Meanwhile, fans continue to pull for a big studio partnership. "Ultimately for Imax to achieve its full potential, it needs a more formal arrangement with a larger entity," Gelfond says. But he cautions serious discussion remain a ways off.
Having signed a healthy stable of licensing agreements overseas, Gelfond sees further growth in places like China, India and Russia as well as in South America. He notes that a first Imax-enabled theater is up and running in Buenos Aires. In Mexico alone, the company has deals in place to have 17 running by 2008.
Next year looks bright for the company on the distribution side, as it wades into a new slate of Hollywood and documentary-style films. Deep Sea 3, narrated by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, will be followed by Wolfgang Peterson's Poseidon, as well as by Superman Returns in early summer of 2006. Then comes a 3D computer-generated film called Ant Bully and another CGI-animated effort called Happy Feet.
Now it's up to moviegoers to beat a path to those Imax theaters.