I think we can all agree that Game of Thrones is one of the biggest shows on TV, not only in its epic scope and populous cast, but the massive amount of fans it has amassed over four seasons. The same fans that will be ecstatic to know the show is getting even bigger, in a sense, now that IMAX has stepped in for a deal with HBO to bring select episodes to IMAX theaters, along with an exclusive Season 5 sneak peek trailer.
Is everyone already running to the nearest theater?
Around 150 IMAX theaters will be hosting the One Week Only screenings from Friday, January 23, through Thursday, January 29. The event will consist of two Game of Thrones episodes from Season 4, followed by the sneak peek, which will present brand new footage for the upcoming season, something HBO has only dealt out on a micro level. I would love to know what percentage of the audiences is made up of those going solely to see the promo.
Not that rewatching two older episodes is anything to scoff at, as each one has been digitally remastered both in picture and sound, bringing a network’s TV programming to the mega-medium for the first time. The ninth and tenth episodes of Season 4 – “The Watchers on the Wall” and “The Children,” respectively – will be shown. That means the maddeningly amazing battle sequence around the Wall is going to look even more goddamned outstanding, as will the travels of Arya and the Hound across picturesque landscapes in the finale. Can you imagine seeing this and Bran’s Tree Man on a ginormous screen?
On the one cynical hand, this feels like an obnoxious way for the already overpriced IMAX and HBO to skim more money from loyal fans without actually giving them something new to chew on. Sure, watching the Walkers come alive at that level is awesome, but I’d be more likely to get on board with this if the actual Season 5 premiere would debut simultaneously on HBO and in IMAX. I could understand dropping some moolah in that case. And who knows? Maybe if this little experiment is good enough, HBO might do just that. And then it’s just a matter of time before every other network out there follows suit, and cable TV enters the box office game.
While no premiere date has been set just yet, HBO will presumably be premiering the flashback-friendly Season 5 of Game of Thrones in either March or April, which should coincide with their subscription-free streaming service. Tickets to the upcoming event can be purchased at IMAX’s website, although they haven’t gone on sale just yet.