Richard Gelfond, CEO of Imax Entertainment, has extended his contract until 2025.
Gelfond, who has served as CEO since 2009 and has been with the company since 1994, will keep his current compensation terms, shareholder equity and termination terms, he filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Since 2019, Gelfond has earned a base salary of $1.2 million and in 2021 he earned a Total compensation is $9.1 million, including stock awards. During the pandemic, when movie theaters were closed for an extended period of time, he didn’t get a bonus.
Although the movie theater industry is still recovering from COVID-19, the company known for its advanced immersive technology has emerged in a unique and enviable niche. This is because Imax and other premium cinema experiences have been in great demand among movie-hungry moviegoers. Also, the company has a clean balance sheet and doesn’t have as much leverage as other companies in the exhibition space.
In recent years, Imax has made a greater push to integrate itself into the filmmaking process. At least 10 movies in 2022—among them Jordan Peele’s “No,” Jurassic World: Dominion and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness—were shot with IMAX cameras.
The films “Dominion”, “Doctor Strange 2” and “Top Gun: Maverick” were particularly successful for Imax, each earning more than $25 million worldwide.
“It’s no longer a question of whether global consumers are going back to the movies to get blockbuster movies,” Gelfond said during the recent earnings call. “They’re back. It’s not just superhero fans. It’s not just millennials and Generation Z. It’s movie fans from every demographic, in every region around the world, turning to movies across nearly every genre.”
But there are potential setbacks, and a dearth of blockbuster movies is on the calendar in the fall. Other than “Black Adam” (October 21), “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (November 11), and “Avatar: The Way of Water” (December 16), the potential for a big-screen crash seems slim and far between.
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