French premium format movie company ICE Theaters is expanding into the U.S. with its first location at Regal/AEG’s L.A. Live cinema, which will open December 12 with the release of Sony’s “Jumanji: The Next Level.”
Launching in Europe in 2016, the ICE format — short for Immersive Cinema Experience — boasts non-reflective LED panels that match the color palette of the feature film and fill the audience’s peripheral vision. Luxury recliners surround sound technology and RGB laser projection are also included in the format.
CGR Cinemas, the French exhibitor that first introduced the ICE format, said that the 35 locations in France that have an ICE theater, box office revenue for films supported by the format doubled those of standard screens. The L.A. Live location is the first ICE theater opened outside of France, with locations planned for theaters in Saudi Arabia and Northern Africa through a deal with VOX Cinemas.
ICE Theaters is entering the American premium format market at a time when more audiences are giving premium large formats (PLF) like 4DX and ScreenX a try when going to see major blockbusters. The top PLF company, IMAX, reports that it is on pace for its highest global annual grosses ever in 2019 thanks to blockbusters like “Avengers: Endgame” and the release of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” later this month.