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|Main Logos||Logo Variations|
|1st Logo (1985?-1993)||2nd Logo (1993-2007)||3rd Logo (2004-June 7, 2012)||4th Logo (March 3, 2004-)||5th Logo (2005-November 2015, 2019 in Brazil)||6th Logo (June 8, 2012-)||7th Logo (December 18, 2015-)|
IMAX Corporation is a Canadian theater company which designs and manufactures IMAX cameras and projection systems as well as film development, production, post production and distribution to IMAX affiliated theaters worldwide. It was founded in 1968 as a result of Expo 67 in Montreal. It holds operations in Toronto, as well as New York and Los Angeles. They didn't use a animated logo until the 1980s.
1st Logo (1985?-1993)
This logo contains flashing images for the whole duration.
Nicknames: "Immersion of the Picture", "The Wormhole"
Logo: We see a moving starfield for a few seconds before a light tunnel appears in the distance and engulfs the screen. The light tunnel changes colors and shapes throughout this part of the logo, a la the 1970s Doctor Who titles or the famous "Stargate" sequence from 2001: A Space Odyssey (coincidentally, the studio behind this logo was also the design consultant of that film). We eventually move even faster through the tunnel as light trails quickly zoom past us, with some forming "X" shapes. There is then a flash, which replaces the tunnel with an extreme close-up of a blue outline of the IMAX logo, which zooms away from us with a light trail. When the IMAX logo is at a comfortable distance, the light trail disappears into the logo, which turns dark blue/purple.
Trivia: The tunnel was a template to dome cinemas in buildings such as the St. Louis Science Center.
Variant: A similar logo was made for "Omnimax" theaters, featuring different shapes and patterns in the stargate tunnel. The IMAX logo at the end is replaced by the "Omnimax" respectively as well.
FX/SFX: Animation by Graphic Films. This is also one of the longest logos ever, clocking in at 1 minute and 4 seconds.
Music/Sounds: Various humming sounds and eerie bell sounds that fit the mood of space are heard at the start, and a weird sound effect reminiscent of a jet engine starting up and taking off while inside the tunnel. The music and sound effects get more intense as we move faster through the tunnel, along with whooshes that accompany the light trails and flash. When the IMAX logo is on screen, a futuristic organ-like chord reminiscent of the THX Deep Note is heard.
Availability: Extinct. Most likely seen in the 1980s in IMAX Dome, or "Omnimax", theaters. It is unlikely this was shown in normal theaters.
Legacy: Many consider this logo as one of the greatest theatrical logos ever, due to its stunning animation that holds up to this day.
2nd Logo (1993-2007)
Logo: On a black background, a glowing orange "IMAX" zooms in. While it does, blue stripes shaped like thunderbolts fade in behind. "IMAX" then stops near the bottom of the screen, and then the logo fades out.
Variant: There is another variant in which the IMAX logo zooms in a little closer and settles in the center rather than the bottom of the screen. This was most likely used as a 3D effect for IMAX 3D releases. The blue stripes are also in the center, but they are thinner and further away. Another variant contains the blue stripes animated, spinning around and glowing.
FX/SFX: Really cool animation by Kleiser/Walczak.
Music/Sounds: A futuristic synth/orchestra fanfare.
Availability: Seen on IMAX screens between 1993 and 2004, and also preserved on DVD and Blu-ray releases of IMAX productions, as well as the IMAX version of Apollo 13. The animated variant was spotted on an YT upload, but however, that has been since possibly deleted.
Legacy: In comparison to the previous logo, this one is unimpressive and even seems cheap (sans the animated variant).
3rd Logo (November 5, 2003-May 25, 2012)
Nicknames: "Motion", "Think Big", "Countdown to IMAX"
Logo: On a traditional film backdrop, "SEE MORE", "HEAR MORE", and "FEEL MORE" are displayed before the countdown begins at 10. At 8, the scene makes a jarring transition to a blue CGI space environment as 7 becomes "THE WORLD'S LARGEST SCREENS", 5 becomes "12,000 WATTS OF DIGITAL SURROUND SOUND", and 3 becomes "CRYSTAL CLEAR IMAGES". The CGI text is in the same font as the IMAX logo. Finally, we zoom past the 1 as "THE ULTIMATE MOVIE EXPERIENCE" flips in against a black/blue background with blue mist and 3 rotating rings. The text then flips over to reveal a blue IMAX logo. After one of the rings passes over the logo, it dissolves to "think big" as the screen gets darker and the rings move off-screen before the screen acts like a TV turning off.
- On DMR releases, the text after we see the 1 says "DIGITALLY TRANSFORMED" before flipping out and disappearing to make room for "THE ULTIMATE MOVIE EXPERIENCE". The logo's running time is also slightly longer to accomodate this. At digital locations, instead of turning off like a TV, the whole thing fades to a black screen featuring the DLP logo.
- On later digital screenings, "think big" is omitted, and the DLP logo fades in before the logo fades out. Sometimes, only the tail end, starting with the IMAX logo already present, is shown.
FX/SFX: Everything is done in amazing animation by Hammer Creative.
Music/Sounds: Flash photography sounds, grainy film sounds, and the countdown sound are heard with the traditional film backdrop before transitioning into an intense futuristic synth piece with drums and other sound effects. A more relaxing synth-piano piece is heard when "IMAX" faces us. The electricity buzzing sound can briefly be heard as the screen "turns off."
- In the DMR variant, there is an extra "boom" when "THE ULTIMATE MOVIE EXPERIENCE" flies into view, and the synth piece resumes as normal.
- The DLP variant does not have the electric buzzing noise; there is only the end of the relaxing synth chord when the logo finishes.
Availability: First seen in IMAX theatres before The Matrix Revolutions: The IMAX Experience, and last seen before Men in Black 3. This is sometimes preserved on DVD and Blu-ray releases of IMAX productions, including Under the Sea 3D.
4th Logo (March 3, 2004-)
Logo: Wee see the IMAX logo in a black background zooming in.
Variant: In Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, the logo is still.
Availability: Seen on almost all of its movies since 2004 (and usually through Warner Bros. Pictures). First seen on NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience.
5th Logo (2005-November 2015 [2019 in Brazil])
Nicknames: "IMAX Theater Optimization Cross-Check", "Stand By"
Logo: We begin at a three-dimension grid of spheres, spinning around the space. We hear a voice mentioning to prepare for the "IMAX Theater Optimization Cross-Check". At the conclusion of this voiceover, the spheres turn past 180 degrees and end on a slope. After a quick fade, we end up at another grid, and zoom out of the space to discover a rectangle of spheres. After this, the vertical axis expands by a fair bit; and then flips on its side and expands its size, to reflect IMAX's large screen (a female voice comes in mentioning the screen has been maximized). Another quick fade happens, and we see a wavy pattern form from a flash. After the male voiceover returns to "power up" the projectors, another flash happens that wipes away the wavy patterns. We then see a teal landscape of waves form, almost akin to a virtual desert. After falling into one of these waves, it dissolves away and we then see a spiral of spheres converging into a cylinder. After a short piano theme and another voiceover mentioning IMAX's sound system, the spheres break from the cylindrical formation and return to the spiral. The camera looks upward and we can see the spiral pattern in its entirety, with the female voiceover mentioning the sounds had been perfected. Initially, we rise slowly, but after the female voiceover finishes; the movement quickly accelerate, and streaks of light come into the frame while the male voiceover comes in to "prepare the audience for maximum impact". Shortly after this voiceover finishes, another flash happens, and the spheres dissolve into the same wavy patterns as before. We then cut away to another wavy landscape full of spheres, although not quite as detailed. Finally, after the male voice mentions "the world's most immersive movie experience begins...", the IMAX logo dissolves in. After a couple of seconds, the announcer finishes his sentence with "...now." Right as he completes the sentence, one final flash with a sphere around it hits the screen, before fading out.
Variant: In the IMAX AMC variant, there is more red.
FX/SFX: CGI animation.
Music/Sounds: Two main voiceovers, a male leader and a female assistant. Additionally, other sounds include mechanical whirring sounds, high-tech audio noises, and a short piano ditty. Simple, but effective.
Music/Sounds Variants: In Brazilian theaters, the voiceovers are in Portuguese.
Availability: Was used as an alternate IMAX trailer in tandem with the 3rd and 6th logos, serving as a more technical trailer compared to the more aggressive nature of those two trailers. This trailer's objective was eventually replaced with the 7th logo, but was retained in Brazil as late as 2019.
6th Logo (June 8, 2012-)
Nicknames: "Motion II", "IMAX is Believing", "Countdown to IMAX II", "Beliefs of IMAX"
Logo: Same as the 3rd logo, but the blue CGI environment looks more enhanced and appears to be in space. The first three words, shown against the film backdrop, now read "PREPARE... TO... BELIEVE". The phrases in the countdown now read "MIND-BLOWING IMAGES", "EARTH SHATTERING SOUND", and "THE ULTIMATE MOVIE EXPERIENCE", respectively. Also, the words and numbers are now silver instead of a metallic blue, and the phrase from the DMR variant of the previous logo, "DIGITALLY TRANSFORMED... THE ULTIMATE MOVIE EXPERIENCE", now reads "WATCH A MOVIE... OR BE PART OF ONE" and is now shown before native IMAX productions as well. The text appears over a moving blue starfield. As the ring passes over the IMAX logo, a silver line with the text "- IS BELIEVING -" underneath it are wiped in below the logo. The whole thing then fades out, leaving a thin, blue silhouette of one of the rings that shines as it moves off-screen and a flash in the middle of the screen.
- In Spanish and Japanese-speaking theaters, the text is in their respective languages.
- At digital locations, the whole thing instead faded to a black screen featuring the DLP logo until 2018, where the ring silhouette version is the standard variant still used today.
- As with the 3rd logo, only the tail end is shown sometimes. This mostly appears on Christopher Nolan's films, including Interstellar and Dunkirk.
- Before The Wizard of Oz, there's a variant that's the same as the digital variant, except without the DLP logo, and the whole thing is sepia-toned.
- Before Godzilla, the logo shakes as though the King of the Monsters himself was approaching the theater. When "IMAX" has finished flipping towards us, the logo shakes wildly as his distinctive roar is heard. Before Furious 7, "PREPARE... TO... BELIEVE" is changed to "START... YOUR... ENGINES", and the whole logo is more colorful and meant to evoke a street racing atmosphere. The numbers after 8 are in the "Fast & Furious" font, the 5 shatters to reveal "EARTH SHATTERING SOUND", and gunshots impact the text "THE ULTIMATE MOVIE EXPERIENCE."
- Before Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, the opening text reads "PREPARE... TO GO... ROGUE" as the opening countdown slowly turns red. At 8, a fuse ignites as we move through a red tunnel with the fuse, which is a reference to the opening credits from the TV series. The numbers are also red and in a different font than before. Fire is seen at "MIND BLOWING IMAGES", the next 2 phrases appear in manners similar to the Furious 7 variant, and the 4 spins around as we zoom past it. The text "WATCH A MOVIE... OR BE PART OF ONE" appear inside the tunnel rather than at the end of it. After passing the text, we quickly zoom to the end of the tunnel to catch up with the fuse, which is now swirling around the 3 rings and towards the IMAX logo. We zoom past the rings as the fuse heads to the logo, causing it to explode into pieces of glass that quickly scatter off-screen; some of the glass shards zoom past us. The DLP logo is revealed after the explosion.
- When IMAX opened its 1000th theater in Taiyuan, China, a special variant was made for this. The opening text reads "CELEBRATING... 1000... THEATERS." Nothing else was changed except for the music.
- Before Suicide Squad, "PREPARE... TO... BELIEVE" is changed to "WORST... HEROES... EVER", then the background is changed into a half-dimmed hall with arms that looks like it wants to grab something. Like Furious 7, the numbers after 8 are in the movies own font, and all of the phrases goes scramble like spreading out. When we get into the number 4, we see a car in fire, riding fast across the street. Then, we come seeing the whole city, filling up with a explosion and a helicopter but when we get into the number 1, rings surrounds the number while going up into rings. then zooms in to "WATCH A MOVIE, OR BE PART OF ONE", and rotates into its logo title.
- Before Kong: Skull Island, TBA.
- Before Sully, Transformers: The Last Knight, Inhumans, and Avengers: Infinity War, the text is different to reflect that IMAX cameras were used extensively in the production: "PREPARE... TO... BELIEVE" is changed to "EXPERIENCE... THE... DIFFERENCE", and the phrases in the countdown now read "FILMED WITH IMAX CAMERAS", "MASTERED FOR IMAX SOUND", and "DESIGNED FOR IMAX SCREENS", not necessarily in that order (though no matter the order in which the phrases are shown, the image always expands from a Scope aspect ratio to the full height at the phrase "DESIGNED FOR IMAX SCREENS", wherever in the countdown that's placed). The end result greatly resembles the standard version of the 2004 logo, but without any slogans or TV-style buzzing. The DLP logo does not appear at all, as the 15/70 animation is always used for this one regardless of whether you're watching it at a 15/70 location or a digital location. This ending would eventually be used for all films playing at digital locations as well.
- Before Spider-Man Homecoming, "PREPARE... TO... BELIEVE" is changed to "LOCAL HERO... TO... SUPER HERO", then the background is red/blue stylized city background, the numbers and text are in the movie's logo's font and most of the phrases have web slinged to them. Blade Runner 2049, starting with "CAN'T...OUTRUN...THE TRUTH"; has a similar city setting and neon fonts, but has no movie-related phrases to it. Additionally, Joi shows up early on in the countdown and it expands to the IMAX ratio about halfway through the animation.
- On some occasions, "--IS BELIEVING--" would not appear below the IMAX logo.
FX/SFX: Same as the 3rd logo, with some new enhancements.
Music/Sounds: Same as the 3rd logo.
- In Godzilla, sounds of stomping, Godzilla's roar, and other sound effects to enhance the mood of the variant are heard.
- In Furious 7, there's a mix between snippets of the standard music and a bunch of racing sound effects.
- In Rogue Nation, there is a re-orchestrated arrangement of the theme from "Mission: Impossible", as well as the sound of a burning fuse, several whooshes as we pass numbers and text, and other sound effects to go with the animation. When the IMAX logo explodes, an explosion is heard with sounds of glass flying (past us), and a descending bass note after the last two notes of the theme song.
- In the 1000 Theaters variant, a synth/orchestra piece is used. This would go on to replace the original music for the regular variant as well (the original music continues to be used on the short version). This was known as the "Sonic Anthem" by IMAX themselves.
- In Suicide Squad, TBA.
- In Kong: Skull Island, TBA.
- In Blade Runner 2049, slow techno music, dynamic sounds and whooshes, and some flashing sounds here and there.
Availability: Currently shown on IMAX screens. The film-specific variants are extinct, as they were only shown before their respective films. You wouldn't expect to see this before the 2018 IMAX re-release of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The non-digital versions are rare, as by the time this logo debuted; digital cinema had been in the overwhelming majority of IMAX installations.
7th Logo (December 18, 2015-)
Nickname: "Never Compromise"
Logo: On a black background, we see the IMAX logo, the first half lit in blue, and the other half dim. The full logo starts to light up after a few seconds, retaining a blue glow around it. We start to zoom in to the logo. While that happens, the logo transforms from a glossy texture to a futuristic city skyline. A full view of the city is later shown as we appear to be entering a very high-tech tunnel. A diamond suddenly pops up and shoots out purple-blue-green color. We then see a video reel that is meant to look like a film strip (a la Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment) of a racing automobile speeding across a track. We pan around the race car in driver's view, putting 2 more racing cars in view. It then starts to travel at lightspeed, teleporting us to a blue background with what seems to be blurred circles forming a circle as we zoom through it. Audio visualization waves pop up from the left and right of the screen. The waves later fade out and fade back in as one wave, shown at the center of the screen, then later the bottom. Mini-explosions occur, causing the scene to change. We see a pin falling to what seems to be sand (or dirt) specks. The pin bounces and shines. Change of scene: On a very starry night, we see a plane starting to take off. The plane starts to leave wavy streaks behind it, later to become a solid to form the IMAX logo. After a few seconds, we zoom past the logo.
FX/SFX: CGI by design artist Timothy Evans.
Music/Sounds: Corresponding sound effects throughout the logo. At the beginning, we hear 3 timpani hits. After that we hear an announcer say "Welcome to IMAX, the world's most immersive movie experience. Powered by a combination of the most advanced technology, we'll take you from the edge of your seat (slight pause) to the edge of reality. Enjoy crystal clear images (slight pause) and colors so intense, they will take your breath away! In specially designed theaters (pause) that bring you closer to the movies you love. Huge panoramic screens (pause) that allow you to escape into your favorite movie scenes, and immersive sound (pause) that will take you from here..." A trap song plays. "...here... and here. (long pause) We can take you from a pindrop..." We hear the sound of a pindrop falling. "...to the thunder of a jet engine." Then we hear the jet engine soaring. "So, sit back, and get ready to enjoy an unparalleled movie experience. (long pause) IMAX. Never compromise."
Availability: Currently shown on IMAX screens, alongside the previous logo. First seen on the IMAX release of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens.