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Strap on your red shoes, click your heels together, and watch out for flying monkeys. Warner Bros. just announced it has produced a 3D remastering of The Wizard of Oz along with several other products to commemorate the film’s 75th anniversary. The film house is calling the releases a “cross-divisional campaign” that will involve an IMAX 3D theatrical release, home entertainment, and all kinds of products and promotional partnerships that will translate into big bucks.


The first phase of the 75th anniversary celebration begins on September 20, 2013 with the theatrical release in IMAX 3D. Warner Bros. is promising the film will shine, renewed with proprietary IMAX Digital Re-mastering technologies that give it an incredibly sharp image and powerful digital audio. The re-mastering was an involved process beginning with a high resolution (8K, according to Warner Bros.) scan of the original negatives, frame-by-frame depth mapping (to create a 3D image), followed by other necessary refinements.

“People have asked for years about The Wizard of Oz 3D conversion. My answer was always, ‘We’re not doing it until it’s perfect.’ And now it is,” said Ned Price, Warner Technical Operations’ Vice President of Mastering. “As a kid, I was so enthralled by this film. Watching it, you just want to enter the frame, enter the Land of Oz. This new version will allow you to do just that.”

If you want to catch the film in all of its IMAX 3D glory, then mark your calendars. It will only be shown in this format for a limited engagement of one week. That’s right, only seven days of multidimensional IMAX Oz bliss.

The Wizard of Oz is one of the most beloved films of all time and we are thrilled that our longtime partners at Warner Bros. have made IMAX a part of this exciting milestone event,” said Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Entertainment. “This film revolutionized the use of color and special effects in cinema, and we’re excited to add another ‘first’ – bringing this timeless classic to moviegoers through the power of The IMAX 3D Experience for the very first time.”

[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/news/oz2.png[/img]
Immediately following the whirlwind IMAX experience, Warner Bros. will enter phase two of its Oz rollout with a limited edition (and numbered) home release of The Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Collector’s Edition. This edition will be a five-disc set with Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and UltraViolet versions of the movie. It will include The Making of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz (a documentary), bonus features, and “premium” collectables, all for a suggested retail price of nearly 105 dollars. For those of you more interested in the remastered movie (minus some of the limited edition extras), Warner Bros. will give you three options: A two disc Blu-Ray/3D set ($39.99), a one disc Blu-ray release ($19.98), and a two disc DVD set ($16.95). All of these editions include the documentary and disc extras. All four versions will be available for purchase on October 1, 2013.

If the theatrical and home releases of the movie don’t Oz-you-out, then rest assured there’s more. On the merchandise front, Warner Bros. has extended more than 80 licenses to the likes of Jazwares (toys), Mattel, Rubies, Lionel, Steiff, and USAopoly. Fans can expect to see products ranging from jewelry to toys and apparel to stationary. You can even expect to see The Wizard of Oz slot machines. The promotional campaign will also be aggressive, showcasing partnerships with Major National Quick Serve Restaurant, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Amtrack, the Gourmet Trading Company, Langers Juice, QVC, and others. Also, keep your eyes open for new Oz themed Public Service Announcements in coordination with the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission.


If all of these goodies still aren’t enough, then click your heals together just one more time and you’ll be treated to a Wizard of Oz themed competition on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. That show is slated to debut later this year.

Image Credit: Warner Bros.
 
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