Until recently, we all believed that the Matrix was a trilogy, but the imminent arrival of ‘Matrix Resurrections’ is going to make it stop being like that. That does not mean that the premiere of ‘Matrix Revolutions’ in 2003 it was a complete revolution, since Warner opted for an ambitious premiere plan never seen at the time.
The initial idea of las Wachowski was to premiere ‘Matrix Revolutions’ just a month after the release of ‘Matrix Reloaded’, but from Warner they had other plans, since they had seen well how well the annual strategy of ‘The Lord of the rings’. Finally, the premiere was set for November 3, 2003, approximately six months after the second installment.
Of course, at Warner they wanted to do something unheard of for the date by launching ‘Matrix Revolutions’ in 107 markets the same day and at the same time. That meant that in Spain we could see the film from 3:00 p.m., but, for example, in Los Angeles in the United States it was 6 in the morning, while in Tokyo it was 23 o’clock.
A movement called to make history that Warner baptized with the name of Zero hour and that contrasted with the launch policy of the two previous installments. For example, ‘Matrix’ hit theaters in the United States on March 31, 1999 and in Spain we did not see it until June 23, while with ‘Matrix Reloaded’ the wait was noticeably reduced but without being something simultaneous: May 15 in its country of origin and 23 in Spain.
Hollywood was already trying to shorten wait times back then and Fox had already tried a somewhat similar play that same year with ‘X-Men 2’. It was even announced that it was the largest simultaneous release in history, but ‘Matrix Revolutions’ destroyed its brand just a few months later and did so by betting on a simultaneous release in every way, and not just the same day.
Just like wakefulness the producer Joel Silver A few weeks before the premiere, the Wachowskis fully supported Warner’s strategy:
We received such overwhelming response from audiences around the world for ‘Matrix Reloaded’ that the Wachowskis wanted to give our fans the opportunity to see the final piece of the Matrix puzzle at the same time in every major city in the world.
Also, Warner’s ambitious plan also made history regarding to the simultaneous release in 60 IMAX cinemas across the globe – for example, ‘Matrix Reloaded’ did not hit IMAX theaters until three weeks after its release in the United States – thus becoming the first Hollywood blockbuster to achieve such a thing. This was something that would catch on for years to come to become a Hollywood standard.
The premiere came and the initial performance of ‘Matrix Revolutions’ was amazing. The movie amassed 204 million of dollars in its first five days in theaters, becoming the best global premiere of all time at that time, thus breaking the record that ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers’ had set in December 2002 with 188 million in the same period.
However, the third installment of the franchise failed to hold public interest and ultimately ended up being the lowest grossing film in the series with worldwide revenues of $ 427 million. ‘Matrix’ got 463 at the time, while ‘Matrix Reloaded’ went up to 739 million.
But nevertheless, Hollywood took note of what Warner had done with ‘Matrix Resurrections’ to promote the simultaneous premieres of their great productions, also giving enormous importance to the income they achieve during their first days in theaters. Of course, no one has ever dared with such an ambitious launch to reach so many countries at the same time.
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When ‘Matrix Revolutions’ shook the movie world with the most ambitious premiere ever