Imax CEO Richard Gelfond Extends Contract Through 2025

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Imax Entertainment CEO Richard Gelfond has extended his contract through 2025.

Gelfond, who has served as CEO since 2009 and has been with the company since 1994, will keep his current compensation, equity and severance terms, according to Monday’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Since 2019, Gelfond has received a base salary of $1.2 million and in 2021 earned a total compensation of $9.1 million, including stock awards. During the pandemic, when cinemas were shuttered for an extended period of time, he didn’t take a bonus.

Though the movie theater industry is still rebounding from COVID-19, the company that’s known for its immersive, advanced technology emerged in a uniquely enviable position. That’s because Imax and other premium moviegoing experiences have been in high demand among blockbuster-hungry moviegoers. Also, the company has a cleaner balance sheet and isn’t as heavily leveraged as others in the exhibition space.

In recent years, Imax has been making a bigger push to integrate itself in the moviemaking process. At least 10 movies in 2022 — Jordan Peele’s “Nope,” “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” among them — were filmed with Imax cameras. 

“Dominion,” “Doctor Strange 2” and “Top Gun: Maverick” were particularly successful for Imax, each generating more than $25 million globally.

“It is no longer a question of whether global consumers will come back to the cinema for blockbuster movies,” Gelfond said during a recent earnings call. “They are 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, turning out for films across virtually every genre.”

But there are potential setbacks, namely, the dearth of blockbusters on the calendar in fall. Other than “Black Adam” (Oct. 21), “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Nov. 11) and “Avatar: The Way of Water” (Dec. 16), the potential for big-screen smashes appear to be few and far between.