IMAX's CEO Presents At Bank Of America Merrill Lynch 2012 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference (Transcript)

IMAX Corporation (IMAX)

Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2012 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference Transcript

September 12, 2012 4:35 PM ET

Executives

Greg Foster - Chairman and President, Film Entertainment

Analysts

Jessica Reif Cohen - Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bryan Goldberg - Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Presentation

Jessica Reif Cohen - Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Okay. We are ready. We also have Greg Foster back at our conference, Chairman and President, Film Marketing for IMAX. Greg will, he’ll talk with the few slides and then we’ll go -- get into Q&A. And I’m joined us here by Bryan Goldberg, I think everybody knows, my colleague. And now, so Greg, thank you so much for coming.

Greg Foster

(Inaudible) you called the President and Chairman of Film Marketing but that would be stealing my colleague Christine Tasto’s job. I’m actually the Chairman and President of Film Entertainment, but Marketing is something that is big on the IMAX agenda.

But thank you for having me. I [love you] Jessica, okay…

Jessica Reif Cohen - Bank of America Merrill Lynch

All right. I’ve been wrong on everything.

Greg Foster

I just don’t want to steal Christine’s thunder. It’s nice to see all of you. Its great to be here again and I want to start with just a kind of little overview before Jessica and Bryan start peppering me with questions.

For those of you that don’t know our story kind of the 50,000 foot version is that we are 45-year old company, operated for many, many in museums, science centers, and aquarium, and play nature movies, space movies, underwater movies, et cetera.

Somewhere in the 90s, we started moving into more of a multiplex model, but we needed the product to appeal to people who went to a multiplex on a Friday night at 10 o’clock. So we have migrated a big chunk of our product to Hollywood films by creating a technology called DMR, which allows us to in a very proprietary way convert and enhance the presentation of the biggest blockbusters in Hollywood.

If you go the first slide, you can see what actually makes, and I guess, I should that, what actually makes an IMAX movie an IMAX movie? The first thing that we do in our criteria in our selection process is we really commit to the big pillar titles. So those are the foundations that we use for our annual slates. So it’s Batman movie, Harry Potter movie, James Bond, we are doing our first Bond movie Skyfall this fall, which we are very excited about or Hunger Games which will, will now we are on the second one, which comes out a year from November. We pick those big core pillar titles first.

Then we constantly are working to improve and enhance the relationship that we have with Hollywood biggest filmmakers and if there is anything that I’m extra proud of I think it’s that.

We do all of Jim Cameron’s movies. We do all of Chris Nolan’s movies. We started with Harry Potter 3 then we did 4, 5, 6, 7A and 7B. We do all of Michael Bay’s movies, Brad Bird's movies. The relationship that we have with the biggest filmmakers in Hollywood is very important.

And someone like J.J. Abrams for instance who is just doing Star Trek which was shot with our cameras is a great example of it. Because J.J is someone who started with Star Trek, the first one and now the second Star Trek movie he is shooting with IMAX cameras. So we try and amp-up the experience each time. So a filmmaker with an IMAX vision is very critical.

We also strategically try to optimize and fill in what we call the shoulder period times. So for instance some of you may have see at this weekend we did Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was a 31-year old movie that we did actually nicely with it. It’s not a giant bread winner for the company. But nevertheless, it was a nice, I call it Lily Pad if you will that enabled us to kind of get from one side of the bank of the river to the other side, one side being Batman, the other side being Bond.

And in the shoulder periods we have try and fill in as many titles as we possibly can. We have a film opening up this week and that we’re looking forward to which is called Resident Evil: Retribution which is a sequel of the Resident Evil franchise that’s done quite well.

So we strategically try and filling our schedule and from a conceptual point of view we obviously try and pick movies that had huge scope and this does the take movie go as the places they talk about going to but probably will never get to, obviously we need the studio partner who understand IMAX and he is willing to promote, publishize, advertise us in an appropriate way and we have to generate financial returns for our company and our partners.

Differentiation is a huge part of what we do. We are the only company that actually works with filmmakers to make their movies better that also in the exhibition business. So we do that often by differentiation.

We often have filmmakers film with our camera, again J.J. Abrams, Chris Nolan, Michael Bay, Brad Bird, et cetera. We often increase the aspect ratio to a bigger aspect ratio, specifically and exclusively for IMAX. We did that with Tron. We are doing that with the next movie that Tom Cruise and Joe Kosinski is doing which is called Oblivion.

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