Fantasia 2000 Breaks IMAX Records

Disney sequel proves to be the most successful IMAX movie ever

Disney enters the 21st century and the new millennium making history. Fantasia 2000 has been playing in IMAX theaters for just a few months, and it is surpassing all IMAX box office records.

The millennial remake of Fantasia has raked in $27.4 million dollars and the show is playing at The soundtrack to Fantasia 2000, a superb compilation of classical music.
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just 75 theaters worldwide (54 in the US), that's on par to bring in more money than any other IMAX movie ever. The movie is selling out theaters steadily since opening on New Year's Eve.

The success of Fantasia 2000 can be seen in different ways around the world. In Los Angeles, a temporary IMAX theater was built just for the movie and sold more than$1.4 million in advance tickets. In Spain, the movie set a national record for indoor theater events with more than 100,000 advance tickets sold. In Japan, the movie made $1.4 million in just 30 days and the movie was plying in just four theaters.

The money making is a bonus for Roy Disney who is seeing a lifelong dream realized with the opening of the movie. Disney has wanted to revive the 1940 Fantasia for years because it would be fulfilling his Uncle Walt Disney's dream for the movie. Walt Disney's original plan was to take out old segments and replace them with new ones as new ideas and technology developed. That plan didn't work out because the start of World War two increased the cost of making animated movies.

The remake finally began in 1991 when the original Fantasia was released to video and was an immediate success. That's when Roy Disney set the wheels in motion for a millennial remake. The rapid increase in the use of the computers in movie making also played a huge role.

Roy Disney used traditional music in the remake of Fantasia, with selections for Shostakovich, Respighi, Saint-Saens, Elgar and Astravinsky. Disney also brought in some contemporary elements such as using celebrities like Steve Martin, Bette Midler, and Penn and Teller to introduce segments. Disney says he wanted to use some Beatles recordings but wasn't sure how to make their music work in the movie so this time around he didn't use their music.

Disney hopes to one day use African and Asian music in Fantasia. Which begs the question, is there going to be more Fantasia remakes in the future?

"There's a lot of secret planning going on right now, " Roy Disney said "I would love to think that it's a legacy that really will live forever."

While we may have to wait for the next Fantasia for a while, there will be other IMAX movies to keep us occupied.

Fantasia 2000, is so successful it may change the future of IMAX movies. IMAX has signed deals with three studios-DreamWorks, 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures-to feature animated characters in future films. Expect to see The Simpsons and Antz, in their first 3-D computer-generated animated movie, CybeWorld, set for release in October.


DATE: 2/29/2000

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