Barco is pioneering the development of a new theatrical format called Escape. The idea is to flank the main theatrical screen with two side screens that can screen a big panoramic image or three separate images – depending upon the creator’s preferences. The movie Maze Runner was the first to feature a 10 minute segment in the Escape format. At CinemaCon, the company announced new deals with 20th Century Fox, Barry Films, Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Posse Films to create more Escape content.
As we reported from the Technology Summit on Cinema (Barco Describes Continuing Evolution of Escape Theatrical Format), there are currently five Escape screens, but Barco is targeting to have 25 screens ready by September 2015. That’s when 20th Century Fox plans to debut the next installment of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. The goal is to develop about 20 minutes of the Escape content for this film.
Barco has also entered into five year, multi-title per year agreement with 20th Century Fox to release films in Escape. As part of the deal, a Barco Escape setup will be installed in a theater on the 20th Century Fox studio lot.
“The audience reaction from the Barco Escape footage on The Maze Runner was overwhelmingly positive,” says Chris Aronson, 20th Century Fox’s President of Domestic Distribution. “We started working with Barco on this technology because we believe immersive experiences are the future of cinema. Now that Barco has upgraded its Barco Escape systems to be fully DCI compliant, we are further interested in finding tent pole movies for the format that will inspire audiences to leave their homes and go to the theater to share in this unique experience.”
Barco Escape’s next project, a special performance event with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga filmed natively for the format, will be released later this year.
In addition, Barry Films will release its upcoming horror film, “The Hell Within,” in Barco’s multi-screen, panoramic movie format Barco Escape. The film follows a woman from New York on a quest into the heart of the Brazilian jungle to save a missing girl, only to discover that the child was just the beginning. “The Hell Within” will be directed by Dennison Ramalho (ABC’s “Of Death 2”), written by Jeff Buhler (“The Midnight Meat Train”), and produced by iconic rock guitarist Slash of Guns N’ Roses, in partnership with Benito Mueller and Wolfgang Mueller of Barry Films.
“The horror genre thrives on placing viewers inside the action, which pairs extremely well with Barco Escape,” says Ted Schilowitz, Barco’s CinemaVangelist.
Barco recently announced Jerry Bruckheimer Films signed on to bring multiple projects to the format, with Bruckheimer joining the Barco Escape board.
Finally, Posse Films announced a multi-title agreement. “Racer’s Heart,” a story based on NASCAR Hall of Fame member Bobby Allison, is slated as the first film under the new partnership.
Posse Films, which controls the rights to several historically significant and uplifting true stories, will use the Barco Escape technology to give viewers an immersive experience inside Nascar racing that is not available on a single screen.
“We want our audience to feel as if they are in the race car going over 200+ miles per hour with Bobby,” says Travis Cloyd, President of Posse Films. “We are excited to utilize this game changing technology to create captivating experiences that truly envelop our audiences.”