December 3, 2008--3D Entertainment Distribution proudly announced today that its latest IMAX theater release, Dolphins and Whales 3D: Tribes of the Ocean presented by Jean-Michel Cousteau, crossed the USD $10 million mark at the worldwide box office this past weekend. Benefitting from a staggered release at IMAX 3D theaters, the film was first launched domestically in mid-February before opening in select international territories, including Australia, Germany, Poland and Russia.
"This Thanksgiving weekend marked a new milestone in the film's successful run," said Francois Mantello, Chairman of 3D Entertainment Distribution Ltd. "I am thrilled its performance at IMAX 3D theaters has proven to be nothing less than solid in these challenging times, with an average per screen revenue of close to USD $300,000 domestically."
For John Lewis, Director of Theatres at the Texas State History Museum, "3D Entertainment has delivered yet another top performing documentary. Ticket sales have been consistently strong, thanks in great part to their stellar marketing support." Linda M. Candler, head of marketing at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, further adds, "It's in the top three documentary films we've had in our 10-year-old IMAX theater. Ninety percent of the audience rated it 'good' or 'excellent,' and offered comments such as 'great way to get the message across.’" For Daniel Sibbers, Director of Marketing for Greater Union Filmpalast in Berlin (Germany), "It has been the most successful release in our IMAX theater's history, thanks to 3D Entertainment Distribution's unprecedented efforts to launch this film in the German market."
Dolphins and Whales 3D has been described by Peter Schilling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune as "a visual feast for adults and children alike." "Never have the secret lives of our intelligent fellow mammals been so beautifully depictured," wrote Jason Heck of the Kansas City Star. For the Boston Globe’s Janice Page, "You're guaranteed the experience you came for: an up-close look so realistic you might actually duck to avoid a passing tail fin."
Building on this success, the company will launch a specially reformatted version for IMAX dome theaters in January 2009. "Each film frame has been digitally sharpened and enhanced using a proprietary technology developed in-house. The result is a powerful and immersive experience on the giant dome screen," explained the film’s director, Jean-Jacques Mantello.
Over 1.6 million tickets have been sold to date for Dolphins and Whales 3D. Top grossing exhibitors include the New England Aquarium (Boston, MA) and CineStar IMAX 3D Kino im Potsdamer Platz (Berlin, Germany), which take the first two spots.
In 2009, the film will open in Lehi (UT), Sacramento (CA), Colorado Springs (CO), Pittsburgh (PA) and Galveston (TX), among other locations. Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Mexico and Singapore will also join the growing list of international territories in the coming year.
The film immerses viewers in the daily lives of small and giant cetaceans as they interact socially, play, communicate, feed, breed, migrate and fight for their survival. It delivers an important message in favor of the protection of these tribes while they are facing the greatest challenge of all: to survive the destruction of their habitat and depletion of food resources.
Three years in the making, Dolphins and Whales 3D required no fewer than 12 international expeditions and 600 hours underwater at some of the remotest locations on Earth, including off the Pacific Ocean atolls of Moorea and Rurutu (French Polynesia), Vava'u Island (Kingdom of Tonga) and the Valdez Peninsula (Argentina). Unlike other IMAX-type films, it was shot entirely in the wild and consists solely of underwater footage, with no humans on screen.
The film features narration by actress and environmentalist Daryl Hannah. It was produced by 3D Entertainment and McKinney Underwater Productions and released by 3D Entertainment’s distribution unit in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society.
The official film website is www.DOLPHINSandWHALES3D.com