Giant screen film business IMAX is performing well. The recent Q2 was the first ever where box-office revenues in the US, China and the rest-of-the-world each generated more than $100 million for IMAX.
CEO Richard Gelfond explained that last year, 72 per cent of global box office was generated in international markets, up from 64 per cent in 2013. “We believe IMAX is uniquely positioned to benefit from the trend of block-busterisation and international growth. In fact, our recent box office performance helps illustrate this belief. For example, the North American industry grew box office a healthy 10 per cent in the first half of 2018. However, IMAX domestic box office increased 34 per cent over the same period. Internationally, IMAX box office was up over 20 per cent in the first half of 2018.”
IMAX is also swapping out its projector systems, installing powerful Laser units. “I’m pleased to note that we’ve already signed agreements for over 180 IMAX with Laser systems. This includes an 87-theatre agreement with AMC; a 55-theatre agreement with Regal; and a 20-theatre agreement with Pathé in Europe. In the case of upgrades, these deals extend the contract terms for an additional 10 to 13 years after installation, pushing out and de-risking our renewal process. And in the case of AMC and Regal, our exhibitor partners are also upgrading the seating, entryways and in-theatre branding at all these IMAX auditoriums.”
“We signed agreements for 40 new theatres in the second quarter on top of the 98 signings for upgrades to IMAX with Laser. From the installation standpoint, we have sold 30 new theatres last quarter, including our first commercial theaters in Saudi Arabia with VOX Cinemas. We’re encouraged by the initial performance of this theatre, and look forward to further expanding our footprint in the region,” added Gelfond.