Imax CEO Rich Gelfond’s Contract Extended Through 2025

The large-format screens have comprised a larger share of blockbuster debut weekends since theaters reopened

Imax has extended the contract of CEO Rich Gelfond through the end of 2025, SEC filings sent Monday showed.

Gelfond, who served as co-CEO starting in 1996 and became the premium film format company’s sole CEO in 2009, will retain his base salary of $1.2 million along with equity award grants and severance terms.

The extension comes as Imax has made several other changes to its core leadership, including hiring former Warner Media human resources executive Michele Golden as its Global Chief People Officer. The company also promoted finance executive Natasha Fernandes as its new CFO and named Jennifer Horsley as SVP of investor relations.

While movie theaters have struggled to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic — with Regal Cinemas parent company Cineworld filing for bankruptcy — Imax has seen faster recovery thanks to strong performance from various blockbusters, most notably “Top Gun: Maverick,” which has taken more than $100 million from its $1.46 billion global box office run from Imax screenings alone.

In the first half of 2022, Imax reported that its domestic box office grosses were only 5% behind the pace set by 2019, compared to 35% for the overall North American box office. The format is expected to be a major factor once again in the final quarter of the year, as Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and 20th Century’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” — the sequel to a film that grossed $258 million on Imax screens in 2009 — hit the big screen.