With the limited release of The Hateful Eight next week, the Weinstein Company and director Quentin Tarantino had to retrofit about 100 movie theaters across the United States for the “Roadshow” release, which features a longer, 70mm version of the film, an overture, and a 12-minute intermission in the middle. Now, there’s at least one theater that can project 70mm filmstock in each of the top 44 markets.
It was a big undertaking to convince theater chains to adapt to 70mm film stock after fully embracing digital projection in recent years. However, now that those special and lucky movie theaters are able to project 70mm, a few movie studios might take advantage.
According to THR, Warner Bros. is now considering doing a limited 70mm release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice with its release only three months away in March 2016. Some of the new superhero movie was filmed using 65mm IMAX film stock, which translates quite well for 70mm projection. In fact, Quentin Tarantino filmed The Hateful Eight on 65mm with Ultra Panavision 70 lenses. From THR:
“With these projectors now operational and available, there’s the potential they could be used for future films beyond Tarantino’s roadshow. Sources say Warner Bros. is considering the possibility of having a 70mm release for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was shot in part in 65mm IMAX…”
Releasing Batman V Superman in 70mm wouldn’t really add much to its overall box office. Considering that it’s a big superhero blockbuster, general audiences are more interested in just watching the new film, rather than how it’s projected on the big screen. The superhero movie is already getting an IMAX release in March, so releasing it in 70mm as well might be a painful financial decision. Warner Bros. has to pay for IMAX and 70mm prints of the movie, which could be very expensive and costly for such a small return on investment. However, if the studio decides to release the film in 70mm, it would all depend on whether or not Zack Snyder wants it to be watched this way. Warner Bros. is mostly a directors-driven movie studio, so artistic intent might trump box office dollars.
If Batman V Superman does get a 70mm release, look for other movie studios to re-release their classic 70mm movies in theaters, too. So movies like Lawrence of Arabia, Ben-Hur, and 2001: A Space Odyssey could be coming to to theater near you.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25, 2016, which is followed by Suicide Squad on August 5, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 23, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and then Green Lantern Corps. on June 19, 2020.