Barbie—a movie so big it had already won the U.S. box office in August—is also a movie so big that on Friday, it made the leap to IMAX for a one-week run. As usual, Barbie is on the forefront of what’s in fashion, something Dune director Denis Villeneuve, who’s very pro-IMAX, seems to agree with.
“The future of cinema is IMAX and the large formats,” Villeneuve told the AP (via IndieWire) in an interview published before Barbie’s large-format bow, but with the towering success of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer in mind. “The audience wants to see something that they cannot have at home, that they cannot have on streaming. They want to experience an event.”
Without insulting movies that are made specifically for streaming (or that end up bypassing the theater and going straight to streaming), the director—whose Dune was released day-and-date in theaters and what was then called HBO Max, thanks to pandemic concerns—makes it clear where his favor lies. “There’s this notion that movies, in some people’s minds, became content instead of an art form. I hate that word, ‘content.’ That movies like Oppenheimer are released on the big screen and become an event brings back a spotlight on the idea that it’s a tremendous art form that needs to be experienced in theaters.”
Dune: Part Two was originally slated to come out later this year, but saw its release date shifted (due to strike concerns this time) to March 15, 2024.
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