Imax Entertainment CEO Richard Gelfond has extended his contract until 2025.
Gelfond, who has been CEO since 2009 and has been with the company since 1994, will keep his current fees, share capital and terms of departure, according to Monday’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. As of 2019, Gelfond has received a base salary of $1.2 million and in 2021 earned a total compensation of $9.1 million, including share awards. During the pandemic, when cinemas were closed for an extended period of time, he did not receive a bonus.
While the cinema industry is still recovering from COVID-19, the company known for its immersive, cutting-edge technology emerged in a uniquely enviable position. That’s because Imax and other premium cinema experiences are in high demand among moviegoers. The company also has a cleaner balance sheet and is not as heavily loaded as others in the exhibition space.
In recent years, Imax has exerted greater pressure to integrate itself into the filming process. At least 10 movies in 2022 — including Jordan Peele’s “Nope,” “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” — were filmed on Imax cameras.
“Dominion”, “Doctor Strange 2” and “Top Gun: Maverick” were particularly successful for Imax, each grossing more than $25 million worldwide.
“It is no longer a question of whether global consumers will come back to the cinema for blockbuster films,” Gelfond said during a recent earnings call. “They’re back. It’s not just superhero fans. It’s not just millennials and Gen Z. It’s movie fans of every demographic, in every region around the world, showing up for movies in just about every genre.”
But there are potential setbacks, namely the lack of blockbusters on the calendar in the fall. Aside from “Black Adam” (October 21), “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (November 11), and “Avatar: The Way of Water” (December 16), the potential for big-screen smashes seems slim and far between.