Fueled by 20th Century Fox's "Avatar," Imax theaters reached a record $100 million in worldwide box office grosses in the final quarter of 2009.It's a first for the large-format exhib for a single quarter.B.O. receipts for the fourth quarter repped a 225% increase over the same period in 2008, when global grosses hit $31 million. Results for the quarter ended Dec. 31 included $54 million in ticket sales for James Cameron's "Avatar."For the year, gross box office receipts for Imax...
As CEO of IMAX since April 2009, Richard Gelfond has led IMAX to collaborate with studios on large screen releases like “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” and “Doctor Strange,” the latter of which included over an hour of footage specially formatted for IMAX.
Thanks to Gelfond, IMAX developed a business model that allows studios and filmmakers like J.J. Abrams, Christopher Nolan, and James Cameron to collaborate on special large-screen releases, leading to bigger box office numbers and a more interactive theatergoing experience. There are now more than 930 IMAX theaters in 62 countries.
Under Gelfond, IMAX has continued to stay ahead of technological trends. After raising $50 million, IMAX is actively exploring virtual reality and recently opened its first virtual reality center in Los Angeles. At $10 per person, individuals will have access to virtual reality headsets inside one of fifteen soundproof rooms allowing consumers to experience virtual reality games or films for approximately seven minutes. IMAX has plans to debut five other virtual reality hubs later this year.
Gelfond has been with IMAX since acquiring the company in 1994. During this time, he’s served in a variety of roles including Co-Chairman of the company with his business partner Bradley Wechsler from June 1999 until March 2009. He also previously acted as Co-CEO with Wechsler from May 1996 through March 2009.
Prior to acquiring IMAX with Wechsler in 1994, Gelfond was an investment banker, a lawyer, and an entrepreneur. He graduated from Stony Brook University with a bachelor’s degree in arts and sciences in 1976. He also has a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.