Imax, Sony Pictures Sign Global Film Slate Deal (Exclusive)

Venom - Still 8 - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT Publicity- H 2018
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

Following the box-office success of 'Venom,' 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' will be supersized as the Hollywood studio signs its first long-term deal with the giant screen exhibitor.

More Marvel superheroes are headed to Imax screens.

After Tom Hardy's Venom, based on a character from the comic book world of Spider-Man, performed well on Imax screens, the giant screen pioneer and Sony Pictures Entertainment have signed their first long-term, multi-picture deal.

Under the agreement, Imax screens will be part of Sony's release strategy for Spider-Man: Far From Home starring Tom Holland, set for a July 5, 2019, release; the upcoming Men in Black spinoff out June 14, 2019; and the sequel to the 2017 hit Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, out Dec. 13, 2019.

The Sony films will be digitally remastered and released in Imax's giant-screen format worldwide. Greg Foster, CEO of Imax Entertainment, told The Hollywood Reporter the multi-picture deal allows Imax to complete its 2019 release slate with key tentpoles, especially Spider-Man: Far From Home.

"Spider-Man, in particular, is a Marvel movie, and we're excited about continuing our relationship with Marvel. It's been among the most fruitful relationships we've had with filmmakers. So it's a win-win," Foster explained.

Iron Man 2 (2010) was the first Marvel Studios movie to get an Imax screening, and Avengers: Infinity War was the first studio feature to be shot entirely on Imax cameras.

More recently, the record-breaking first weekend release of Venom reached $15.4 million on Imax screens and overall, became the biggest October global opening weekend at $207 million. That box-office performance convinced Imax to move from releasing Sony tentpoles one by one to solidifying ties with a global slate deal.

"What we realize with one-offs is you work on one thing, and move on. Because we have other slates deals with Warner Bros, Disney, Fox, Paramount, it made sense to solidify the relationship with Sony," Foster explained. Imax's creative czar oversees  Imax's commercial slate and forging relationships with studios.

The global slate deal also means Sony can look forward to cinema-goers viewing versions of its films more often on Imax screens as the studio takes advantage of the exhibitor's giant screen DNA.