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Imax CEO Encouraged By Movie Industry's Future Despite Coronavirus Shutdown

Imax CEO Encouraged By Movie Industry's Future Despite Coronavirus Shutdown

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the movie and theater industry to a halt, but Imax Corp (NASDAQ: IMAX) CEO Richard Gelfond said on Fox Business that the future of the movie industry is secure. 

What Happened

Imax has a presence in more than 80 countries, and the reopening process for theaters will vary by country, Gelfond told Barron's editor Jack Otter in the interview.

So far, the company has resumed operations in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea. As a precaution, everyone's temperature is taken and either seats or rows are intentionally empty.

Rules and restrictions for North American reopenings have yet to be decided, he said. Most likely, the first steps will include diminished capacity and "go from there," the CEO said. 

Why It's Important

Needless to say, empty seats or rows translate to lost revenue potential, but this could be mitigated through higher demand on weekdays as opposed to just over the weekend, Gelfond said.

Social experiences have been around for "thousands of years," and the modern-day equivalent is people wanting to "experience blockbusters with their friends and feel like they are part of the movie," he said. 

"I don't really think the capacity utilization is going to be a big factor in the early going."  

What's Next

The American people are tired of sitting at home, and when given a safe opportunity to do so, moviegoers will return to the theaters, Gelfond said. This is especially true for millennials and younger people, he said, adding that older folks are likely to change their habits.

"I'm dying to get off the couch," Gelfond said. "I like my streamed shows and I love my wife, but it's enough already. We need to go out."

Related Links:

NBCUniversal Releases Movies On-Demand Same Time As Theaters Due To Coronavirus

Amazon Might Be Looking To Buy Struggling AMC Theaters: Report

Photo by Jack Peterson via Wikimedia


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