Film industry

Imax chief says pandemic has forced film industry into ‘healthier place’

Like the rest of the film industry, Imax Executive Vice President Megan Colligan has struggled to deal with the existential challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. But in a chat with TheWrap ahead of Thursday’s results, she said there was a silver lining: It made everyone stop debating the future of cinema and work together.

At CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Colligan observed how the pre-pandemic editions of the movie show featured talking points and pitches from exhibitors and studios that demonstrated how different sides of Hollywood were in “well-entrenched positions.” on what the future of movie release should look like. But when movie theaters reopened last year, there was a major shift.

“I think the last year was a good opportunity for all the hypothetical conversations that plagued the industry about what we should try and everybody got to try them,” Colligan said, referring to experiences. like Warner Bros. concurrent year-long release in theaters and on HBO Max and Disney’s release of “Black Widow” as a premium home offering on Disney+.

“Everyone got to have the experience they wanted to try…and a lot of people were disowned from the truth that they thought was real,” Colligan continued. “I think people are less set in their beliefs…and I think that makes us all more collaborative and more creative and puts the industry in a healthier place.”

As an example, Colligan pointed to how studios that released films simultaneously in theaters and on streaming last year struck deals with movie chains giving theaters a bigger share of revenue from movie sales. tickets as compensation for the loss of revenue from the interested public who saw these new home releases.

Warner Bros. struck such deals with several major chains last year as well as agreements to return to 45-day movie windows in 2022, preserving a healthy partnership with exhibitors while allowing them to go from strength to strength. forward with an eye-catching experience on HBO Max and helped provide stability in an uncertain pandemic box office.

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Some of the rhetoric spoken on stage at CinemaCon has also changed. While in recent years participants have fiercely defended the theatrical 90-day window, NATO CEO John Fithian walked a finer line this week, passionately defending the importance of the window on the bottom line and stating that the day and date release was “dead as serious business”. model” while recognizing that the nature of these windows is changing – or in other words, getting shorter – as the industry emerges from the pandemic.

“Exhibitors and distributors continue to work together to create scalable periods of theatrical exclusivity that maximize theater revenues and increase perceived value for consumers when they opt for exclusive home streaming,” a- he declared. “Even as they evolve, cinema windows still grow our entire industry.”