Imax’s New China CEO Is Confident the Premium Theater Experience Will Weather the Global Storm

”We’ve got policy on our side, we’ve got film supply on our side,“ Daniel Manwaring tells TheWrap

Two months after its New Year’s week debut in China, “Full River Red” opened in limited North American theatrical release this past Friday. The thrilling, macabre period thriller wasn’t expected to make much money in the United States over the weekend. But the somewhat nationalistic historical epic was the year’s biggest global grosser with $672 million worldwide — and its lush visuals were built for Imax.

“We’ve got policy on our side, we’ve got film supply on our side, and most importantly, we have an audience base that is truly demanding a more premium experience,” Imax’s new China CEO Daniel Manwaring told TheWrap of how Imax is future-proofing itself to thrive theatrically even amid an ecosystem challenged by COVID variables, streaming competition and even global tensions between China and the U.S.

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Scott Mendelson

Before joining The Wrap, Scott Mendelson got his industry start in 2008 with a self-piloted film blog titled "Mendelson's Memos." In 2013, he was recruited to write for where he wrote almost exclusively for nearly a decade. In that time he published copious in-depth analytical and editorialized entertainment industry articles specializing in (but not exclusively focused upon) theatrical box office. A well-known industry pundit, Mendelson has appeared on numerous podcasts and been featured as a talking head on NPR, CNN, Fox and BBC.