ET The Extra-Terrestrial Gets IMAX Release For Its 40th Anniversary

For the first time in 40 years, the public will be able to experience the magic and the adventure of AND the extra-terrestrial in the brilliance and clarity of IMAX theaters. Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment announced that for the film’s 40th anniversary, they would be re-releasing ET on an even bigger screen, and this week IMAX took to Twitter to celebrate the August 12 release nationwide.

Ratings for Universal’s dinosaur-sized box office hit Jurassic World Dominion got a taste of the brand new trailer for HEYof the IMAX release on opening weekend. Restored and on imposing display, fans of Steven SpielbergThe 1982 classic, old and new, will get a chance to recapture extraterrestrial life in a whole new way. Rather than a typical theatrical re-release, IMAX allows moviegoers to be deeply immersed in the adventure with higher resolution, a much larger screen, speakers surrounding the theater and stadium seating that allows every invited to be in front of the screen, no matter where in the theater they are.

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In a press release, the president of IMAX Entertainment Megan Colligan said:

“IMAX is thrilled to partner with Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment to bring audiences the opportunity to experience these two iconic films in IMAX for the very first time. Steven Spielberg redefined modern cinema and ushered in a new era of filmmaking. bold and unbridled, and the IMAX experience has expanded across the world through the path blazed by films like HEY and Jaws.”

RELATED: ‘ET The Extra-Terrestrial’: Why ET and Elliott’s Connection Still Captivates Us 40 Years Later

In 1982, the year HEY was first released for the public, Spielberg had only just been hit with the success of culture-defining classics like Jaws (which also gets its own IMAX and Real3D moment this summer) in 1975 and Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark the previous year. In 1977, Spielberg even dipped his toes into the deep science fiction of extraterrestrial lifeforms with Dating of the Third Kindbut nothing he had done so far matched the excitement and youthful adventure of AND the extra-terrestrial. The fantastical apprehension of life outside Earth thrilled audiences, and the sweetness of young Elliott’s devotion to the wrinkly wise ET had parents everywhere asking, “Aww, can we keep it?”


The success of AND the extra-terrestrial was historic. The film was the biggest hit of all of 1982, grossing $435 million at the box office, and was nominated for nine Oscars – four of which ET snagged. The lovable, easily spooked alien and his one mission to return to his mysterious home even earned him an inclusion as a nominee for TIME’s Man of the Year. In a time where 80s nostalgia runs deep with shows like stranger things and the next paper girlsET’s 40th anniversary couldn’t have come at a better time!

AND the extra-terrestrial crash-lands in IMAX on August 12. You can see the IMAX Twitter announcement below:

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