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SYFY WIRE fantasy

WIRE Buzz: IMAX & Toho strike kaiju-sized deal; American Gods S3 sets January premiere; and Tim Burton vinyl

By Josh Weiss
Godzilla 1954

IMAX and Toho (aka the studio that owns Godzilla and a host of other famous movie monsters) have expanded their longstanding partnership in Japan across the realms of distribution and exhibition with a kaiju-sized deal to release five current and upcoming Toho films in theaters. The fresh arrangement marks IMAX's largest collaboration with a film studio outside of the United States. Only two movies have been announced so far: Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train (now playing) and STAND BY ME Doraemon 2 (in theaters Nov. 20).

In particular, Demon Slayer took the No. 1 spot at the Japanese box office last weekend with $44 million across the traditional 3-day weekend frame. Despite seating restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film managed to bring in $2.3 million from IMAX screens, taking the company's opening weekend box office record in Japan.

IMAX logo

"We have been deepening our relationship with IMAX since 2016’s Shin-Godzilla release, and I am confident to say that our partnership has been further strengthened with the release of Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train released on Friday, October 16,” Yoshishige Shimatani, President of Toho, said in a statement. “Japanese movies continue evolving, and have achieved the quality suitable for IMAX theaters as seen in Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train and upcoming STAND BY ME Doraemon 2. We are very pleased to be able to provide our customers with new, exciting ways to experience our movies in IMAX through this slate deal."

"IMAX and Toho partnered to bring their first IMAX theater to Japan in 2014, and we are honored to further our longstanding relationship with the company and its executives through this multi-picture film agreement,” added Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. “Japan continues to grow as a successful market for IMAX, as local language hits like Toho'ss Demon Slayer deliver strong box office returns and offset the current lack of Hollywood films in the market."

The partnership between the two companies runs through 2021.

Shadow Moon, Mr. Wednesday, and the rest of the American Gods crew will return to Starz for the show's third season on Sunday, Jan. 10, Neil Gaiman revealed on Twitter today. The social post also came with a written statement from Gaiman, upon whose 2001 fantasy novel the series is based.

"When we embarked upon making Season 3 of American Gods, we had no idea how timely it would turn out to be," the author wrote. "We knew we wanted to return to what people loved and responded to in the book: that it was time for Shadow to go to the little town of Lakeside and try to lose himself in normality. And at the same time, in Season 3, we wanted to focus on the characters and their journeys. To show Shadow forging a path guided by the Gods of his ancestors, becoming more himself while deciding who he is and what side he's on — humanity's or that of the Gods."

Read the full statement below:

At New York Comic Con a few weeks back, Ricky Whittle (who plays Shadow) said that showrunner Charles Eglee is "working closely with Neil Gaiman on a story that will span Season 3 and 4." 

Season 3 premieres Sunday, Jan. 10 at 8:00 p.m. EST.

This is Halloween! This is Halloween!

To celebrate the spookiest month of the year, Mondo and Walt Disney Records are rolling out a two-record vinyl release of The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack. Danny Elfman's music has been remastered by James Plotkin and the dust jacket features artwork by none other than Tim Burton himself. The two 180g colored vinyl records were inspired by two of the main characters: Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon handled the dialogue, while Elfman did the singing) and Sally (Catherine O'Hara).

The limited edition set (only 5,000 units exist) will cost you $35. Mondo expects to start shipping purchases in November.

Nightmare Before Christmas vinyl
Nightmare Before Christmas vinyl
Nightmare Before Christmas vinyl

With few new movies being released due to COVID-19, The Nightmare Before Christmas was recently re-released in theaters and brought in over $1 million. A Broadway-produced charity event inspired by the iconic stop-motion movie is scheduled to take place this Saturday on Halloween night.