Imax CEO Bullish On 2021 Theatrical Movie Backlog

Imax CEO Bullish On 2021 Theatrical Movie Backlog

Imax Corp IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond spoke about movie theaters’ bull case in a CNBC interview on Monday and said he expects 2021 to be “an embarrassment of riches.”

What Happened: Gelfond hopes Imax could cover some of the lost revenue from 2020 next year, reckoning the movie backlog.

As the pandemic struck, many studios paused movie tapings and postponed film releases to 2021. Moreover, AT&T Inc’s T and its Warner Bros. studios dealt a blow to movie theaters by testing the hybrid model of simultaneous theater and streaming platform release.

Gelfond said that if the optimistic scenario containing the global pandemic plays out, Imax will get a boost as movie lovers seek to come to the movie theaters for immersive content they can’t get at home.

“There’s an awful lot of content, and that’s true on a global basis,” Gelfond said. Some of the highly anticipated planned 2020 releases that were pushed to 2021 include “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Black Widow,” and “Fast & Furious 9.”

Gelfond expects the Imax business to improve by summer with the launch of Tom Cruise and Jennifer Connelly starer “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Why It Matters: “I think by then you’ll start to approach 100% levels and then certainly by the fourth quarter it’ll be completely open,” Gelfond said.

He added that the economy would start to reopen by the second quarter after the country reaches ideal immunity levels.

Though the pandemic bought many movie chains on the verge of bankruptcy, things are starting to improve. Despite the hybrid-release model by movie studios, “Wonder Woman 1984” did well.

The COVID-19 relief bill also included $15 billion in funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions.

Price Action: IMAX shares closed 4.06% higher at $17.70 on Monday.

Photo via Wikimedia

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