The recent episode of The Town with Matthew Belloni and Richard Gelfond, IMAX's CEO, was enlightening. The company's influence on box office ticket sales is staggering; they can command up to 30% of U.S. and 20% of global ticket sales, all with less than 1% of total screens. This isn't just a screen size upgrade; it's a sought-after premium experience. Operating debt-free and asset-light through tech licensing, IMAX focuses on what they excel at: enabling jaw-dropping cinematic experiences.
IMAX isn't just about Hollywood blockbusters anymore. This year, 40 local language films will contribute to 20-25% of IMAX's revenue. This strategic diversification is a smart move, especially given the current volatility in Hollywood.
The conversation also touched upon the future of streaming. They predicted consolidation to just 3 or 4 streamers, which they forecasted would be really bad for creators—unless government regulation steps in.
In alluding to a rumored Taylor Swift Era IMAX release, it sounds like IMAX is also motivated to diversify their content into music and live events.
This poses an interesting question: What implications does IMAX's success have for Apple's Vision Pro set to launch in 2024? With IMAX setting the bar for immersive experiences, Vision Pro's aim to elevate content into similar realms could be a game-changer. I'd wager it stands to hook audiences much like IMAX does, seamlessly blending tech and experience while potentially shifting the landscape of content creation and consumption.
Update: The day after posting this the opening of the "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" IMAX concert was announced for Friday the 13th of October.