Imax’s Q1 Box Office Record Pushes Revenue to $86.9 Million, Beating Wall Street Projections

Imax’s efforts to diversify its offerings in theaters around the world are paying off as the studio reported its best first quarter ever at the box office, allowing it to beat Wall Street expectations with its quarterly earnings report.

Imax reported quarterly revenue of $86.9 million and earnings of $5.1 million or 4 cents per share on a diluted basis and 16 cents per share on an adjusted basis. That beat Wall Street projections of $77.5 million in revenue and adjusted EPS of 15 cents per share, according to analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

The total is also a 45% boost from the $60 million in revenue earned in the first quarter of 2022, when Imax reported an adjusted loss of 14 cents per share.

The three months of 2023 saw a variety of Hollywood films contribute to Imax’s record success, including the holdover weekends of “Avatar: The Way of Water” in January as well as films like “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and “Creed III.”

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But 31% of Imax’s quarterly box office came from films produced outside the United States, with $61.3 million alone coming from Imax screens in China during the Lunar New Year festivities. Other major contributors include Makoto Shinkai’s “Suzume” in Japan and Siddharth Anand’s Hindi-language thriller “Pathaan” in India.

In a statement, Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said the results showed Imax was “more global than ever.”

The company’s performance outside the U.S. was “a strong validation of our strategy to diversify our content portfolio and become a leading platform for local language blockbusters around the world,” he added.

Such success was made possible by Imax’s concentrated efforts to make deals to expand its presence in theaters throughout the world. So far in 2023, Imax has signed 62 agreements with movie theater chains for new or upgraded systems, more than all of 2022 combined.

Among the deals signed this week at the Las Vegas trade show CinemaCon were ones with the Vietnamese company Galaxy Cinemas, the Mexican chain Cinemex and its American offshoot CMX and the American regional chain EVO, which will soon add Imax auditoriums to seven of its theaters in Florida and Texas.

Imax shares closed Thursday up 2.9% to $19.97 and were up 35.6% since the beginning of the year. Shares jumped another 5% after-hours following the earnings release.

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