ABC/Disney, Marvel Television and IMAX have struck a deal that will see Marvel’s The Inhumans debut in IMAX theaters next summer.
Starting in September 2017, a version of the first two episodes of the series will run in IMAX theaters exclusively for two weeks before the show debuts on ABC. The first two episodes are being produced by ABC Studios and shot entirely with IMAX digital cameras.
In addition to premiering the first two episodes, IMAX will function as a financing partner for the show, which will be the film technology company’s first time co-producing a TV series.
"This first-of-its-kind multi-platform production, distribution and marketing agreement brings together Marvel Television's unique brand of entertainment, ABC's unparalleled audience and IMAX's brand and global fanboy demographic," said IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond in a statement. "It also takes our decades-long relationship with The Walt Disney Company to a whole new level, jointly breaking new ground in the industry. We are confident our exhibition partners will be excited to work with us on this innovative launch of a series across the IMAX network."
"We're happy to see this unique deal come together, working with our partners," said Dan Buckley, president of Marvel Television, Publishing & Brand, in a statement. "In an ever-changing world of distribution and consumption, it's very exciting to be part of a groundbreaking initiative that takes us to the forefront of this evolution."
After IMAX’s turn with The Inhumans, ABC will premiere the show in the fall with “additional exclusive content” that can only be seen on the network.
ABC’s decision to give its upcoming Marvel series a theatrical release comes at an interesting time, when theatrical release agreements for films may be losing some of their exclusivity windows.
Last year, theater owners including AMC and Cinemark were not happy with Netflix’s decision to run Beasts of No Nation in theaters while simultaneously offering it for streaming on its SVOD platform.