Tess Torelli January 2, 2018

A wave of media mergers this year is reflective of the increased dominance of online steaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime, the CEO of IMAX said Tuesday.

Richard Gelfond described the current situation as a “high level tug-of-war happening between Silicon Valley and Hollywood.”

“Companies want to become bigger to position themselves to influence that, and that’s why we’re seeing so many mergers this year,” he said. “These companies are positioning themselves for who’s going to call the shots in the future.”

A range of media mergers graced the headlines this year. Walt Disney and Twenty-First Century Fox announced a deal Friday, while IMAX said last week it had extended its partnership with Fox for five new movies including three X-Men titles.

Data showed that Netflix made more movies than any traditional Hollywood studio in 2017. The streaming giant recently announced it would release 80 in-house “Netflix Originals” films in 2018.

IMAX’s earnings were taken to an all-time high after the release of 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The latest Star Wars film, “The Last Jedi,” is released Friday.

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