“Oh my God – I forgot how awesome it was to be in a movie”, CEO Relays – Deadline

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Due to the close ties between Imax Corp. and filmmaker Christopher Nolan, a number of employees were able to take a look at his long-delayed film, Principe, as it prepares to finally make its commercial arc on August 26.“Several people at Imax were involved in Principe in post-production phase, ”CEO Rich Gelfond said on a conference call with Wall Street analysts on Tuesday. “Their reaction was, ‘Oh my God – I forgot how awesome it was to be in a movie.’ Principe is just a beautiful movie, beautifully shot and beautifully directed. … It wasn’t just a person, at an age. It was a number of Imax employees who spontaneously told me.

Imax expects approximately 90% of its global network of approximately 1,400 theaters to be reopened by the end of August. Principe, which has been pushed several times by Warner Bros., will now open in 70 countries, including Canada, before arriving in the United States and other territories in September. The film was made entirely with Imax equipment and Nolan plugged the experience of seeing it in the company’s theaters, where the dimensions of the screen and auditorium are super-sized.

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Gelfond did not provide additional details on these previews, but earlier in the call he noted that Nolan’s films over-index in theaters of the company. Dunkerque, its last release in 2017, captured 22% of its domestic gross and 17% of its global transport on Imax screens. “Unlike Dunkerque, which was a film focused on Europe, Principe is a more traditional action thriller blockbuster with broader global appeal potential, ”added the CEO.

Descriptions of interns Principe Reactions have come in response to an analyst’s question on the earnings call about the company’s staff re-entering theaters. This experience has remained beyond the reach of American moviegoers for the past four months. CFO Patrick McClymont added to Gelfond’s comments by observing that “a number of our colleagues” were in China last weekend to “try out” the refined new theatrical setup. Imax said 409 of its sites have reopened, with several new precautions in place.

“There are increased security protocols. You definitely notice it, ”McClymont said, according to employees. “Once you sit down and the movie starts, it’s like it always is. It was a fun and immersive experience. Before you sat down there were differences, but once you were there it was completely normal.

Gelfond said Imax’s environment compares favorably with sports arenas, concert halls or other public places that attract close scrutiny for transmission of COVID-19.

“Masks are absolutely crucial,” he said, noting that Imax will continue to urge its exhibition partners to demand them, as AMC, Cinemark and Regal are doing in North America. Beyond that, “large auditoriums with high ceilings like you see in Imax theaters compare favorably to small indoor spaces such as bars and restaurants. In theaters, social distancing, capacity constraints and traffic flow can be managed effectively. People-to-people contact may be limited. The hours of the sessions can be shifted, ”he says.

More importantly, he added, “Sitting in a theater is a relatively static and passive breathing experience. You sit quietly, socially distanced according to protocol, with people facing the back of each other’s heads, not like a sporting event, where people shout, drink and stand up. And it’s not like live theater.

Separately, Gelfond was asked about Universal’s groundbreaking agreement with AMC, which allows films to switch to premium video on demand after 17 days. He said this was “not a shocking development” and that it would not have a material impact on Imax and indicated that he will need to consult other exhibitors about their views before determining. a position. “We all have to breathe,” he said, to reopen the theaters “and see how it all goes.



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