I've been waiting to see two movies this summer: Oppenheimer and Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One. These films are made by people who love cinema. They're built for the big screen, and we're encouraged to see them in IMAX, the largest regularly available format. 

However, these two films, releasing within a week of each other, are fighting for that real estate. 

Tom Cruise's Misson: Impossible movie opens July 12, and wants those IMAX screens. but on July 21, Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer opens and wants those screens. 

There are only 401 IMAX screens in America, and movies that do well in IMAX earn serious bucks. Tom Cruise'sTop Gun: Maverick made around $100 million in IMAX screens alone. The benefits are clear: bigger movies, higher ticket prices, and the capability of creating a blockbuster

Why were these movies scheduled so close together?  

How Did We Get Here? 

While Oppenheimer has held its release date for a while, Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One has been moved around a lot thanks to COVID-19 delays in shooting. The summer is a notoriously popular time to go to the movies, and July is especially advantageous because of the holiday weekends. 

These two titans were placed by their respective studios and now have to battle it out. Right now, Oppenheimer is winning. Nolan used IMAX cameras to make the movie and was therefore granted a two-week exclusive window starting on Jul. 21st.

Despite Tom Cruise's legendary status, he can't argue with them for rewarding their biggest proponent. 

As of now, it seems as if Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One only gets to be in IMAX for about a week. 

IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond told Variety“I feel sad in a way we can’t accommodate all of them. I know Mission: Impossible is going to be a really big movie. Nolan has a special place in IMAX’s heart because he uses our cameras and promotes us. It’s not a matter of us saying which we can make more money on. I would hope after Oppenheimer’s run, we can bring back Mission.”

The repercussions of missing that premium large format window can be great for any movie. While general ticket sales are down 33 percent since 2019, IMAX sales are up 50 percent, and they haven't added any new screens. It's clear that the name alone will draw people in. 

Most studios negotiate with distributors to try to secure their premium format movies by offering them blockbusters in exchange for time on IMAX screens, but in a crowded summer, that can dissolve quickly. 

We'll keep you updated on how all this pans out. Hopefully, it ends with more IMAX screens across the globe. 

Let us know your thoughts on this battle in the comments below.

Source: Variety