ThePolar Express: An Imax 3D Experience, thelarge-format version of the Warner Bros/Castle Rock animated feature, hasbroken several records in its North American giant-screen outing.
Itslatest three-day weekend gross was an estimated $2.75m, 30% more than itsopening weekend, breaking its own record. Playing on 61 screens, the filmscored an estimated per screen average of $44,262 over the three days.
The film has earned $10m at the giant-screen boxoffice after 19 days, making it the fastest grossing Hollywood simultaneousrelease to date. By comparison, the previous record holder, Harry Potter AndThe Prisoner of Azkaban: The Imax Experience, took 71 days to reach the$10m mark on 50 screens.
Imax Filmed Entertainment chairman and president GregFoster told ScreenDaily.com the Imax version of The Polar Expresswas enjoying the same surge as the conventional release. "If you look at thebox office in general every picture this weekend was down except PolarExpress."
He suggested that the film was also the beneficiary of"the Christmas Effect", the seasonal adjustment of consumers following the USThanksgiving holiday. Foster also said the film had been the subject of some"push and pull" in terms of the disparity between critical consensus on the filmas a disappointment and the willingness of audiences to give it a chance. "Theword-of-mouth has kicked in and overwhelmed what was for some strange reason aninitial negative critical reaction. We just wish we had more seats to fill."
Thelarge-format version is also benefiting from its appeal to school groups.Foster says the film has bookings into January for school-related outings thatare filling 10 am screening slots, effectively adding more screenings per day.
ThePolar Express: An Imax 3D Experience opens inthe UK on Dec 3 alongside the London West End platform release of the standardtheatrical version with the bfi London IMAX having already pre-sold 7,000tickets.