IMAX Corporation and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment have announced a new virtual reality co-financing and production agreement. Under the agreement three premium, interactive VR experiences will be developed, the first being Justice League VR.
The experiences will be based on some of Warner Bros. Pictures’ upcoming blockbuster films, including Justice League, Aquaman and a third yet to be announced.
Current plans are to launch an experience a year, starting with Justice League VR in late 2017. The experiences will be exclusive to IMAX VR centres before being made available to other VR platforms, including in-home and mobile offerings.
IMAX Corp. CEO Richard L. Gelfond said in a statement, “It’s fitting that with IMAX and Warner Bros.’ shared history of launching Hollywood movies in IMAX theatres, today we’re entering into our first studio deal to bring original VR content to the multiplex. A key component of our vision for VR is to help usher in the first wave of high-end blockbuster-based content. Justice League and Aquaman feature some of the most beloved characters on the planet, providing iconic properties to launch this effort. This type of premium content will introduce audiences to virtual reality in standalone and multiplex-based IMAX VR centres as well as other platforms.”
Ron Sanders, President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment Distribution added, “We are excited to be partnering with IMAX to develop and deliver premium VR experiences, and believe that capitalizing on Justice League and Aquaman characters from our well-known DC properties will broaden the appeal of this fast growing technology. Using content and characters from these upcoming films and incorporating creative direction from some of Hollywood’s most innovative filmmakers will help us to bring a groundbreaking experience to audiences and consumers who are hungry for a cutting-edge virtual reality experience.”
IMAX launched its pilot IMAX VR Centre in Los Angeles in January. Five more centres in New York City, California, the UK and Shanghai will be opened over the next fing few months, with the intention to roll our globally if successful. The centres will feature a new proprietary IMAX modular design of “pods” to allow multiple players to enjoy interactive, exciting, moveable VR experiences.
The IMAX VR Fund, launched at the end of 2016, will help finance around 25 interactive VR content experiences over the next three years. Investors in the fund include IMAX, IMAX China, Acer, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), China Media Capital, The Raine Group, Studio City and WPP.
Image: Warner Bros.