Pixar's 'Brave' to premiere at grand opening of Dolby Theatre

The event will be held in conjunction with the 2012 LA Film Festival

Princess Merida, the heroine of Disney/Pixar's "Brave," voiced by Kelly Macdonald
Princess Merida, the heroine of Disney/Pixar's "Brave," voiced by Kelly Macdonald
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

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On the heels of the recent news that Dolby Laboratories has wrangled naming rights to the Hollywood & Highland theatre (formerly known as the Kodak) that has played host to concerts, performance events and, of course, the annual Academy Awards ceremony, Walt Disney Pictures has announced that the "grand opening" of the venue will coincide with the world premiere of Disney/Pixar's "Brave." The June 17 event will take place in conjunction with the Los Angeles Film Festival.

"This is the first of many exclusive and exciting events—from movie premieres to awards ceremonies—in which Dolby and our technologies will play a featured role," said Dolby executive VP of sales and marketing via press release.

As part of the naming rights announcement earlier this month, it was noted that Dolby "will continue to update the theatre with innovative, world-class technologies to ensure that the theatre remains state-of-the-art, beginning with the immediate installation of its recently released Dolby® Atmos™ sound technology." The "Brave" screening will be presented in Dolby 3D.

Pixar's film could be the first serious Best Picture contender to hit theaters this year. The expanded field allowed for 2009's "Up" and 2010's "Toy Story 3" to slide into contention, but the studio hit its first major critical and kudos speed bump with last year's "Cars 2."

Set against the ancient Scottish Highlands, "Brave" tells the story of a spirited heroine, Princess Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald), who defies a custom that brings chaos and curse to her kingdom, leaving her to save the day. It promises to be a unique entry in Disney's lineage of female leads and marks Pixar's first feature to have a female character front and center.

The Los Angeles Film Festival opens this year with Woody Allen's "To Rome with Love" on June 14. It runs through June 24 and closing night world premiere of "Magic Mike," from filmmaker Steven Soderbergh. Gala screenings include Sundance sensation "Beasts of the Southern Wild," Ava DuVernay's "Middle of Nowhere" and world premiere "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World," starring Steve Carrell and Keira Knightley.

In related news, AMC Theatres has announced plans to release four of the most critically acclaimed films from the Pixar stable -- "Ratatouille," "WALL-E," "Up" and "Toy Story 3" -- over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Six bucks per movie gets you the opportunity to relive the magic on the big screen.

"Brave" opens nationwide on June 22.

For year-round entertainment news and awards season commentary follow @kristapley on Twitter.

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Kristopher Tapley
Editor-at-Large
Kristopher Tapley has covered the film awards landscape for over a decade. He founded In Contention in 2005. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Times of London and Variety. He begs you not to take any of this too seriously.
2013-2014 OSCAR NOMINATIONS
UPDATED: MARCH 2, 2014