IMAX Corporation

IMAX Corporation
Traded as NYSE: IMAX
Russell 2000 Component
Industry Motion picture production and exhibition
Predecessor Multi-Screen Corporation, IMAX Systems Corporation
Founded 1967 (1967) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Founders Graeme Ferguson
Roman Kroitor
Robert Kerr
William Shaw
Headquarters Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Area served
Key people
Bradley Wechsler (Chairman)
Richard Gelfond (CEO)
Products Special-venue films and movie theatres
Revenue US$2.095 billion (2016)[1]
US$41.3 million (2012)[1]
Total assets US$421 million (2012)[1]
Total equity US$253 million (2012)[1]
Number of employees
Divisions IMAX, IMAX 3D, IMAX Dome, IMAX DMR, IMAX at AMC (joint venture with AMC Theatres)
Subsidiaries Ridefilm Corporation
Sonics Associates
David Keighley Productions[2]
3D Entertainment

The IMAX Corporation is a Canadian theatre company which designs and manufactures IMAX cameras and projection systems as well as performing film development, production, post production and distribution to IMAX affiliated theatres worldwide.[3] Founded in 1968, it has headquarters in the Toronto area, and operations in New York City and Los Angeles.

As of September 2017, there were 1,302 IMAX theatres located in 75 countries, of which 1,203 were in commercial multiplexes.[4] These include IMAX variations such as IMAX 3D, IMAX Dome, and Digital IMAX. The CEO is Richard Gelfond.[5]


IMAX is a Canadian corporation that is based in Mississauga, Ontario. The company was founded in 1967 when three filmmakers, Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor and Robert Kerr incorporated IMAX Corporation. The idea and the new technology, which resulted in the birth of the company, came from the work that Ferguson, Kroitor and Kerr had done producing the multi-screen National Film Board of Canada production In the Labyrinth and Ferguson's Man and the Polar Regions for Expo 67.[6][7] From their experience, Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor and Robert Kerr realized that new technology would be necessary to develop a larger and more complex project than previously seen. As a result, they sought an engineer named William Shaw in 1968[8] (he had gone to Galt Collegiate Institute in Galt, Ontario, now Cambridge, with Ferguson and Kerr) to help develop this technology. Shaw created this new projector that allowed for films to have exceptionable quality and to be ten times larger than conventional 35mm picture frames.[9] The first movie IMAX Corporation produced using this new technology was Tiger Child which was featured at Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan.[9] It was because of the multi-screen viewing that Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor and Robert Kerr wanted to create a theatre with giant screens, surround sound and stadium seating.

William Shaw was instrumental in helping IMAX Corporation fulfill its ambitions in creating larger and more realistic experiences for audience which included oversized screens, surround sound and steep seating for better viewing.[7] Shaw remained at IMAX (although officially retired) as a designer and inventor until his passing on August 31, 2002 at the age of 73.[9] Before retiring Shaw created a 3D camera which was sent to the International Space Station for IMAX films.[9] In 1994, investment bankers Gelfond and Bradley Wechsler, acquired IMAX Corporation through a leveraged buyout and publicly listed the company on the NASDAQ stock exchange.[10][11] IMAX then began to focus their abilities on attracting Hollywood production houses.[12] Another engineer at IMAX Corporation Brian Bonnick, Chief Technology Officer at IMAX Corporation, developed technologies that made it possible for the worldwide IMAX to produce major Hollywood films.[13] More flexible technology required by that industry led to the development of the IMAX DMR (Digital Re-Mastering), which was able to adapt quickly in various locations. Newer technology followed, including the IMAX Experience and the IMAX MPX theatre system. Revamped IMAX 2D footage has been transferred into IMAX 3D.[13]

Recent milestones

  • In April 2009, Gelfond became the sole IMAX CEO and Wechsler moved into the role of chairman of the board of directors.[14][15]
  • Later in 2009, IMAX participated in the movie Avatar, to which the company credits its mainstream Hollywood success.[16][17]
  • In March 2011 IMAX noted that China's Wanda Cinema Line announced a 75-theatre deal with IMAX Corporation.[18]
  • In 2012, IMAX opened its first location in Tianjin, China.[19]
  • On October 8, 2015, IMAX China, a subsidiary of the company, was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.[20] According to The Hollywood Reporter and The Wall Street Journal, "IMAX China raised $248 Million in its initial public offering,"[21] which was the "bottom of [the] indicative price range."[22]
  • As of September 2017, there were 1,302 theatres in 75 countries.[4]


In November 2016, Marvel Television and IMAX announced the live action television series, Marvel's Inhumans, based on the superhero race of the same name. The series, co-produced with ABC Studios, saw IMAX serve as a financing partner, a first for IMAX, which allowed Marvel to spend more on the series than it had on its other television series, especially for visual effects. The entire series was filmed with IMAX digital cameras. Inhumans debuted an edited specific for theatrical-release version of the first two episodes. The episodes debuted on IMAX screens in theaters worldwide in September 2017, with the series airing weekly on ABC afterwards.[23][24][25] After the poor reception to the IMAX version of the first two episodes and a box office gross of $3.5 million, Richard Gelfond said, "Going forward, we intend to take a more conservative approach consistent with the Game of Thrones approach to capital investments and content. We will be more conservative when considering whether to invest our own capital; and if so, to what extent."[26]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5
  2. "Imax Corporation - Company History". Retrieved 2012-02-24.
  3. "History of IMAX". Funding Universe. 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2013-04-02.
  4. 1 2 "IMAX and Cineplex Launch Canada's First IMAX VR Centre at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto". GmbH.
  6. Aitken, Ian (October 27, 2005). "NFB's Labyrinth". Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film. Routledge. pp. 168–9. ISBN 978-1579584450.
  7. 1 2 Anonymous (Spring 1993). "Oscar Nominated Canadian Company on the Leading Edge". Performing Arts & Entertainment in Canada. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  8. Tillson, Tamsen (September 15, 2002). "Obituaries: Shaw Thought Big: IMAX". Variety. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  9. 1 2 3 4 Anonymous (September 10, 2002). "His Talents Made IMAX Possible". National Post. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  12. Schawbel, Dan. "Richard Gelfond: How He Took IMAX From Museums To Hollywood". Forbes.
  13. 1 2 Anonymous (September 24, 2007). "IMAX Corporation". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  18. "IMAX". IMAX Corporation. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  19. Anonymous (May 5, 2009). "IMAX Corporation; IMAX Signs Theatre Deal in China". China Weekly News. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  20. Brzeski, Patrick (February 24, 2016). "Imax China to Install 100 New Screens in 2016, Bullish on Growth". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  21. Brzeski, Patrick (7 October 2015). "Imax China Begins Trading on Hong Kong Stock Exchange". The Hollywood Reporter.
  22. Lee, Yvonne (1 October 2015). "IMAX China Raises $248 Million in Hong Kong Initial Public Offering". Wall Street Journal.
  23. "'Marvel's The Inhumans' Coming To IMAX & ABC In 2017". November 14, 2016. Archived from the original on November 15, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  24. Goldberg, Lesley (November 14, 2016). "Marvel, ABC Set 'The Inhumans' TV Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 15, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  25. Barnes, Brooks (November 14, 2016). "Marvel's 'Inhumans' TV Series Will Arrive via Imax Theaters". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 15, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  26. Hayes, Dade (October 27, 2017). "Imax Concedes 'Marvel Inhumans' Experiment Let Down Moviegoers". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 27, 2017. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
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