IMAX hasn’t just seen the future. It has been creating it for nearly 50 years.
The brand has grown largely unchallenged, and today an IMAX movie commands a premium of $3 to $6 over a normal movie ticket in movie theaters across North America.
IMAX makes sound business decisions. The cameras necessary for creating an IMAX film are proprietary. So is the conversion technology that brings a third dimension to existing 2D films. The brand is growing briskly in China and Russia. Chairman Bradley Wechscler and CEO Richard Gelfond say they’ve been “disciplined and focused in terms of where we’ll use our brand and how we’ll let it grow.”
IMAX is also expanding into consumers’ living rooms. Their commitment to maintaining the high standards that govern the IMAX experience will cost enthusiasts somewhere between $250,000 and $2.5 million to own a home version.
As IMAX grows in global presence and strength, so will competition. Since “Avatar”, all major North America theatre chains have be spec’ing out their own big-screen experiences. IMAX now has to consider new strategies that push brand loyalty levels even higher. They could start with their website, which currently feels like a traditional newspaper-style movie listing service. They could step further out of line by creating the first working version of Star Trek’s Holodeck. Imagine an IMAX installation that lets you experience exactly how the characters in “Gravity” felt. Or what Felix Baumgartner saw stepping out of that capsule at the edge of space…
In this scenario, the future IMAX could create is virtually limitless.