The company opened 30 to 40 theaters in China this year and has a backlog of 250 theaters, he said. In the Middle East he expects the number of theaters to reach 30 by 2017. IMAX is also finalizing agreements in Scandinavian countries where the company already has 70 theaters, he said from Abu Dhabi.
Theaters are facing competition from at-home options such asNetflix Inc. (NFLX) streaming. They are taking steps to improve the customer experience, investing in reclining seats, 4-D experiences with wind and movement and in-seat dining.
IMAX, based in Mississauga, Ontario, plans to use laser projectors with the next “Hobbit” installment in December in a Toronto theater, Gelfond said. Laser projection delivers a brighter picture and greater resolution than current digital projection, he said.
To read more about the future of IMAX visit Bloomberg.