Imax CEO Says “Debate Is Over” On Studios Skipping Theatrical Release

Imax CEO Richard Gelfond is opening up about how important the theatrical window is and how he thinks some streaming services are realizing it now.

“The debate is over,” Gelfond said in an interview with Yahoo Finance Live. “The argument that you can skip a theatrical window and make up for it on streaming just isn’t true. The theatrical window is more essential than ever to get the streaming revenue.”

Gelfond’s comments come as Disney’s earnings fell short despite a surge in Disney+ subscribers. The Imax CEO referenced the success of Top Gun: Maverick over the summer breaking records and becoming Paramount’s biggest worldwide grosser.

“So that $1.5 billion not only didn’t distract from the streaming revenue — it added to it,” Gelfond said, adding, “almost every streamer has now said they recognize the need for theatrical release.”

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