Like so many other major Hollywood studios, Twentieth Century Fox has a full slate of hopeful tentpoles on the horizon. Their ever-expanding Marvel franchise continues to grow and will see the release of Deadpool 2, Wolverine 3, and New Mutants in the near future. Additionally, Fox is also working with Shane Black on The Predator and still has one more Maze Runner film planned as star Dylan O’Brien recovers from injuries he suffered during production. If all goes according to plan, they should be in great shape financially for the next handful of years.
Of course, box office numbers have been declining for a variety of reasons, so the onus is on the filmmakers to ensure that their latest projects are worth seeing on the big screen. The use of premium formats such as IMAX have been incorporated as a marketing tool for years, encouraging viewers to see all the action in the most immersive way possible. As Fox works on selling their new crop of blockbusters, it’s no surprise that they’re going to rely on these methods.
In an announcement, Fox revealed they have renewed their longstanding deal with the IMAX Corporation, inking a deal for four 2018 movies to be released in IMAX theaters. The lineup includes the aforementioned The Predator and Maze Runner: The Death Cure, as well as the James Cameron produced Alita: Battle Angel and an untitled Marvel film. CEO of IMAX Entertainment Greg Foster expressed enthusiasm over the agreement, saying, “We are thrilled to sweeten the existing deal with our friends and partners at Twentieth Century Fox.”
It will be interesting to see which Marvel film is part of the new contract. Currently, Fox has scheduled two dates for unknown works in 2018. A likely candidate is the Deadpool sequel, since the original was released in IMAX earlier this year to record shattering results. Both parties would definitely like to see a repeat of that success, so it stands reason to believe Deadpool 2 will play in the format. It’s worth pointing out that Fox does not release all of their Marvel films in IMAX (X-Men: Apocalypse did not play in IMAX over the summer), so they’ll have to make a tough decision. Given that Deadpool is arguably the studio’s most marketable character, the Merc With the Mouth may win out.
Those who have been following the development of The Predator for a while won’t be shocked by it getting the IMAX treatment as well. Black has repeatedly discussed his intention to make the latest franchise installment an “event” film, and few things can hammer that point home than the largest screen possible. This marks the first time that an entry in the series will play in the premium format, so fans will be interested to see what Black can do on that expansive canvas. There are plenty of reasons to be excited about Fox’s forthcoming films, and hopefully they’ll all be worth the extra investment.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure opens in U.S. theaters on January 12, 2018; followed by The Predator on February 9, 2018; and Alita: Battle Angel on July 20, 2018. There are two untitled Marvel movies opening on March 2, 2018 and June 29, 2018.