From Davos: Avatar in China’s Imax theaters and dinner with Sen. Graham and David Cameron

I had a random ten minute conversation over a nap-eschewing espresso with a soft-spoken Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax. Just before he had met with a senior Chinese exec — 40% of their market is in China … and they’re very tied in. They spent five years getting to know key government officials before they started doing actual ...

By , the president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media.
FABRICE COFFRINI/GETTY
FABRICE COFFRINI/GETTY
FABRICE COFFRINI/GETTY

I had a random ten minute conversation over a nap-eschewing espresso with a soft-spoken Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax. Just before he had met with a senior Chinese exec -- 40% of their market is in China ... and they're very tied in. They spent five years getting to know key government officials before they started doing actual business, and he's got about twenty years of time now in Beijing. That's Doing Business in China 101. I've no particular interest in promoting Imax, but it does strike me as less than coincidental that while the Chinese government recently stopped showing Avatar in their cinemas, China's Imax screens are all still sold out and running.    

Speaking of full color tablet reading, on the way out I bumped into one of the senior correspondents from Abu Dhabi's major newspaper, The National. I always read it when I'm there -- they pretty much wallpaper the local hotels. The journalism is reasonable (as long as you're not talking local politics), but the layout is just stunning. His response--"yes, for as long as it lasts." I suggested they rename the paper to The Khalifa. Seemed like a good hedge. 

I have dinner with the conservatives tonight -- Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and David Cameron (soon to be PM-UK). Very interested in their views on Europe -- have they yet come to the view that a strong, united Europe is good for all of us?  Logic dictates yes.  Politics suggests no. Dare I be privately hopeful? 

I had a random ten minute conversation over a nap-eschewing espresso with a soft-spoken Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax. Just before he had met with a senior Chinese exec — 40% of their market is in China … and they’re very tied in. They spent five years getting to know key government officials before they started doing actual business, and he’s got about twenty years of time now in Beijing. That’s Doing Business in China 101. I’ve no particular interest in promoting Imax, but it does strike me as less than coincidental that while the Chinese government recently stopped showing Avatar in their cinemas, China’s Imax screens are all still sold out and running.    

Speaking of full color tablet reading, on the way out I bumped into one of the senior correspondents from Abu Dhabi’s major newspaper, The National. I always read it when I’m there — they pretty much wallpaper the local hotels. The journalism is reasonable (as long as you’re not talking local politics), but the layout is just stunning. His response–"yes, for as long as it lasts." I suggested they rename the paper to The Khalifa. Seemed like a good hedge. 

I have dinner with the conservatives tonight — Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and David Cameron (soon to be PM-UK). Very interested in their views on Europe — have they yet come to the view that a strong, united Europe is good for all of us?  Logic dictates yes.  Politics suggests no. Dare I be privately hopeful? 

Ian Bremmer will be blogging from Davos this week sending reports and commentary from inside the World Economic Forum.

Ian Bremmer is the president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media. He is also the host of the television show GZERO World With Ian Bremmer. Twitter: @ianbremmer

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