Back in December of 2007, Warner Bros. attached the opening scene of 'The Dark Knight' to IMAX prints of 'I Am Legend' as a way to goose fan interest in the Christopher Nolan super sequel as well as IMAX box office for the Will Smith film. It worked: 'I Am Legend' holds the record for biggest December opening weekend ever, and 'The Dark Knight' earned a then-record $158.4 million during its rollout in July 2008. (That mark was surpassed this summer by 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,' though HP had the benefit of 3D surcharges.) With 'The Dark Knight Rises' due next summer, will Warner Bros. pull a similar stunt with a high-profile IMAX release this December? Potentially.
According to Slashfilm, who heard it from a "trusted theater (read: exhibitor) source," Warner Bros. will unspool the six-minute opening sequence from 'The Dark Knight Rises' in front of 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol,' despite the fact that 'M:I 4' is property of Paramount. The thinking is that since Warner Bros. doesn't have its own big IMAX release set for December, the studio can piggyback on Paramount and Tom Cruise with a deal that could be mutually beneficial to both parties.
Warner Bros. refused to comment to Slashfilm on the story. 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' arrives in IMAX on Dec. 16 before hitting theaters on Dec. 21.
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