Predictions on the demise of the movie business are ‘wrong’: IMAX CEO

'There have been predictions of the demise of the movie business for the last decades and decades,' said Richard Gelfond

Despite concerns surrounding coronavirus' effect on public and large-capacity venues like movie theaters, the latest Spider-Man installment broke records over the weekend - earning a spot as the third-best premier of all time, according to FOX Business' Liz Claman.

Claman spoke with IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond on ‘The Claman Countdown’ Monday about critics who believe the pandemic would or will lead to the death of conventional theaters:

"I think we should say to them, you are wrong. There have been predictions of the demise of the movie business for the last decades and decades, whether it’s television or before that, maybe radio, television, DVD's, VCR's - it’s always the end of the movie business," he said.


"Now it’s streaming. The latest end of the movie business," he continued, "[But] people want to go to the movies. It’s a social experience, special for these global blockbusters, you want to go with your friends, you want to be the first one to see it and the numbers don’t lie."

Gelfond said another recent blockbuster to defy negative predictions was Marvel's "Shang-Chi" film on Labor Day, which topped the box office for several straight weekends. The film initially saw an exclusively theatrical release.

"So I think people living in an alternative universe when they are questioning the numbers," said Gelfond.

"But people want to go back to the movies, no matter what others' narrative is."


Weekend grosses for the third Tom Holland Spider-Man came in even higher than expected, netting out with $260 million from ticket sales in North America, Sony Pictures said Monday. It’s also the best opening weekend ever for Spider-Man films, Sony Pictures and the month of December.

While the extra push Sunday put "No Way Home," ahead of "Avengers: Infinity War," which opened to $257.7 million in April 2018, it’s still a ways behind "Avengers: Endgame," which debuted to $357.1 million in April 2019.

The stellar opening was a much-needed win for the theatrical exhibition business, which has struggled during the pandemic. Until "Spider-Man" came along, no film in the pandemic era had opened over $100 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.