Many of Hollywood’s biggest franchises — like “The Hunger Games,” “Transformers” and “Star Wars,” to name a few — have followed the example set by Christopher Nolan in “The Dark Knight” and filmed sequences in IMAX®.
The summer of the blockbuster movie is alive and well, but that liveliness might not e so visible in the U.S. Box office receipts here are flat to down during the last few years, as more consumers opt for fancy home entertainment systems and mobile devices to watch their flicks. But internationally, sales are soaring, as movie-goers in China, Russia and Latin America pay up to see blockbusters. In the U.S., the average price of a movie ticket can be anywhere from $8 to $10, but a ticket to an IMAX theater can be up to $13 to $15 because of a more innovative 3-D and IMAX experience. Prices have gone up because of the popularity of 3-D and IMAX films such as Star Trek: Into Darkness and Iron Man 3. But nowhere is the popularity as strong and as pricey as in places such as emerging markets, where consumers are soaking up one of the USA's greatest exports: entertainment. I caught up with the CEO of IMAX, Richard Gelfond to talk growth around the world. Our interview follows, edited for clarity and length.
Q: Transformers: Age of Extinction has been the hot movie of the summer. But it's not just the U.S. Was this a surprise?