Marvel and ABC partnered last year with IMAX for what was then billed as an "innovative agreement" to premiere the first two episodes of Inhumans on IMAX screens, a first for a live-action television series. However, following the drama's poor reception from fans and critics alike, IMAX's CEO now concedes the presentation disappointed audiences.
“Customers expected a production akin to a mega-budget blockbuster movie, rather than pilots for a television show,” Rich Gelfond admitted to Deadline. “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.”
Inhumans was previously envisioned as part of Marvel Studios' Phase 3 plans, but slipped off of its release schedule last year, only to later be announced as an eight-episode television series. The first two episodes debuted Sept. 1 in IMAX theaters, where they were shown for two weeks, ahead of Inhumans' Sept. 29 broadcast premiere on ABC.
So, will IMAX continue to try experiments like Inhumans? It certainly sounds like it, but the company is sounding a note of caution. “Going forward, we intend to take a more conservative approach consistent with the Game of Thrones approach to capital investments and content,” Gelfond explained. “We will be more conservative when considering whether to invest our own capital; and if so, to what extent.”
Inhumans, which fell to series-low ratings last week, has three more episodes remaining in its first — and presumably only — season. Although showrunner Scott Buck has indicated he has ideas for the drama beyond that, it seems unlikely that Inhumans will see more than eight episodes.
Airing Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, Marvel’s Inhumans stars Anson Mount as Black Bolt, Iwan Rheon as Maximus the Mad, Serinda Swan as Queen Medusa, Ken Leung as Karnak, Isabelle Cornish as Crystal, Eme Ikwuakor as Gorgon, Mike Moh as Triton and Sonya Balmores as Auran.