When the first footage for Inhumans hit the internet, people were less than impressed with what they saw. This was a show that was backed by IMAX and was going to be shown in high-definition screens for two weeks. Then the show came out to a critical mauling and a mere $3.5 million at the box office.
Deadline was on a call with IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond and he was very frank that the Inhumans was a one-time thing and they’re going to stick to limited runs of television shows going forward.
“Going forward, we intend to take a more conservative approach consistent with the Game of Thrones approach to capital investments and content,” Gelfond said on the call. “We will be more conservative when considering whether to invest our own capital; and if so, to what extent.”
When it comes to addressing a media disaster like Inhumans, there were two possible responses, and IMAX and Marvel responded very differently.
Gelfond addressed the Inhumans problems head-on, while Marvel and ABC execs have avoided it thus far. At last week’s NAB Show New York, Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb and co-head Jim Chory received a production award and sat for a keynote interview about their careers. Approached afterward by Deadline with a question about Inhumans, they walked away without commenting.
IMAX’s willingness to accept that Inhumans didn’t live up to anyone expectations is the right move. Marvel can only dodge the question or pretend a phone call is breaking up so many times.
“Customers expected a production akin to a mega-budget blockbuster movie, rather than pilots for a television show,” Gelfond said. “Moreover, the fact that this was Marvel IP set the bar at a level you wouldn’t see from other pieces of content or IP because of the reputation and the high production value of Marvel movies.”
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