of distribution for Disney, said in a statement the recent performance of the studio's movies in IMAX theaters has "demonstrated that the combination of IMAX and Disney resonates with moviegoers worldwide."

The movies covered under the new agreement are "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" with Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz; the animated "Mars Needs Moms" with voice work from Seth Green and John Cusack; and the Disney/Pixar cartoon "Cars 2."

IMAX has emerged as a major player in 3D exhibition, taking advantage of an audience appetite for a more in-depth visual experience that has helped drive box office growth.

"Toy Story 3," Disney's latest 3D release from its Pixar animation division, played in more than 4,000 theaters in the United States and Canada when it opened this past weekend. Of those, 180 were IMAX theaters, which contributed $8.4 million to the film's overall gross of $110 million.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; editing by Andre Grenon)