With mid-season steadily underway, many broadcast and cable networks are now gearing up for their big show pushes for the first half of 2015. However, there might be non-bigger than HBO’s mega-hit fantasy series, Game of Thrones, which returns for its fifth season this April.
The final two episodes from Game of Thrones season four ("The Watchers on the Wall" and "The Children") began screening in IMAX theaters last night, along with the first trailer for season five. No surprise, the preview leaked online in boot-legged form within a matter of hours - but now, the network has made a high quality version of that same preview available for everyone to watch (see above).
At the moment, reports have indicated the Game of Thrones IMAX event's opening night gross well exceeded the average take of most IMAX debuts (which hover usually around $4,000 - $5,000 per screen). What this means for the ratings upon the show’s eventual return is anyone’s guess, but those overnights won’t even matter that much anymore anyway - considering HBO recently announced it will only be releasing Live +7 numbers going forward.
Regarding the trailer itself, it definitely appears we’re going to be getting some of the biggest set pieces seen on the show to date – which is one heck of a tall order given the epic battle seen in the snowy penultimate episode of last season. But, if the Game of Thrones creative team has indeed managed to find a way to top the scale of that hour of television, then we have no doubt we’re in for some great things as we head into the fifth season.
Currently, it remains unknown how much longer HBO hopes to keep Game of Thrones around, especially when, at this rate, the show will be soon be moving ahead of the release rate of its source material - George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" book series - seeing as the long-awaited sixth installment, "The Winds of Winter", might not make a 2015 release after all (as many were previously expecting).
Some reports have rumored seven seasons total for Game of Thrones (while others have projected ten), but whatever the case, it might be best for the next season of the show to begin some early end trajectory. As we’ve seen in the past, the best series are the ones that know it’s never good to overstay their welcome - and if Game of Thrones wants to start planting the seeds of its retirement, we certainly wouldn’t be against it.
Game of Thrones premieres April 12th, 2015 on HBO.