IMAX VR Arcade is a Huge Success
Ashley Allen / 3 years ago
IMAX, the company behind the eponymous 70mm film standard and related cinema projection system, has revealed that its virtual reality arcade in Los Angeles has been a massive hit and that it plans to open further facilities across the world.
“Our LA [VR] facility, which has been opened for roughly 3 months now, has seen over 20,000 unique visitors,” revealed IMAX CEO Richard Lewis Gelfond during a recent earnings call for investors. “From a revenue standpoint, the center is pacing at roughly $15,000 a week over the last month or so, including our highest grossing week to date, this past week, and continues to exceed expectations.”
The arcade has been so successful, in fact, that IMAX plans to open more arcades in the US, the UK, and China as a prelude to a full global rollout.
“We plan to open additional pilot VR centers in New York, Shanghai, Tokyo and Manchester in the U.K., and will continue to use these sites as pilots to ultimately determine the longer-term opportunity at hand, but we’re definitely encouraged by the initial results from our LA facility,” Gelfond explained.
“Ultimately, we believe the success of this venture will be driven largely by the quality of content that we’re able to deliver to consumers,” the CEO added. “And on that front, we’ve taken significant first steps to curating and delivering new and engaging content to our centers.”
IMAX hopes that partnerships with Hollywood studios will see more crossover content from popular film franchises, which will debut at its VR centres before being released to home VR customers.
“As many of you probably saw, we signed our first new content deal with Warner Bros., which we hope to capitalize through our virtual reality content fund, which is expected to produce roughly 25 pieces of content,” Gelfond said. “This deal facilitates the release of 3 unique piece of brand-new VR content, including Justice League and Aquaman. Similar to theatrical windows, this content will have an exclusive window at IMAX VR centers prior to being launched more broadly in-home where it’ll also generate revenue given our stake in the content. We anticipate a number of deals similar to this one advancing through the pipeline in coming months. So please stay tuned.”
New IMAX VR arcades are expected to pop up over the next two years.