- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Imax CEO Richard Gelfond says the giant screen exhibitor is accelerating its push beyond Hollywood movies to more live events in around 150 theaters currently for additional revenue streams.
“The platform and the brand are so powerful on a global basis and I give our team high marks for that. But in terms of value creation, there’s a long way to go,” Gelfond told the 2022 Communacopia + Technology Conference on Wednesday about its expanding LIVE network.
Calling it Imax 3.0, Gelfond explained that his company over the last 30 years had successfully expanded beyond science museums and other educational institutions to offer super-sized Hollywood movies at the local multiplex.
But as theater attendance at the local multiplex is reduced as consumers view more movies in the home, Imax is pivoting to more exclusive film screenings, with stars and filmmakers standing six-storys in size over Imax filmgoers taking part in live question-and-answer sessions.
In Jan. 2022, Peter Jackson’s Disney+ documentary The Beatles: Get Back was edited down and played to near-sellout crowds in nearly 70 Imax theaters across North America and at the BFI Theatre in London, UK. That was followed by the three-time Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings director taking questions from the Imax audience.
“Thousands of people showed up in our wired theaters and literally Peter said ‘you, the guy in the yellow shirt in London, what’s your question?’ … We did $3 million for something that was on Disney+ three months ago,” Gelfond told the investors conference.
Elsewhere, the video game industry’s Summer Game Fest and The Game Awards were broadcast on Imax screens. And, as major studios and streamers look to eventize their movie releases, Imax’s wired theaters will do a Q&A with Don’t Worry Darling director Olivia Wilde and lead actor Harry Styles as an Imax Live Experience event on Sept. 19.
“A lot of theaters sold out immediately,” Gelfond reported as his company looks to continue efforts to diversify its content portfolio with more live and interactive events. “We think that’s a really revenue opportunity and a good marketing opportunity for us,” he added.
Imax expects to have around 200 giant screen theaters wired up for live events by the end of the year, and is projected to be at 400 theaters in 2023. “Obviously, the economics get better as you grow the fixed base,” Gelfond argued.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day