IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond talks Dark Knight Rises, theater expansion

July 25, 2012 – 3:38 pm

From The Globe and Mail:

How has The Dark Night Rises experience been so far?

[Last week] I went to the world premiere. About half the film is full screen, top to bottom, in Imax format. It was really an incredible experience and I was grinning through a lot of it. It reminded me of the old epic movies like Dr. Zhivago or Lawrence of Arabia. I was proud to be part of it. I know that sounds corny, but I really felt that way. It was a reinforcement of how far Imax had come.

How important is it for Imax to be so central to this film event?

The most important thing for Imax is our network growth. The Dark Knight – the last one – opened on 149 Imax screens. This will open on more than 500 Imax screens worldwide. The Dark Knight Rises is another step forward [in demonstrating] Imax is here to stay.

You’ve spent a long time working at expansion in China. Is that developing the way you had hoped?

We have around 80 theatres open in China, and we’ll probably have about 225 to 230 in the next couple of years. We have definitely become an important part of the movie-going experience in China. There was no existing infrastructure, like in western Europe or North America, where you had to convince people to stop going to their local theatre and to go to Imax instead. Imax became part of the explosion of multiplex growth in China. Also, the Chinese really like luxury goods, and especially affordable luxuries. Imax is very much an affordable luxury. Our average box office per screen in China is among the highest in the world.

Read the full interview: Link >>