Don Savant, a former executive at IMAX Corporation, will be named CEO of CJ 4DPlex Americas, the US subsidiary of the Korean conglomerate responsible for the 4DX movie theater technology, the company announced Monday.
Savant will be responsible for growing both the 4DX and ScreenX formats in the Americas while also collaborating with movie studios to adapt films to the premium formats.
In 2019, CJ expanded its two formats to over 1000 locations nationwide. In that time, the 4DX format also saw a 41% increase at the box office compared to 2018. Further, the ScreenX technology, which is a 270-degree viewing experience, nearly tripled its revenue last year.
“I am incredibly excited to join CJ 4DPLEX, and the CJ Group. I had worked with CJ CGV Cinemas for 18 years at IMAX. Their commitment to the development of the overall cinema experience and the film business worldwide created a deep and lasting impression with me and I am thrilled to be part of an organization committed to innovation and excellence,” Savant said in a statement.
“Don has a proven track record of growing premium theater concepts globally and will help continue our record-breaking growth for both 4DX and ScreenX. His has an excellent reputation among exhibitors and the overall entertainment industry, and we are excited to have him oversee our presence in the Americas and take it to the next level,” Jong Ryul Kim, CEO of CJ 4DPlex, said in a statement.
Savant previously spent 19 years at IMAX Corporation and was most recently president of global sales between 2016 and 2018, at which time he helped expand the company’s footprint with the development of 730 new theater locations in North America, Europe, India, China and Asia. He also helped establish China as the company’s largest market, leading to the IPO of IMAX China with a valuation of over $1.45 billion.
Prior to IMAX, Savant was the senior vice president of sales and marketing at Iwerks Entertainment in Burbank, California, where he launched the company’s first 4D theaters.
Savant is a board member APPlife Digital Solutions Inc., a business incubator and portfolio manager that invests in and creates e-commerce and cloud-based solutions. He is also an active member of his community, having set up the Savant Fellowship with his wife Elizabeth at the UCLA Center for Autism Research & Treatment.