If audiences want to get an early look at Marvel’s Inhumans series during its two-week Imax run beginning Sept. 1, they will probably have to pay as much as they did for 2-D Imax Hollywood films like Dunkirk and Logan.
Last November, Marvel, ABC and Imax announced they had partnered on a deal in which Marvel’s Inhumans would debut exclusively in Imax theaters prior to its Sept. 29 ABC debut.
During an awkward, heated Inhumans panel Sunday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in L.A., Marvel evp and head of television Jeph Loeb said he had “no idea” what the pricing structure would be for the show’s Imax run, despite Marvel’s lengthy partnership with Imax on the series. “The folks at Imax would know,” he said.
So Adweek reached out to an Imax spokesperson, who said Imax exhibitors will be responsible for setting the pricing during Inhumans’ run. Because the show is 2-D instead of 3-D, pricing will be on the lower end of Imax’s ticketing but will likely be similar to the admission for other films that aired exclusively in Imax 2-D this year. While Marvel has not disclosed budget figures for Marvel’s Inhumans, it is likely a fraction of the big Hollywood blockbusters that traditionally screen in Imax theaters.
When Marvel’s Inhumans premieres Sept. 1 on Imax, audiences will see a 75-minute version of the first two episodes. The two-hour ABC premiere four weeks later will contain the “full-length,” 84-minute cut of the two episodes, Loeb told reporters. “So there will be footage on ABC that you won’t see in Imax, and there will be things in Imax that are shot on Imax cameras that are simply extraordinary, that should be seen on that screen.”
The series is based on the Marvel comic book series about the Inhuman Royal Family, who rule an advanced group of beings living in a society on Earth’s moon and escape to Hawaii after a military coup. Loeb said the show is “almost a Shakespearean” story of two brothers and the woman who comes between them.
There has been a growing social media backlash against the series since early footage was screened during ABC’s upfront presentation in May. The grumbling began anew after a new trailer was released during Comic-Con, and many TCA writers were underwhelmed after seeing an early cut of the first episode late last week.
Given the discord among Marvel fans, just how many people will shell out money to see an abbreviated version of the much-criticized premiere four weeks ahead of being able to see it for free on ABC? Imax might be hedging its bets to some extent. Its theaters will show Marvel’s Inhumans exclusively during at least the first week of its run, according to Imax, but could potentially alternate screenings of Inhumans with other Imax films during the second week, especially if attendance is low compared with that of Imax’s recent movies.
During the TCA panel, one reporter told Loeb the footage didn’t seem ready for Imax theaters and asked if this was the show he had set out to make. Loeb said Marvel is still tinkering with the footage less than a month before its Imax debut. “The show that you have seen is not the finished product,” he said. “If you are asking me whether or not it is done, it’s not. To be perfectly honest, I don’t understand the question.”
Earlier in the day, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey stressed that the first episode cut that reporters saw is “a work in progress.”
“We are still a month away from final air, but I do feel like there’s great opportunity there as well,” she said.