Back in January IMAX opened the doors to its first pilot center for its location-based VR initiative. When we tried it for ourselves, we were curious as to what kind of a reaction the center would get from the general public. Now we know.
The center has seen 15,000 admissions since it opened on January 6th, IMAX confirmed to UploadVR. On average that works out to around 1,363 people a week visiting the center. UPDATE: We reached out for clarification on how IMAX defines “admissions” and it seems to more or less equate to tickets sold for individual experiences. If someone came and paid for three individual experiences each would be counted toward the 15,000 figure. That means with tickets selling between $7 to $10 for VR content, we can roughly guess that IMAX may have cleared $100,000 in ticket sales during its first few months of operation. Notably, that includes a soft launch at an IMAX VR location unconnected to a movie theater — future locations will be connected to theaters and might see more foot traffic as a result.
Right now the center contains HTC Vive and StarVR headsets running VR experiences like Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine and levels of the new John Wick VR game with specialized controllers and room scale support. IMAX aims to offer attendees roughly a minute of an experience per dollar.
Going forward, more pilot centers are set to open up in California, New York City, the UK, and Shanghai in the coming months, and IMAX is looking to offer more cinematic content too. Yesterday the company announced that it had partnered with Warner Bros. to produce interactive VR experiences based on the upcoming Justice League and Aquaman movies, which IMAX told us would be “cinematic”, while still not clarifying if they would be games or 360 degree live action experiences.
The company is giving cameras to filmmakers to create the latter type of experience, however, which it hopes will one day feature in its centers, tying into current movies out in theaters.