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    Strikes’ End Has Sparked Studio “Land Grab” for Release Dates – The Music news


    Imax CEO Richard Gelfond says major studios making high profile changes to their tentpole release slates after the resolution of the Hollywood actors strike means 2025 will be very good year for his global big screen network.   

    “Because some things couldn’t go into production because of the (actors) strike, when the strike settled it was like a land grab for 2025. So our summer late is almost completely booked up for 2025,” Gelfond told the Wells Fargo TMT Summit on Wednesday.

    He looked to Avatar 3 coming out in Christmas 2025, while the summer season that year will see the latest from the Top Gun and Superman franchises also roll out on Imax screens. The film technologies company is also near to nailing down a 2025 slot for Apple’s Brad Pitt highly anticipated Formula One movie directed by Joseph Kosinski, who was behind Top Gun: Maverick.

    Gelfond also discussed China’s theatrical box office recovery as the world’s second largest cinema market began to relax its zero-COVID policy and allow more Hollywood tentpoles onto its movie screens. “The country was shut down in quarantine, with drones flying over peoples’ houses. It was a pretty bleak situation,” he recalled.

    Since the reopening of movie theaters in China, Imax had success with James Cameron’s Avatar sequel and the local language title The Wandering Earth 2 on its screens. “It’s got a ways to go, but I think it’s on a good trajectory,” Gelfond said as Hollywood box office in China and large format screen installs have bounced back in the wake of the pandemic.

    Imax licenses its technology to around 800 Imax-branded theaters in China. “I’m hopeful on Chinese New Year, because this year China just reopened after the pandemic, but was a year behind the rest of the world,” Gelfond told the Wells Fargo conference.

    Given the experience elsewhere in the world market, where the Hollywood box office recovery generally took a year to take hold and get back to normal, he expected the same in the Chinese market.

    “Although China was pretty good for us this year, I think Chinese New Year and the year ahead should add more box office than it did this year,” Gelfond predicted.



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