Dis, Imax add screens for Jonas Brothers pic

Concert film will play in 1,100 3-D venues

Can the boys beat "Hannah"?

Slightly more than a year after Disney registered a first-weekend haul of $31 million for its "Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert" from fewer than 700 3-D playdates, Disney and Imax have agreed to add dozens of giant 3-D screens to the Feb. 27 wide release of "Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience." That means there should be upward of 1,100 3-D venues playing the latest teens-and-tweens concert film, including 55 Imax venues.

The Imax auditoriums supplement engagements in venues operated by various other 3-D vendors. With the industry's rollout of 3-D projection still a work in progress, Disney will be looking to tap almost every installed 3-D screen in North America.

"Every time you go out with a 3-D film these days, you tend to set a record for the number of engagements because seats are at a premium," Disney distribution president Chuck Viane said. "So any time you can add 55 engagements, that's a really good opportunity."

All the "Jonas" playdates are being promoted as "one week only" engagements, though success in the non-Imax venues could spur Disney to add an additional week to the pic's run. That's what happened with "Hannah," which unspooled Feb. 1, 2008, and rang up a total $65.3 million domestically after extending its theatrical run for a few weeks.

Such a move won't be possible on the Imax side, where the giant-screen exhibitor has wedged in the "Jonas" playdates in auditoriums scheduled to begin showing Warner Bros.' "Watchmen" the following weekend.

The "Jonas" runs are the first in a five-pic pact Imax has with Disney. Their next collaboration will come Nov. 6, when Disney releases its 3-D animated feature "A Christmas Carol."

"This special one-week run is a great way to jump-start the five-picture deal," Imax Filmed Entertainment chief Greg Foster said.
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