- Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said at a conference his company is in “active discussions” with streaming services about showing their original content on a large-format screen.
- Gelfond said he would respect the exclusive theatrical window if Imax shows any streaming titles.
Would you leave your couch to see a Netflix movie on an Imax screen?
That’s the crux of discussions the leading large-format screen company is having with not just Netflix, but all of the streaming services.
Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said during a session at Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference that his company had been in “active discussions” about streaming original movies getting the Imax treatment.
“Over time, to me, it’s inevitable that these big blockbusters that people are spending all this money on, are going to have a theatrical release and I think almost certainly an Imax release,” Gelfond said.
Imax has already gone down this road with Netflix in the past.
Netflix’s 2016 movie, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny,” the sequel to the Oscar-winning 2000 original, was quietly shown on 10-12 Imax screens when AMC allowed the movie to be on large-format screens in select theatres in New Jersey and California during the movie’s opening weekend. (The box-office results for those screenings were never reported).
Gelfond said any deal Imax had with a streaming title would respect the 90-day exclusive theatrical window currently in place for all theatrical releases. That’s a surprising development since all the major movie chains generally will not show Netflix movies as the streamer never obeys the 90-day theatrical window. (In contrast, movies relased by Amazon have a traditional theatrical release before streaming.)
But this may be the latest indication that Netflix is more willing to respect the theatrical window.
Gelfond’s comments come on the heels of reports that Netflix is going to give an expanded exclusive theatrical run to its award season hopeful, Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” that way it doesn’t get slighted like the streaming giant has in the past with titles like previous Oscar hopeful, “Beasts of No Nation.”
An Imax source told Business Insider that the discussions with streaming companies are still in the early phases, but it’s not hard to imagine consumer interest in seeing streaming titles on Imax, especially if they are shown there first.
Looking forward, there’s the sequel to the Will Smith sci-fi movie “Bright” and Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” on Netflix that would be great to see on an Imax screen. Maybe even the first few episodes of Amazon’s upcoming “Lord of the Rings” series would be worth watching on a large screen before binge-watching back home. And there’s also Apple’s content coming soon.
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