IMAX Theaters to Expand Into Movie Production

Homegrown programming would to plug gaps in the calendar when Hollywood isn’t producing blockbusters, entertainment CEO Greg Foster says

Giant-screen specialist IMAX Corp. is joining the content creation party, and will be generating its own movies and other programming in the near future, the company’s entertainment chief executive officer Greg Foster said Wednesday.

Talks with potential partners and TV producers and filmmakers are under way, and IMAX will be taking its next steps in the coming months, Foster said Wednesday at the 2015 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference sponsored by Bank of America and Merrill Lynch in Los Angeles.

IMAX has had a terrific year so far, and its stock and revenues have surged thanks to a strong domestic and global box office, led by giant-screen-friendly hits like “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Jurassic World” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

But the company has troubles in times of year when blockbusters are scarce, Foster said. “There were no blockbuster movies released in August, there were none last week and none this coming weekend,” he said. “That’s three or four weeks of beachfront property.” And with net income up by 83 percent from a year ago, to $24.35 million, IMAX is positioned to aggressively seek alternatives. “We want to provide the very best premium entertainment 52 weeks a year, and if creating it ourselves is the best way to do it, we’re going to be excited about taking that step,” he said. With the digital explosion creating countless new streaming platforms, there has been a rush to fill the content void by media firms and companies better known in other sectors, like online retailer and Marriott Hotels…

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