For years, IMAX has presented audiences with cinematic experiences that were larger than life. But now, instead of just showing you enormous dinosaurs on some of the biggest screens in the world, IMAX wants you to walk alongside them. That is, if the firm can get their ambitious virtual reality project off the ground. And now that it has raised $50 million to do just that, it looks like your next IMAX experience may be out of this world — or at least, this reality.
Late last week, IMAX announced that it had “completed the first phase of a $50 million virtual reality fund between IMAX and other strategic investors to help finance the creation of at least 25 interactive VR content experiences over the next three years for use across all VR platforms including in IMAX VR centers.” That means that at some point in the near future, we’ll be able to enjoy higher-quality VR content on really, really giant screens.
IMAX’s partners in its ambitious VR endeavors, which will ultimately focus on “premium, event-style productions,” include such industry heavyweights as Acer, Creative Artists Agency, China Media Capital, WPP, and The Raine Group.
“IMAX has built its legacy on using innovation and creative collaboration to drive the further adoption of new technologies. Today, we are expanding upon that legacy by teaming up with leaders across the media, entertainment and technology space to unlock a new level of premium, high-quality content for use throughout the VR ecosystem,” said IMAX Corporation’s CEO Richard L. Gelfond in a statement. “We will be leveraging our collective relationships with world-class filmmakers and content creators to fund VR experiences that excite and attract a larger user base to capitalize on opportunities across all VR platforms including IMAX VR.”
Ultimately, the hope is for IMAX audiences to “see, feel, move, and play in new worlds in a powerfully immersive and realistic way,” the company says. “With VR in its ascendancy, this initiative is a key step in ensuring that more high-quality content makes its way to various VR platforms, including IMAX VR centers,” added IMAX’s chief business development officer Robert D. Lister. “We were extremely pleased with the significant interest we received from such a prominent group of investors, and together, we look forward to helping usher in the next generation of highly differentiated, highly immersive VR content experiences to audiences worldwide.”