''Harry Potter 3'' will open on IMAX screens -- A digitally remastered ''Prisoner of Azkaban'' will play the giant screens as the regular print hits the multiplex in June

By Gary Susman
December 19, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Murray Close

Next time you see the sprouting adolescents of the ”Harry Potter” franchise, they’ll be a lot taller. Several stories taller, in some cases. Warner Bros. announced that when it releases ”Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” in multiplexes on June 4, it will simultaneously release digitally remastered large-format prints on IMAX screens.

It’s a strategy that drummed up some nice extra change for the studio last month with ”The Matrix Revolutions,” which marked the first-ever simultaneous release of a feature film on both standard and IMAX screens. (In its first five days, ”Revolutions” uploaded an impressive $3 million on 48 of the giant screens.) The exhibitor is also hoping to partner with the studio on simultaneous releases of other highly anticipated fantasy films, like Tim Burton’s 2005 remake of ”Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which will star Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, and next Christmas’ ”Polar Express,” which will send Tom Hanks to Santa’s workshop. IMAX and Warner Bros. hope to release that one in 3-D.