So far no film has managed to be both the critical darling and huge general audience hit in 2016 like writer and director Damien Chazelle’s modern day musical La La Land has. Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as two struggling artists who meet and fall in love while trying to make it in the City of Dreams (or Stars), the film’s straightforward, earnest homages to the old school musical films of Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, or Gene Kelly made it a unique change of pace compared to every other awards contender or major blockbuster released last year. Combining that with the honest, melancholy love story at the center of it, and La La Land has been able to maintain a consistent level of hype around it in the many months between its festival premieres to its eventual theatrical release.
The film has luckily been more than just a hit critically too, making $40 million domestic since its early limited December release, after initially being released in just four theaters throughout the country. Expanding since then with consistently promising results, La La Land isn’t showing any signs of slowing down at the box office either, with the potential of being one of Lionsgate’s biggest non-franchise hits in the studio’s history.
In an exciting bit of news as well, IMAX and Lionsgate have announced today that La La Land will be playing in select IMAX theaters throughout the US, in a special engagement starting next week on Friday, January 13. Additionally, those lucky enough to see the film on an IMAX screen in its first weekend will be rewarded with a special, limited edition double-sided IMAX mini poster for the film. Take a look at it for yourself below:
Unsurprisingly given its acclaim, the film has been on the receiving end of a slew of awards and prizes over the past few weeks from various different awards shows, film festivals, and critics circles. So it’s likely not a coincidence then that the film’s IMAX screenings will begin just one week after the Golden Globes air, where it’s been nominated for multiple different awards. This will hopefully act as an added boost to keep conversation and buzz for the film up in the weeks leading to the Academy Awards in February, especially if it manages to rake in some Golden Globes for itself along the way too, which many are predicting it will.
This is an exciting piece of news, even for those who might not be as in love with the sun-soaked LA musical as most. It’s rare for a non-franchise or blockbuster film to receive an IMAX engagement like this, for any filmmakers whose names aren’t Tarantino or Nolan, anyways. Coming out just a week before Rogue One: A Star Wars Story there was the potential for it to be overshadowed by the sci-fi titan, but with this announcement, there’s no doubt that La La Land is landing with audiences in a way that most original films nowadays can only dream of. Not bad for a film that’s in many ways nothing more than an ambitious callback to the kinds of movies that used to dominate the market.