Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), IMAX and Xperi (parent of DTS) announced this week that the major Hollywood Studio will be releasing over the next two years “hundreds” of movies in IMAX Enhanced format for optimized playback on IMAX Enhancement supporting home theater products, including many 2020 Sony devices.

In the announcement, SPE said the expanded release schedule of IMAX Enhanced content will include “all upcoming SPE and IMAX theatrical releases.”

The announcement revealed that at least 100 supporting new titles will be coming “over the next 12 months and hundreds of additional titles are expected in the years to follow.”

IMAX Enhanced is an ecosystem of specifications, standards and certification developed to bring as closely as possible the very big screen and sound experience of IMAX Theaters to premium home theater TV and audio components. One component of the program includes mastering content produced for IMAX Theater screens to replicate many of the benefits of the professional presentation in consumer home theaters.

“IMAX Enhanced is the only way to experience IMAX’s signature picture, sound and scale outside of a movie theater, combining exclusive, IMAX digitally remastered 4K HDR content and DTS premium audio delivered through high-end consumer electronics and streaming platforms,” the announcement said.

Select IMAX Enhanced content features the IMAX-signature expanded aspect ratio – enabling viewers the full scope and scale of the picture. IMAX and DTS have also partnered with Hollywood sound mixers to use a special variant of the DTS:X codec technology integrated in home audio equipment to deliver the IMAX signature sound experience. The two companies are also designing an IMAX Mode to calibrate for and deliver an optimized viewing and listening experience in the home.

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IMAX Enhanced content is now available on movies and programs in both phyical formats and distributed over four streaming platforms in 14 countries. IMAX Enhanced certified home theater components are availble from 17 participating consumer electronics manufacturers.

Further, the latest announcement “exponentially increases its SPE premium content footprint for consumers worldwide via this commitment. The IMAX Enhanced releases will be available across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific regions.”

The studio said its IMAX release schedule is to include hundreds of additional titles from its film vault as well as new theatrical releases. The IMAX Enhanced library already titles including: Spider-Man: Far From Home, Jumanji: The Next Level, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Venom, Bad Boys For Life, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Only The Brave, Men In Black: International, Zombieland: Double Tap, A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, Little Women (2019), and Charlie’s Angels (2019).

Pete Wood, SPE New Digital Distribution senior VP said “Today’s agreement underscores SPE’s belief in the value of high-quality viewing experiences that IMAX Enhanced is able to bring to discerning consumers. Always at the forefront of delivering exceptional content to viewers, wherever they are, SPE’s investment in the IMAX Enhanced program ensures that we will continue to deliver even more of our films to audiences who now expect to experience movies at the highest technical quality– even in their own homes.”

“Today’s announcement represents the latest milestone for IMAX Enhanced as Sony Pictures Entertainment, IMAX and DTS continue to work hand in hand to redefine high-quality at-home entertainment,” said Patrick McClymont, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, IMAX Corporation. “SPE’s storied library provides our fans access to an unprecedented, ever-expanding roster of movie favorites across multiple genres. We look forward to continuing to drive momentum on all fronts by working tirelessly with our leading consumer electronics and streaming partners on delivering breakthrough technology and content experiences for consumers around the world.”

Bill Neighbors, Xperi Cinema, Home, Digital Media & Streaming Solutions senior VP said: “As consumers look for new and different ways to enjoy their favorite content, SPE’s rich content library is a seamless fit with IMAX Enhanced – preserving the films’ best-in-class sight, sound and scale for an at-home entertainment experience that truly stands out.”

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By Greg Tarr

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