By Richard Gelfond on September 8, 2012
MY parents raised me in a blue-collar neighborhood of Plainview, N.Y., on Long Island. My mother was a homemaker and my father was a furrier, a job that left him unemployed for months at a time, because no one bought fur coats during the summer.
One day I was visiting my father at work, and his supervisor told him that it was time to get back to work. From that day, I decided I wanted to be in control of my own destiny. I began by shining shoes and mowing lawns, then working as a shipping clerk at a fabric company. I’m a born entrepreneur, and in junior high school I started a monthly newspaper,
By Brian Salisbury on September 4, 2012
Why do we love movies? Why is it an artistic medium that, arguably more so than any other, captures the imaginations of people all across the planet? These are questions that have been plumbed in depth by all manner of film critics and film historians. One slightly newer question worthy of dissection regards the re-releasing of classic films into multiplexes, often in fancier formats than were available upon its initial release. Stalwarts may rattle the sabers of purism and decry the prospect. However, there is an argument to be made that there are some films that would greatly benefit from this revisit to theaters. This week, Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark enjoys a theatrical IMAX re-release — and it deserves a second look on the big screen.
Detractors will wash their hands at the appearance of the word IMAX, but the format is perfectly suited to a film like Raiders. Going back to those critical examinations of our collective adoration for motion pictures, one of the phrases you’re bound to see again and again is “larger than life.” While IMAX does literally augment the image area and require a larger size of film, it’s not simply a case of everything bigger being inherently better.
In this case, the phrase larger than life extends beyond the literal sense and speaks to the escapism offered by the silver screen. Raiders of the Lost Ark is at its heart a classic style adventure story modeled after the movie serials of the 1930s and 1940s. These were thrilling, sweeping action films that played in segments before the feature presentation in old movie houses. These serials were meant to transport the audiences, who had not the benefit of the Internet, to worlds much grander and more exciting than the one they knew. Read the entire article on Hollywood.com's website.
By Etan Vlessing on September 4, 2012
The Warner Bros. tentpole has taken in $65.1 million domestically, and another $37.3 million internationally, after seven weeks on release.
Giant screen exhibitor IMAX on Tuesday said Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Dark Knight Rises has crossed the $100 million global box office mark.
The milestone came as Christopher Nolan’s tentpole release screened in 557 IMAX theaters worldwide during seven weeks of release.
That performance came via a $65.1 million in box office receipts from 332 IMAX screens domestically, and another $37.3 million taken in from 225 IMAX screens internationally, including in China where The Dark Knight Rises started screening in 75 digital theaters from Aug. 27.
Read the entire article on The Hollywood Reporter's website.
By Robert Mitchell on September 1, 2012
Dialogue: Topper Andrew Cripps also eyes Middle East and Africa
During nearly 30 years in marketing and distribution, Andrew Cripps has become a leading authority on the business models and cultural nuances unique to every international market. In his new role as president of IMAX Europe, Middle East and Africa, he will apply his experience to expand the IMAX footprint. Cripps discusses his approach in different areas of the EMEA region with Robert Mitchell at IMAX's London offices, and looks at the opportunities offered by new technology and local productions.
Robert Mitchell: What is your key area of focus for IMAX in Europe, the Middle East and Africa?
Andrew Cripps: The primary area of focus at the moment is to expand the network across Europe. There are a lot of things you can then do: be far more flexible with programming; look at additional content, including European content. We're making a very significant investment in Europe because we believe the growth opportunities are there. Through the second quarter, IMAX EMEA box office this year was up 54% (to $58.1 million) over last year, so we're off to a great start.
RM: What are your goals for the expansion?
AC: I'd like to see us doubling the network in the next three to five years. We've got 101 theaters open, 35 in backlog. A lot of growth will come from the markets that are very strong with IMAX at the moment, but I think some of the growth is going to come from the big Western European countries that we're underrepresented in.
Read the entire article on Variety's website.
By Heng Shao on August 28, 2012
Moviemakers aren’t the only ones vying for a piece of China’s booming film market. IMAX has burst into China with its huge screens, going from 22 theaters in 2009 to 240 open or planned today. The mainland is now IMAX’s biggest market after the U.S., where it has 343 theaters.
China figures to become increasingly lucrative for the Canada-based IMAX. In February Beijing raised its limit on foreign films from 20 to 34 a year, and the extra 14 must all be 3-D, animated or IMAX movies. The deal nearly doubles the share of Chinese box-office receipts that movie producers may keep, to 25%, creating a bigger pot for IMAX and other theater chains.
The foundation for IMAX’s China business took years to build, starting in 1998 when Chief Executive Rich Gelfond made the first of his now 35 trips to the mainland. His strategy was to make friends with decision makers—members of state councils, mayors, deputy mayors—and ask: How should we do business in China? Year after year Gelfond would call on officials. Their demands varied from producing Chinese content in the IMAX format and exporting Chinese films to IMAX theaters overseas to opening IMAX theaters in third-tier cities, but he made sure they were met. He moved the company’s Asia headquarters from Singapore to Shanghai in 2002. This year, for the first time in the U.S., IMAX will release a reformatted Chinese movie, The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate. Read the entire article on Forbes website.
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