Imax CEO Compares ‘Crouching Tiger’ Sequel Boycott to Family Dispute

Michelle Yeoh in 'Crouching Tiger Hidden

Imax compared its recent standoff with theater owners over its decision to partner with Netflix on a sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” to a family squabble.

The country’s four largest theater chains are boycotting the martial arts sequel, but Imax CEO Richard Gelfond told investors and analysts Thursday that the company’s relationship with exhibitors has not been damaged.

“There’s been no real fallout between us and them… think of it as a dispute within the family,” said Gelfond.

The Weinstein Company is also partnering on the film.

Theater owners were upset because Netflix plans to offer the film on its streaming service simultaneously with its theatrical release. Exhibitors want to maintain a 90 day gap between when a film debuts theatrically and its premiere on home entertainment platforms, believing windowing is essential to the health of their business.

Gelfond said the company planned to release the “Crouching Tiger” follow-up in August of 2015 because late summer tends to be a slow period at the box office.

“Our logic was, we were going to provide alternative content at a time of year when there wasn’t a lot of content,” said Gelfond.

“If it doesn’t work, it won’t be part of a trend, but if it does work out we’ll probably offer the opportunity again,” he added.

Gelfond’s remarks came after the wide screen company reported its third quarter financial results.

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